Despite a chronic shortage of homes in the capital, only half of those living in London are in favour of more homes being built in areas close to them, a new piece of research has found.
What’s more, the YouGov poll for business group London First shows that the appetite amongst Londoners for new homes in their area is decreasing – down from 57% last year to 50%.
However, 66% of those surveyed said that they believe the government is not focusing enough attention on addressing the issue, and 74% back the notion that there is indeed a housing shortage in the capital.
London First say that the findings from the survey illustrate the need for innovation when it comes to plans for property developments across London if existing residents are to be won over.
It says that some 8.6 billion is needed to reach the target of 66,000 new homes a year – an aim which is considered realistic despite increased opposition to new developments and continued economic uncertainty.
‘The falling number of people ready to welcome new homes in their area is a concern, particularly given we know that housing remains a priority for Londoners,’ said London First chief executive officer, Jasmine Whitbread.
‘Our research shows an additional £8.6 billion of investment must be unlocked if we’re to meet the London Plan target of building 66,000 new homes a year. As well as getting the funding in place, we also need to persuade Londoners that new housing will benefit the places they live in,’ she pointed out.
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said that survey reinforces the Mayor’s view that London must be given devolved powers allowing for greater freedom from central government if it is to build a sufficient number of homes.
According to Craig McWilliam, chief executive officer of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, the poll highlights bigger issues, most notably that the general public remain largely skeptical about the potential benefits that they could reap from large scale developments being built in their area.
‘The housing shortage is not someone else’s problem. If we don’t tackle it together then London’s success and ability to attract and retain talent will be threatened. Both local leaders and developers must do more to create places with communities that people want to, and are proud to, live in,’ he said.