London’s programme to stop new homes being offered first to overseas investors has proved a failure and must be replaced, the capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan has said.
The ‘concordat’ was established by his predecessor Boris Johnson in 2014, and secured support from more than 50 developers, who said they would give priority to local homebuyers and stop advertising homes to overseas buyers before they were offered for sale in London.
But Mr Khan said the concordat had lacked any enforcement mechanism or penalties with the result that only one developer had ever been found in breach of it, an outcome he called “frankly embarrassing”.
Mr Khan has asked officials to devise options to replace the concordat with a scheme that will be “meaningful whilst being mindful of the needs of homebuilders to raise project finance”.
The mayor said: “We all know that Boris Johnson left the cupboard bare on housing in London, and it will be a hard and long process to fix his mess.
“The previous mayor’s concordat is yet another housing failure we have inherited – a scheme that claimed to help Londoners get first dibs on new properties but in reality did nothing to stop the problem of London homes being sold off-plan as gold bricks to overseas investors.”
Mr Khan’s deputy mayor for housing James Murray told Construction News this week that he would review the 25-strong London Development Panel housebuilding framework to try to increase opportunities for smaller builders, and intended to publish supplementary planning guidance on viability assessments.
Sadiq Khan rejects London scheme to protect green belt
London mayor Sadiq Khan has refused planning permission for a development in Chislehurst on the grounds that it would encroach on London’s green belt.
The Flamingo Park planning application proposed a three-storey stadium for Cray Wanderers Football Club, as well as 28 flats without affordable housing.
Mr Khan said: “I am determined to oppose building on the green belt, which is now even more important than when it was created.”
The mayor said he would use his planning powers to protect green space sand encourage construction on brownfield sites.