News Update #02 - Land Supply

15 March 2017

WAN’s Mission – To promote the architects’ role in the New London Plan.

London’s Housing Gap – Crisis or Opportunity?

In short, it’s both.

In the run-up to the WAN London Housing Symposium on 23rd May, we will be talking to the city’s movers and shakers, taking soundings, and pushing architects’ agenda forward.


That London’s housing shortage is nudging the capital towards a tipping point is a given, the term Perfect Storm is being bandied about, factories are being built in the North of the UK poised to mass produce huge volumes of modular offsite housing units. The demand is there, the supply is there, the finance* is there but land supply is an issue, building sites for large scale affordable housing are in short supply and expensive.

The fringes of London’s Green Belt are coming under increasing scrutiny, many are campaigning for a full review as many parts of the Green Belt are poor quality and could be utilised for development.

Michael Hammond put this to Tony Devenish, chair of the GLA planning committee, at a recent planning committee who responded by saying:

“I don’t know anybody who wants to change the definition of the green belt. In the run up to the election of London’s latest Mayor both mayoral candidates said there is enough brownfield land in London to last for years. This is particularly true in east London where there are several sites the size of Wembley Stadium that could be developed.”

The Green Belt review will not solve the short term crisis… It’s been dropped from the recent white paper, it’s way too controversial and to quote Tony Devenish once more… “It’s not going to happen.”

*Finance is generally available but the PRS model starts to fail when land prices are too high. 

Tony Devenish

Tony Devenish, chair of the GLA planning committee

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