Evening Standard: Rory Stewart unveils masterplan for 250,000 new London homes using surplus TfL land
Independent mayoral candidate Rory Stewart today promised London’s biggest affordable housing programme “in more than a generation” with 250,000 new homes built and ready to live in within five years.
Speaking exclusively to the Standard, he said his ambitious “just build it” plan would prioritise key workers such as nurses and teachers, young families and the elderly.
The former Tory MP, who last year stood against Mr Johnson in the Tory leadership election, said if elected to lead City Hall in May he would immediately set up a Mayor’s Building Company — run by “serious hard-hitters” in industry rather than politicians.
This would be handed thousands of acres of surplus Transport for London land that could be used by private developers, housing associations and councils.
Mr Stewart said: “Public land is the untapped asset. There are 2,000 hectares of TfL land and a similar amount owned by Network Rail, before you even get on to public bodies like the NHS.
“The most obvious place to unlock it is TfL and there I have one fundamental proposal: instead of selling it off to the highest bidder, you treat it as a public asset, retain control and make it available for development for free.
“You then immediately reduce by 30 per cent the cost of building housing. TfL are trying to generate £3.5 billion by selling land but the model is unsustainable asset stripping and very short term.”
TfL already has its own plans to release 300 acres of land for development schemes leading to 10,000 new homes, although progress has been slower than expected.
He also plans to launch a review of “stalled” sites that have planning consent for up to 200,000 homes but where work has not made progress.
Read the full article here: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/rory-stewart-mayoral-race-250000-new-homes-a4360171.html