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24.08.16

Khan orders TfL to sell Kidbrooke station land for affordable housing

Affordable housing must be built on the land by Kidbrooke station after Transport for London (TfL) sells it, the London mayor has told the transport body.

Sadiq Khan has issued a direction to TfL to ensure that, when it sells the land, at least 50% of any residential accommodation built on the site is used as affordable housing.

Under the Greater London Authority Act, TfL is obliged to act as if it is a private company when developing its land directly or through a subsidiary, and obtain the maximum return possible.

However, the affordable housing requirement will probably mean that the land is sold for less than the maximum price, but the order says that it will be legal for TfL to do this.

Khan said: “Londoners are being priced out of their own city and we need to be honest that we’re not going to turn things round overnight. Last year my predecessor built fewer affordable homes than in any year since records began 25 years ago – fixing this is going to take time.

“Getting homes built on public land can be hard,–but after being elected I set to work immediately to make sure we get building on more of the hundreds of sites owned by Transport for London, stretching right across the capital, that have been allowed to languish unused for far too long. This site in Kidbrooke will be the first of many we are fast-tracking to build genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.”

The proposed redevelopment will include 400 residential homes, 5,000 square feet of commercial floor space, and open space.

Cllr Keith Prince, the London Assembly transport spokesperson for the Conservatives, questioned the legality of the decision.

He said: “Selling TfL’s land with a massive 50% affordable housing requirement ensures it will be sold for well under market value.

“He should have checked if it was legal before promising this requirement, as all bodies have to achieve best value when selling public property. The mayor should face facts and ditch this affordable housing requirement before he bankrupts TfL any further.”

As part of his election campaign, Khan promised to conduct a review of TfL’s finances and introduce a fare freeze until 2020. However, he was accused of broken promises after his election when it emerged that the freeze would only apply to single journeys, not travel cards.

Khan and TfL also promised to announce a new round of TfL-owned brownfield sites which will be developed for affordable housing in the autumn, generating up to 10,000 new homes.

Graeme Craig, TfL’s commercial development director, said: “Kidbrooke is the first of over a hundred sites that we are looking to develop to help us meet London’s critical need for housing. This is also one of a number of ways we’re generating substantial non-fare revenue to reinvest in modernising London’s network to make it better for everyone.”

(Image c. Jonathan Brady from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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Comments

Billd   24/08/2016 at 13:43

I see no problem with the Mayor of London having a strategic agenda and hope that this will continue when dealing with railway matters.

Huguenot   24/08/2016 at 16:07

Ah, but will the affordable housing be subject to the 'Right to Buy', in which case it will eventually be lost to the affordable sector.

Tothehills   25/08/2016 at 09:08

Huguenot: Why does affordable have to equate to rented? We need the whole housing sector to work; young people on decent salaries should be able to afford decent houses and that is just not the case these days. As an example my son, who is about to earn a very large salary, cannot afford to buy my house, while my father (who was a leading seaman in the navy) could buy the equivalent house.

Boris   25/08/2016 at 10:02

Wonder if Andrew would be interested in one of these 'affordable' houses.

Andrew Gwilt   03/09/2016 at 23:00

@Boris I don't live in London. But if I could then I might pick which area in London I would like to live. But I'm a East Anglian and I used to live near Norwich in Norfolk but now I currently live in Essex. And I'm not too far from London.

Boris   03/09/2016 at 23:48

Do you have a job then??

Andrew Gwilt   11/09/2016 at 23:22

@Boris Do I have a job. Well no not at the moment. Why ask me a stupid question for Boris.

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