Deputy mayor for housing and land Richard Blakeway announced this morning that Ilford Town Centre, Redbridge; Rainham & Beam Park, Havering; Meridian Water, Enfield and Poplar Riverside, Tower Hamlets would become designated housing zones.
Housing zones are intended to streamline planning approval processes and fast-track development.
Speaking at a London First event hosted by BNP Paribas Real Estate, Blakeway said over the last few years only four London boroughs had more than 1,000 residential starts each year.
“If you’re looking to double house-building then you’ve clearly got to have more than just four boroughs contributing significantly,” he said.
The mayor of London will contribute £162m in funding to the new zones, which will deliver 12,330 homes over the next decade between them, including 3,402 affordable homes.
They bring the total number of housing zones to 15 – with a further five to be announced to reach a total of 20.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “By freeing up empty brownfield sites from lengthy approval processes and providing a funding boost, we can ensure new housing capacity is created in areas where it might never otherwise have happened.
“I am very pleased that the announcement of four more housing zones today brings us within touching distance of our aim to create 50,000 new homes through this innovative scheme.”
Rainham and Beam Park housing zone in the borough of Havering is one of the biggest development sites at 12 square kilometres, and will include the new Beam Park rail station with 20 minute access into the heart of London.
The housing zone will include the Beam Park site recently released by the mayor for development, the largest slab of land that had been in the mayor’s portfolio. The council plans on creating a new “garden suburb” from former industrial land with 3,457 new homes, 941 of them affordable.
The Meridian Water housing zone in the borough of Enfield will build 3,650 new homes in a development designed to complement the riverside canal and 1,460 homes will be affordable.
The housing zone will contribute to the development of Meridian Water station (currently Angel Road station) which will have four trains an hour running into central London by March 2018 under the Stratford to Angel Road rail scheme. In early June a procurement process was launched to secure a master-developer for the project.
The Ilford Town Centre housing zone in the borough of Redbridge intends to capitalise on the arrival of Crossrail to the area by building 2,189 new homes, 553 of which will be affordable.
Poplar Riverside housing zone in the borough of Tower Hamlets will initially provide 3,034 new homes and 448 affordable homes over its two phases with capacity to almost double the number of new homes over the life of the zone. Work has already started with the regeneration of the Aberfeldy Estate.
BNP Paribas Real Estate head of residential Adrian Owen said: “With the majority of London’s development land under the control of public sector bodies it is not only vital that local authorities and government departments take a leading role in the process but it is also essential that new developments are supported by investment in local infrastructure and transportation projects.”