London Mayor orders TfL to sell land for development

August 24, 2016 / Isla MacFarlane
London Mayor orders TfL to sell land for development

The first site owned by Transport for London (TfL) has been released for development, as part of Sadiq Khan’s manifesto pledge to supply ‘part-buy, part-rent’ Shared Ownership homes on publicly-owned land for first-time buyers.

The Mayor of London has instructed TfL to bring forward the site in Kidbrooke, which will provide 400 new homes – 50 per cent of which will be affordable to rent and buy.

The four-acre Greenwich site, which has been sat empty for the eight years, is the first in a wave of sites ready to be developed. It will be followed by a further batch of brownfield sites unlocked by the Mayor and TfL in the autumn.

“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,” said Graeme Craig, TfL Commercial Development Director said. “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.”

There is the potential to build up to 10,000 new homes at 75 sites across 300 acres of land owned by TfL across the capital.

According to a statement from the Greater London Authority Conservatives, Khan was told he could not sell TfL land in Kidbrooke with the 50% affordable requirement as it “will lead to less than the maximum return available” and that breaches paragraph 29 of Schedule 11 of the GLA Act.

“Selling Transport for London’s land with a massive 50% affordable housing requirement ensures it will be sold for well under market value,” said Keith Prince, spokesperson for GLA Conservative Transport. “Sadiq should have checked if selling TfL land for under market value was legal before promising this requirement, as all bodies have to achieve best value when selling public property.”

However, TfL is looking for a development partner to form a joint venture, so that the land can be sold at lower values. TfL aims to have a partner in place early next year to complete the site by 2020.

“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,” said Khan. “This site in Kidbrooke will be the first of many we are fast-tracking to build genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.”

The issues of how to increase the supply of public land and ensure a cohesive approach between housebuilders and the transport industry will be discussed at the WhatHouse? New Homes Debate on 20 September, where Graeme Graig and David Biggs – Chief Executive, Network Rail Property, will feature as panelists.

To register for the debate, CLICK HERE

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