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London’s mayor to hand over 10 TfL plots to small housebuilders

Transport for London (TfL) will be overseeing a 10-site pilot scheme that releases small land packages to smaller housebuilders and community land trusts throughout London. 

The corporation responsible the transport system in the capital initiated the programme as part of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ‘Small Sites, Small Builders’ scheme. 

The 10 sites offering small housebuilder plots has a capacity range that extends from two to 42 homes. 

The land will be easier for smaller builders thanks to a streamlined bidding process with regular legal contracts. Two of the sites will be reserved exclusively for housing groups that are community-led. 

Land has been earmarked for community-led housing at Christchurch Road in Streatham Hill, south London and Cable Street, in east London. Both locations will offer housing that is 100% affordable. 

Overall, the 10 small housebuilder plots will be the future site of 111 new homes, of which 68% will be classified as affordable, although six plots will not offer affordable housing. 

Mayor Khan said that the housing market in London has relied too long on larger developers constructing the majority of new housing on large brownfield sites. The number of smaller sites being made available has gone down by half in the last decade, and nearly a third of all small to mid-sized homebuilders operating in London have been lost. 

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Mr. Khan said that the small sites programme was intended to make more public land available to both rejuvenate the small to mid-sized housebuilding sector and help provide a solution to the ongoing housing crisis in the capital. 

Graeme Craig, Transport for London director of commercial development, said that as one of London’s largest landowners, TfL was in a perfect position to help deliver the housing that the city needs so badly, provide homes that are genuinely affordable, and create revenue that can be reinvested in the transport network. 

Mr. Craig said that Transport for London was excited to be working with Mayor Khan to make small housebuilder plots available to smaller developers, community-led organisations, and housing associations. The 10 sites across London will be the first in a number of locations that will be brought to market. 

Mr. Khan’s stated goal is 50% affordable housing across the Transport for London land portfolio. 

The largest development so far was recently announced TfL-held land in  Canning Town, east London, where 1,500 homes are scheduled to be built. Of these properties, 35% will be deemed affordable, which is short of Mayor Khan’s target. 

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