Half of boroughs falling short on housebuilding targets

27 May 2015, Blog

A recent report looking into London borough’s housebuilding targets has revealed that around half of them failed to meet their targets between 2010 and 2013.

The report, put together by planning consultancy Nathanial Lichfield and Partners and business group London First, showed that only 18 of the 33 boroughs met or exceeded their annual targets. The rather damning report on London’s housebuilding went on to say that missing London’s overall housing goal is “as inevitable as night follows day.”

It was not all doom and gloom, as both Haringey and Harrow surpassed their targets, achieving 123.8% and 139.5% respectively, with Hillingdon, Sutton, Bromley, Hackney, Kensington and Westminster all meeting or exceeding their targets.

The other remaining 15 boroughs fell short, prompting industry commentators to urge for more powers for the Mayor to penalise councils that fail to deliver. Two councils that would go under the knife under such powers would be Barnet and Enfield. The former only managed to build 3,405 homes, 50.3% of its target, while the latter fared better, building 1,474 homes and reaching 87.7% of its target.

With the report highlighting the failings of local authorities, it also served to highlight Boris Johnson’s lack of progress in meeting his own annual target for new homes. The report recommends a new financial rewards system to encourage local authorities to build more houses. This would be in addition to the current New Homes Bonus, which commentators argue, largely failed to act as an incentive to the boroughs. Boris’s last year as Mayor will certainly be an interesting one. 

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