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Linden Homes Enters Election Debate With Manifesto For Housing

A fresh voice has been added to the debate leading up to London’s local elections in May after top five housebuilder Linden Homes published its own Manifesto for Housing.

Linden Homes, which currently has about 2,000 houses and apartments under construction in the capital, have presented the document to Mayor Boris Johnson during a recent visit to its new Mile End development and every borough council as members and candidates prepare for polling day on 22nd May.

The Manifesto for Housing in London outlines the benefits of development in addition to providing new homes such as jobs, local investment and training – and suggests six initiatives for councillors to sign up to and make a priority for solving the severe shortage of homes in the capital.

The intervention is particularly relevant because housing is turning into a key issue in the campaign. It also follows criticism from MPs of councils’ “perverse behaviour” in response to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Andrew Richards, Linden Homes Group Managing Director said: “Elections are often a time of uncertainty for the housebuilding industry as we wait to see how the results will affect planning authorities’ attitude towards land, planning policy and delivering much-needed homes.

“But we think the obstacles to housing that we’re facing are too important for us to remain silent. Linden Homes has built 773 new homes in London since 2010, and a further 2,000 on sites now under construction, but we know that’s not enough. So we’re joining the debate to highlight the problem and the need for joint action.

“Our Manifesto for Housing in London is about how housebuilders, planning authorities and communities can work together better as a partnership. Without sufficient homes, prices will keep rising and drive out more ordinary home buyers from the capital.”

As the election campaign unfolds, Linden Homes will be inviting sitting councillors and their rivals of all political colours to visit its development sites to see for themselves the investment they generate – and what can be jeopardised through planning delays.

Linden Homes wants to encourage more developments like its regeneration of brownfield land at the former St Clements hospital. Linden Homes is working with the first urban community land trust and London mayor Boris Johnson to deliver a neighbourhood-led mixed-use scheme where the freehold will be gifted to the community when construction is complete.

The Linden Homes Manifesto for Housing in London:

  1. Planning departments fit for purpose
    - Boost budgets and staff to stop logjam of delayed applications
  2. Timely permissions granted
    - Minimise unnecessary planning conditions, set targets, automatic discharge after three months
  3. Encourage communities
    - Let neighbourhood groups bid for New Homes Bonus funding and Community Infrastructure Levy
  4. Bring forward public land
    - Register and publicise surplus council land, and account for non-sales
  5. Prioritise delivery
    - Demonstrate the political will to support housing and deliver on new homes targets
  6. Control regulation
    - Work with government to ensure timely implementation of building control compliance and rigorously review local imposed requirements

Andrew Richards added: “Boris Johnson has stated a need for 420,000 new homes in London in the next 10 years and we welcome that target. But if we are going to reach it, housebuilders, planners and communities need to play their part.

“We’re trying to play our part – we’re currently building about 2,000 homes worth £569 million of investment to local economies. But we need councillors, planners – and even the voters – to commit too. That’s the challenge our manifesto is putting to London and its politicians.”

-ENDS-

For further information, contact Tracy Mannion, Claire McCowan or Emma Cox at Remarkable Group on 01962 893893.

Did you know?

Over 90% of our waste is recycled or converted into energy.

Linden Homes has contributed over £9.7 million towards leisure, sport and other public facilities in the UK since 2010.