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London councils warning over Montague proposals

Tue 4th September 2012, 3:06 pm

Any plans to remove planning obligations from developers to encourage private sector rented housing must ensure necessary infrastructure, according to London local authorities.

London: Warning over removing planning obligations
Photo by David Iliff

London Councils, representing the capital’s boroughs, was reacting to the proposal outlined in the government-commissioned Montague Review, which examined the barriers to providing homes for private rent.

And although it supported the drive for more such housing, it said that removing section 106 agreements could lead to a lack of facilities to support new residents.

London Councils' executive member for housing, Sir Steve Bullock, said: “London’s sky-high house prices mean that more people rent privately in the capital than anywhere else in the country. This is why investment into building more homes for private rental is important to London’s boroughs.

“But it’s not just a question of building more homes. If we’re encouraging more people to move into an area, there must be enough schools, roads and clinics to meet their needs.”

London Councils also had concerns that the move would reduce the amount of affordable housing in the capital, a point backed by a group of London social landlords which said the policy could price low-income families out of the market.

"Many of the proposals in this report are sensible, especially speeding up the release of public land," said Keith Exford, chief executive of Affinity Sutton and chair of the G15. "But we fail to see the case for releasing developers from obligations to provide affordable housing in London when house prices and rents are continuing to increase.”

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