Yesterday’s meeting of the Planning Committee heard that the vacant building credit won’t just result in less affordable housing for London but could actually make it more difficult to bring forward development.
The much-derided policy, introduced by the Government late last year, applies to any vacant building brought back into any lawful use, or demolished to be replaced by a new building. The developer is offered a financial ‘credit’ equivalent to the existing gross floor space of vacant buildings when the local planning authority calculates affordable housing contributions.
We heard that it could provide a perverse incentive for unscrupulous landlords and developers to evict existing tenants and could result in the loss of billions of pounds’ worth of affordable housing investment from developers. We were warned that the Mayor needs to stand up for London and work to get the policy cancelled.
Following the discussion I appeared on London Live to discuss the issue. You can watch it here: http://www.londonlive.co.uk/news/2015-07-17/vacant-builidng-credit-raises-concerns