At West London Business (WLB) we argue that around half as many new homes are being built as are needed across London (around 25,000 completed each year against a projected need of around 65,000). This equates to 10,000+ homes needing to be built each year in North-West London.
Reaching 65,000 new homes each year remains a challenge. As our partners London First set out in ‘London 2036’ (London First and McKinsey 2015, Pg 6): “Rising housing costs are increasingly putting pressure not just on residents but also on businesses – partly because commercial space is being shifted to residential use, which pushes up commercial costs, and partly because high costs are beginning to make it harder to attract and retain talented people for all but the highest paid jobs.”
Housing is the fastest rising concern for businesses, and today 73% of London’s businesses think London’s housing supply and costs are a significant risk to the capital’s economic growth.
The Built Environment Policy Commission
To assess the challenges facing new construction and development in West London, WLB convened a specialised policy commission in late February 2016 to review the key issues. The panellists considered strategies to efficiently and sustainably doubling the amount of homes built each year, whilst maintaining high-quality design and cost-effectiveness. The panel is also considered future industrial and commercial space needs.
The commission published its draft report in early March 2017. The final report, with minor amendments, “Delivering high quality homes, office and makerspace in the West” was published in August 2018.
Community Infrastructure Levy – In August 2011 WLB wrote to the Mayor Boris Johnson, and his advisors, to advocate our members concerns regarding the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Our view is that the CIL must be administered with flexibility and care if it is not to deter property development in West London at a time when business growth is vital for economic recovery.