Mayor ‘wasting potential for 27,000 homes in Housing Zones’ with industrial land regulations

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  • 491 hectares of industrial land in Housing Zones could be built on, says Andrew Boff AM
  • Sites currently protected as Strategic Industrial Land
  • Most is sitting vacant or largely under-used
  • Mayor’s London Plan increases regulations around industrial land


Hundreds of hectares of largely-vacant land in designated Housing Zones will be neglected for housing because of new regulations in the Mayor’s London Plan, according to Andrew Boff AM.

Sadiq Khan has ordered increased regulation on Strategic Industrial Land (SIL), meaning councils now have to provide like-for-like alternatives if the sites are used for housing.

Research by Mr Boff found that in London’s thirteen designated Housing Zones, over 27,000 homes could be built on over 491 hectares of under-used SIL.

Using mid-range estimates, his research suggests one area of SIL in Southwark holds the potential for over 6,000 homes, with a further 4,000 in Hillingdon and 3,000 in Brent.

Andrew BoffMr Boff believes the Mayor should capitalise on this land and scrap plans for additional SIL regulations within London’s Housing Zones, allowing local authorities to free up the sites for developers. He commented:

“London absolutely needs a percentage of designated industrial land. However, when an area is listed as a Housing Zone it seems counter-productive to block homes being built on parts of it that are otherwise sitting vacant.

“Sadiq Khan’s London Plan has made it easier for someone to build a small block of flats in their back garden but made it more difficult to build on a large area of waste land. It’s a backwards approach to solving the housing crisis.

“This under-used land sits within zones specifically designated for housing. The Mayor needs to make the most of this opportunity and reconsider these unnecessary regulations.

“The London Plan shouldn’t ignore the contradictions between Housing and Industrial Policy, it should help to resolve them.”


Further Information

  • The number of homes per hectare was calculated using the GLA’s medium-density designation.
  • Whilst the current London Plan does offer protections for SIL, it also states councils can:

‘plan, monitor and manage release of surplus industrial land where this is compatible with a) above, so that it can contribute to strategic and local planning objectives, especially those to provide more housing, and, in appropriate locations, to provide social infrastructure and to contribute to town centre renewal.’


Strategic Industrial Land within London’s Housing Zones:

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