Havering and Redbridge fail to meet new homes target

Houses under construction in Basingstoke

The two boroughs have not seen enough new homes built, according to the government - Credit: PA

Havering has the biggest shortfall of new homes in London, newly released government figures reveal.

Only 1,929 of the 3,414 homes needed in the borough, according to the London Plan, were built in the past three years.

This makes it one of more than 50 councils in England, including Redbridge, to “fail” the government’s “Housing Delivery Test” on January 19.

Councils where less than three quarters of the housing target was met will now have to approve all future developments unless their impact “significantly and demonstrably” outweighs benefits.

Havering council leader Cllr Damian White said: “The Housing Delivery Test measures the numbers of new homes completed in the borough, delivery which the council is not solely responsible for.

“The test does not take into account the number of homes actually given planning permission.

“The council recognises the important role it has in delivering homes but they have to be the right homes and the right sites.

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“We should not just wave applications through the planning process if they do not meet the standards that we demand of our housing in Havering.

“We place huge importance on quality design and infrastructure led developments that will provide lasting benefits to our borough.”

Only 36 per cent of the homes needed in Havering were built, despite the number finished increasing every year since 2017.

Redbridge Council built 1,929 out of the required 3,274 homes, an average of 59 per cent.

Speaking in February last year, Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Historically, Redbridge has been one of the lowest housebuilders, it is the most overcrowded borough in London because we never built.

“Our 104,000 liveable units are way less than similar boroughs of our size. What we are doing is making sure we are catching up.”

Waltham Forest Council, however, passed the Housing Delivery Test, delivering 98 per cent of the 2,515 homes needed in the borough.

Overall, around a third of London boroughs were able to go above and beyond their target for new housing.

Havering Council’s delivery places it third lowest in the country, joint with North Hertfordshire and Southend-on-Sea, who also delivered 36 per cent.