Parks, green space, and the green belt are under threat for housing, as London Boroughs look to provide sites for their housing quotas (from the Mayor of London). The draft London Plan has particularly high allocations for the outer boroughs, as they are less densely built.
As developers look to make at least a third profit on their schemes, CPRE have found that developers cherry pick the sites that council’s have identified, so that they first build on green space (parks, urban open space) and green belt, before they will build those redevelopment projects that deliver so much more for the communities.
CPRE have also found that some richer and unscrupulous developers will identify small green belt sites and put forward schemes of nine 5+ bedroom executive houses at a time. Nine dwellings means they don’t have to provide any affordable houses or social (SIL or Section 106) payments. As these sites are on the green belt, they are rejected by the council, but as the developer has £50K available, they get the decision overturned at appeal (at a cost of £50K to the tax payer) because the council hasn’t met their housing quota from the Mayor of London. These houses are not dense enough for services such as buses to be provided. They will normally be 2-car households and contribute more to congestion and traffic pollution. They never deliver affordable housing.
It doesn’t have to be like this. So CPRE have produced their Space to Build reports to address, and publise this problem. These reports identify the sites available to the borough, that are brown sites, and they are not
- not green space,
- not green belt,
- and do not comprise of town cramming for existing town centres.
The two boroughs that have been reported on so far:
If you live in Bromley, write here and ask them to adopt this report as their strategy. If you live in another borough, ask and help CPRE compose one to stop your green space being built on!