Latest sites announced in London in drive to get more small builders in the city
A new group of small sites are set to deliver much needed affordable housing for London as part of the Mayor’s Small Sites, Small Builders programme, it has been announced.
Brought forward by Transport for London (TfL), the eight sites will each deliver between one and 30 homes, up to 90 in total in Richmond, Ealing, Newham, Bexley, Hounslow, Lambeth and Waltham Forest.
These sites will contribute towards the Mayor’s target for 50% affordable housing across the portfolio of sites TfL use for housing. Ten other small TfL sites located across seven different boroughs were launched in February last year as part of the pilot.
At Arbuthnot Lane, Bexley, the development will be 100% affordable, with 50% affordable at Newham Way in Newham, and Atkins Road in Lambeth while other sites will deliver between one and nine homes, with affordable housing requirements that will follow the local council’s policy for sites with fewer than 10 homes.
London’s home building sector is dominated by a small number of large developers that build the vast majority of homes across the capital and the number of small builders, those that deliver fewer than 100 homes, has halved over the last 10 years, and the Mayor wants to make small plots of publicly owned land more accessible to London’s small and medium sized builders, including community-led housing groups, through a simple bidding process with standardised legal contracts.
There was significant interest in last year’s pilot, with 134 bids received from 80 organisations ranging from developers and community-led housing organisations to registered providers and architect-developers. Many of the bids proposed more homes than TfL had forecast.
Small Sites, Small Builders is an 11.2 million initiative of the London Economic Action Partnership and the Mayor of London. TfL will continue to bring forward and advertise small sites on a rolling basis, with Boroughs and other public landholders encouraged to take part.
‘When we launched it last year, the Mayor’s ‘Small Sites, Small Builders’ programme proved very popular with small and medium-sized homebuilders, and community-led housing groups,’ said James Murray, deputy Mayor for housing and residential development.
‘In recent years London has become over-reliant on large developers, and so we are pleased to be able to help more small builders play their part too through this latest batch of TfL sites,’ he added.
According to Graeme Craig, director of commercial development, Transport for London, as one of the biggest land owners in London, has a key role to play in unlocking land to create thousands of new homes for Londoners, while also generating revenue to reinvest into the transport network.