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Overdevelopment: London and the South-East

Volume 681: debated on Monday 5 October 2020

We are committed to delivering the homes and communities that this country needs, while protecting our important green spaces and avoiding overdevelopment anywhere in the country. Our consultation sets out the elements that we intend to balance when determining local housing need, including building 300,000 homes, tackling affordability challenges in the places where people most want to live, and levelling up our towns and cities. The consultation recently closed and we are reflecting carefully on the feedback.

In March, the Secretary of State wrote a strongly worded letter to the Mayor of London to express concern that his London plan tilts away from family homes towards one-bedroom flats. How does the Secretary of State reconcile the inconsistency between that letter and his new housing algorithm, which will generate such high targets that they are unachievable without tower blocks full of predominantly one-bedroom flats?

As I said, we will reflect carefully on the feedback that we receive from the consultation on calculating local housing need. My right hon. Friend refers to the desire to protect quiet neighbourhoods and ensure that they are not overborne by tall tower blocks. I am keen to make sure that local authorities are at the heart of decision making, and we will make sure that that is a fundamental part of our response to the consultation. I reassure my right hon. Friend, who is a doughty campaigner for the fine borough of Barnet, which builds lots of homes, that we will bring forward proposals to achieve the sorts of ends that she is looking for.