New pre-election report calls on future Mayor to donate land to self-starting community house builders.
Public land should be earmarked for community groups in the capital looking to self-build, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in a new report on London’s housing and infrastructure crisis.
RICS London Manifesto 2016: Vision for London looks at areas where the future Mayor should focus attention over the next five years and highlights the need to empower communities to deliver their own home-building projects through the creation of a new ‘Support Hub’, offering access to public funding, information and professional advice.
Chris Day, Chair London Board RICS said:
“London is in the midst of a boom, which will see its population grow from 8.5million to 11.3 million by 2050. This will put more strain on its already overburdened housing sector.
This city is known for its spirit in times of adversity. The incoming Mayor must seize on Londoners’ sense of community, and put practical plans in place to encourage groups to come together on self-build projects and tackle the growing housing shortage.
We would like to see public land donated for community self-build schemes and the introduction of a one-stop shop or ‘hub’ offering advice and funding for would-be builders.”
Local authority planning departments are often under-resourced, which can result in delays to building projects. RICS is calling for the Mayor to create a cross-London team of trouble-shooting planners known as the ‘Planning Flying Squad’, who would be parachuted in to support struggling authorities and speed up planning processes.
The report also recommends:
• A tax on land that has seen drastic increases in value as a result of infrastructure projects.
• Funding ‘new and small business incubators’, which would provide space for innovative start-ups, which are being pushed out of London due to the high cost of rents and commercial property
• The creation of a new infrastructure catalogue, aimed at potential investors allowing them to examine the viability of current infrastructure schemes and see the potential yields of investing in long-term projects alongside the GLA.
• The new Mayor should lobby government to prevent London’s affordable or social housing from being included in right-to-buy schemes.
Other longer term suggestions involve a move away from the office-centric work environment that exists currently and allowing more people to work from home by improving broadband capacity in many parts of London.