“LONDONERS BEING PRICED OUT OF THEIR OWN CITY” – Zac Goldsmith Q&A with Planning Futures

Conservative Mayoral candidate pledges to publish detailed plans on housing within 10 days

Speaking to a meeting of planners, developers and built environment specialists at a Q&A event organised by planning think tank ‘Planning Futures’ earlier this morning, Zac Goldsmith warned that Londoners were being “priced out of their own city”.  In a debate that focussed largely upon London’s housing crisis, Goldsmith promised that he was ready and prepared to “duff up the Government” to get the best deal for Londoners.  He warned that ordinary Londoners were caught between a shortage of social housing and lack of affordable private provision.  He said that they were “stuffed” and committed to address this as a priority if elected as Mayor of London.

Commenting that “supply is at the heart of the solution” to London’s housing crisis, Goldsmith said that he would work to ensure that land is available to meet his target of building 50,000 new homes per year.

In a call to enhance meaningful consultation Goldsmith called for localism to be placed at the heart of planning policy.  Questioned on the issues of density and tall buildings he argued against a London-wide policy citing the need to place community views at the heart of such discussions.

He backed Planning Futures call for an increase in planning capacity within the London Boroughs, saying that the Mayor should have planner resource available on loan to individual boroughs based upon need.  He said that developers are being “made to jump through unnecessary hoops” due to understaffing of planning departments in the London Boroughs.

Responding to questions on environmental matters Goldsmith said that “London can’t afford to lose any more green spaces” and argued the case for unlocking brownfield sites.

Goldsmith also drew strong links between transport provision and planning policy.  He advocated for greater use of consolidation centres to take lorries off the roads and ease congestion.

The Q&A session was kindly hosted by Turley and sponsored by L Lynch.

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