New funding announced to promote precision manufactured homes for London

  • Following recommendations set out in my report (Designed, sealed, delivered), the Mayor approves funding for a project to promote precision manufactured homes (PMH)
  • The project will provide manufactured housing design guidance and shows the Mayor’s commitment to the modernisation of construction in London
  • PMH is increasingly considered a means for London to significantly increase home building rates and contribute to tackling the housing crisis

At Mayor’s Question Time on 14th September 2017, I raised with the Mayor the issue of manufacturing homes off-site. It was most welcome then to hear the Mayor respond with a keenness to encourage precision manufacturing in London. He went on to say that he sees London as a future leader in the sector.

Since then, the Mayor has approved funding to promote precision manufactured homes, which demonstrates his commitment to this form of home-building. Moreover, it is the sort of leadership required to help galvanise the sector. The piece of work that will follow will be delivered collaboratively with industry and will create a fantastic opportunity for London to take the lead in moving construction nearer to manufacturing.

With an unprecedented skills crisis and the urgent need to deliver more homes efficiently and effectively, establishing guidance that can be used to determine the design of developments will help reshape the supply chain and drive a better level of consistency and scale in the components and assemblies that are used in new buildings.

The letter from the Mayor, below, confirming the approval of the funding, highlights that the project will be underway imminently.

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This letter mentions a copy of ‘the Assistant Director’s Decision approving the project funding’. This can be viewed here.

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Nicky Gavron AM, Chair of the London Assembly Planning Committee visits Pitfield Street development site for her rapporteurship on off-site manufactured homes in London. The report ‘Designed, sealed, delivered: The contribution of offsite manufactured homes to solving London’s housing crisis’ is available at www.london.gov.uk/assembly.

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Government’s national planning proposals and their impact on delivering homes for London (MQT, 22 March 2018)

At the 22 March 2018 questions to the Mayor of London, I asked Sadiq Khan about Government proposals to revise the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and their impact on delivering the homes that London needs.

Here is the response from the Mayor:

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Building regulations post-Grenfell

The London Assembly Housing Committee recently met to investigate the issues for social housing post-Grenfell. There, I asked whether strategic changes are needed in the quality, design and standards for future homes.

It has been a long-held concern of mine that building regulations are not up to the standards required to provide us with safe and sustainable buildings. The spotlight is rightly shining on the standard of new housing, particularly when it comes to tower blocks.

What is even more alarming is the very patchy system of inspection. Privatisation of monitoring and inspection has opened a very wide door, allowing bad practice to seep into the sector. Pat Hayes, Managing Director at Be First, whilst answering a question on this issue, replied: “major house builders have a single contractor, often with a single approved inspector, for the whole country and they do it all from their desk in Cardiff in the main. That is a concern”. It seems to me as though this opens up the possibility of a spectrum of behaviour “from seduction to corruption”.

Watch the below video where I question Pat Hayes, an experienced practitioner in delivering new-build homes.

This video is a short section taken from the Assembly Housing Committee’s investigation into strategic issues for social housing post-Grenfell. The full webcast of the committee can be viewed here.

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Behind the scenes look at the first Mayor’s Question Time (MQT) of 2018

A welcome look behind the scenes at the first Mayor’s Question Time of 2018.

As part of our role as Assembly Members we hold the Mayor and representatives of other bodies to account. One of the ways we achieve this is at Mayor’s Question Time (MQT).

At the 18 January 2018 MQT, we discussed topics ranging from knife crime, hate crime, and clean air. My questions to the Mayor were on ‘community involvement’ as described in the Mayor’s new draft London Plan.

Here is a behind the scenes look at this first MQT of 2018.

 

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Mayor of London wants London to become a leader in offsite manufacturing

At Mayor’s Question Time on 14th September, I raised the issue of off site manufacturing with the Mayor, who said he was very keen to encourage offsite manufacturing in London and sees London as a future leader in the sector.

My report on offsite manufacturing potential to contribute to solving London’s housing crisis can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/london_assembly_osm_report_0817.pdf

 

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Light industrial workspace under threat

My 13th July 2017 question urged the Mayor to ask the Government to revisit their rule change that could see London lose vast swathes of light industrial workspace

At the London Assembly’s 13th July Mayor’s Question Time I urged the Mayor of London to ask the Government to revisit their rule change that could see London lose vast swathes of light industrial workspace.

On 30th September 2017 the Government is introducing an extension to permitted development rights to include light industry. We have already seen the damage permitted development rights have had on office to residential conversions. This extension will threaten the existence of up to 36 per cent of these light industrial premises scattered all over London, which could see them turned into substandard homes.

These premises are mainly located behind high streets – these smaller firms are integral to London; keeping London’s economy going, our supply chains going, and providing local jobs.

The Mayor of London said: ‘Just like we need more homes in London, we need more workplaces too. So, let me think about what we’ve said and think about renewing my efforts to try and persuade the government to change their mind’.

Nicky said: ‘I am pleased the Mayor is reviewing the Government’s decision to extend permitted development rights to light industry. This is such an important issue to Londoners and I will continue to monitor this closely’.

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The London Assembly unanimously agrees a motion on the London attacks at an extraordinary meeting earlier today.

The London Assembly today condemned the attack in London Bridge and Borough during an emergency meeting at City Hall.

A motion, agreed unanimously, said that London grows stronger in its resolve to stay united and that the capital will continue to enjoy its freedom and treasure its diversity.

During the meeting, Assembly Members offered their condolences to those affected by the attack and expressed their gratitude to the emergency services.

Jennette Arnold OBE AM, Chair of the London Assembly, who proposed the motion, said:

“At this time we are thinking about the victims and their loved ones as they attempt to come to terms with this harrowing attack.

Once again we have witnessed the incredible bravery and skill of our emergency services. They have truly done us proud and we are grateful for everything they do to keep us safe.

Our city is shaken but we are not defeated. This attack was meant to divide us, it will only bring us closer. It was meant to weaken us, it will only make us grow together in strength. The aim of terrorists is always to destroy our values and our freedom, but how pathetically naïve they are because that will never, ever, be allowed to happen.”

Tony Arbour AM, Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly, who seconded the motion said:

“London will never bow to threats and extremism. Londoners have always resisted and triumphed over adversity and they will continue to do so.

The London Assembly applauds the resilience of the capital and is proud to be part of this great democratic city.”

The full text of the Motion is:

“This Assembly utterly condemns the cowardly and senseless attacks on innocent Londoners and visitors that took place in the London Bridge and Borough Market areas on the evening of 3 June.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those who were killed or injured, and to all those affected. We are with you. The stories of bravery and care for one another arising from the shocking events are testimony to the best of humanity, in amongst an example of the worst.

Our heartfelt thanks and admiration goes out to the emergency services, with the swift and decisive actions of the police officers on the scene, putting their own lives at risk, preventing what surely would have been an even more horrific outcome. They are true heroes.

Finally, we say to all that our Capital grows stronger in its resolve to remain united. London will continue to enjoy its freedoms and treasure its diversity long after the terrorists have been beaten.

We will remain brave, we will be calm and we will carry on.” 

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