'The greatest housing crisis': Havering Councillors debate Sadiq Khan's housing targets

PUBLISHED: 15:03 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:13 30 January 2018

Photo: PA.

Photo: PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Councillors debated the importance of protecting the green belt in opposition to housing targets set by the Mayor of London at a full council meeting on Wednesday, January 24.

Sadiq Khan’s draft London Plan which proposed a housing target of 1,875 new homes for Havering over the next ten years, was described as “totally unacceptable, unachievable and unsustainable” in a motion proposed by councillors.

Mr Khan released his first London Plan with proposals to allow a greater number of houses being built on small spaces in November, last year.

He said he wanted to “make the most of the precious land in the capital” to help tackle the housing crisis, as London’s population is predicted to reach 10.8 million in 2041.

The East Havering Residents’ Group recommended for the Executive to respond to the Mayor’s consultation, which ends on March 1, in the strongest possible terms.

Councillors noted that the target for 1,875 homes represents a 60pc increase on the figure included in the draft Havering Local Plan of 1,170 houses.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Roger Ramsey said: “I think this is one of the most serious issues facing us in the next months, as it affects how the borough develops over the next ten years.

“It seeks to wage war on outer London boroughs, and it smacks of policy which shows no knowledge of life which people have come to expect in places like Havering.

“The assessment of London is totally flawed and hasn’t been prepared in consultation with us.”

The Independent Residents’ Group introduced an amendment to the motion which called on the Executive to defend Havering’s high value green spaces, conservation and special character areas from the existing housing target.

Cllr Alex Donald from the East Havering Residents’ Group said: “We’re facing the greatest housing crisis. I support the green belt, and I want it to be protected but I also do not think we should religiously defend it at all costs.”

The motion by the East Havering Residents’ Group was agreed, but the Independent Residents’ Group amendment did not carry with 31 votes against, 18 votes for and three absent votes.

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