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Interview: David Lunts from the GLA

Tue 1st October 2013, 4:19 pm

The Sitematch team speaks to David Lunts, executive director of housing and land at the Greater London Authority.

Can you tell something about your role and responsibilities?

It’s my job to lead the GLA team that delivers the mayor’s housing programmes, targets and policies. This includes managing the mayor’s land and assets into development for much-needed new homes and regeneration, targeting London’s investment into new affordable housing and Decent Homes, retrofitting homes and public buildings to be carbon-efficient and running London-wide services to deal with homelessness and social tenants’ moves across boroughs.

Why does the GLA attend Sitematch?

Because we strongly support the release of public assets to support home building and regeneration and Sitematch is a simple, effective and innovative way to bring asset owners together with developers and agents to see what’s available and raise the profile for this work.

One of the first major schemes to go through the London Development Panel is the Met Police Peel centre in Colindale. Has a developer been selected yet and if not, when will this be announced?

The process is due to conclude with an announcement very soon.

Are there any other major schemes being brought forward in the near future?

Yes – the GLA is taking three sites to the market through the London Development Panel in the next few weeks. They are all in Newham and include the former Parcelforce site at West Ham. We expect these to deliver many hundreds of homes (and we’ll be seeking a sizeable proportion as long term purpose-built private rent)  as well as business, retail and other uses.

Are there any opportunities for developers who are not on the development panel?

Yes. We encourage partnering where it’s appropriate between panel members and others. So, for instance, a housing association or commercial developer may choose to work with one of the contractors on our panel.

London boroughs have trouble hitting their housing targets. Is there anything the GLA can or should do to assist the boroughs hit their targets?

We are always happy to assist. This can include targeting our grants and other investment into schemes or in some cases using the GLA’s compulsory purchase order powers to bring sites forward. For major projects we often bring together boroughs with Transport for London and GLA planning to get solutions sorted in a joined up way.

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