'The mayor is attacking our suburbs': Shaun Bailey claims Housing for London scheme will benefit Havering residents
PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 July 2019
A new housing scheme would see fewer homes built on Havering's green spaces, claims the Conservative candidate for London mayor.
Shaun Bailey, who lives in Harold Hill, has announced plans to create Housing for London (HfL), a City Hall-controlled homebuilder that aims to tackle the capital's multi-generational housing backlog.
He told the Recorder: "HfL is going to take over house building in London and control the process from beginning to end - in much the same way it was done at the end of the Second World War.
"We've had the powers to do this all along and I'm not sure why [the mayor] hasn't done it before.
"They're building at a profit and not based on what is needed. He's banned us from using brownfield sites.
"The mayor is attacking our suburbs and he doesn't care because he's a zone one mayor."
HfL would be formed as an advisory and consultative body directly answerable to the mayor who would then identify the best sites for development in the capital in order to create new communities for Londoners.
Mr Bailey would create Mayoral Development Corporations (MDCs) under the Localism Act 2011 to develop each identified partnership with the relevant borough councils.
Twenty zones and MDCs would be created on sites already controlled by public bodies in London, including brownfield land, TfL sites and other government land.
He referenced the example of a planning application to build 64 homes on Gooshays Gardens in Harold Hill.
"You have plans like the one for Gooshays Gardens, where there is not enough parking which is ridiculous.
"Or you could have a massive development planned for Harold Wood, but there hasn't been any planned widening of the road to take on the extra infrastructure.
"I will be creating a process where the local community will have a say and we will work together with local councils.
"I imagine a system where people could vote to see if they want a school or health centre."
Mr Bailey, who moved to Harold Hill for the family environment, insists that his goal as mayor would be to prioritise demand and not profit.
The 47-year-old said: "Things that arrive quicker are cheaper.
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"Me as the mayor - I don't need to make a profit.
"I would appoint an outer-London mayor to make sure boroughs like Havering are part of the conservation."
He would reduce the currrent mayor Sadiq Khan's target of 50pc affordable housing to 35pc.
The father-of-two said: "I think the time for bogus targets is gone. Khan keeps talking about 50pc but he rarely delivers 50pc.
"It's stopped more building than it has started.
"With 35pc you can get cheaper housing because the developers can afford it."
HfL would be set up under Sections 30 and 34 of the GLA Act 200 and would be established along similar lines to the London Economic Action Partnership (Leap).
Leap is the body that oversees economic development in London.
With a budget of around £300million, Leap is managed by a board of experts and it's directly answerable to the mayor of London.
"It's time for an entirely new approach: a big bang on housing," said Mr Bailey.
"Housing for London will do the job the private sector, encouraged and funded by the public sector, has failed to do now for generations."
The current mayor has secured £4.82billion in government funding for affordable homes and has committed to start 116,000 by 2022.
To date 41,704 - 36pc - of affordable homes have been built.
A spokeswoman for the mayor of London said: "Under Sadiq, London is building more council homes than it has in over than three decades.
"He is getting a record number of affordable homes built whilst protecting the green belt.
"In contrast, Shaun Bailey has said he would scrap the mayor's affordable housing targets.
"That would leave councils across London facing developments of more luxury flats, which is the last thing Londoners need."