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Use it or lose it, Jennette Arnold warns housing developers

PUBLISHED: 12:55 07 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:55 07 October 2013

London Assembly member, Jenette Arnold

London Assembly member, Jenette Arnold

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Jennette Arnold is calling for action to be taken over the 210,000 homes in London with planning permission but which aren't being built.

A call for action over the 210,000 homes in London with planning permission but which aren’t being built has been sounded by the London Assembly member for Hackney and Islington

Jennette Arnold wants to see an end to what is known as “land banking”, where developers maximise land value by sitting it instead of building on it.

She wants councils to be given powers to impose escalating fees on developers who refuse to build, backed up by the threat of compulsory purchase orders for the very worst offenders.

Labour leader Ed Miliband outlined the proposals in a speech at Labour party conference last week.

Jennette Arnold OBE said it is an “innovative response” to the land banking, which is partly to blame for the housing crisis.

“Use it or lose it planning permission is a fair yet forceful way to shift the 210,000 homes in London which have planning permission but are not being built,” she said.

“Under the current system, developers find it more profitable to sit on land than to build on it.

“Only 18,000 homes were completed in London last year, but the Mayor admits he needs to build 40,000 homes a year, this is far short of the 52,000 to 60,000 that experts say are needed.”

House prices have increased 21 per cent in Hackney in the last year making the average price for a flat or maisonette £377,603 in June, and in Islington prices have increased 2.5 per cent bringing the average flat or maisonette prices up to £446,366.

The Greater London Authority’s report Barriers to Housing Delivery identified 210,000 potential homes in London which have planning permission but aren’t being built.

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