Housing targets “too high” according to Kingston local councillor

Increased housing targets set by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan are “not realistic”, according to a Liberal Democrat councillor for Kingston-Upon-Thames.

The mayor of London has been criticised for failing to deliver on housing plans, with home registrations in 2018 down from the year before, although he hit back saying a “record number” of homes are being built in the capital.

Lib Dem councillor Malcolm Self said: “Our housing targets at the moment are given in the GLA’s  (Greater London Authority) London plan and the current plan is a figure of around 600 homes a year.

“The emerging London plan, which is expected to be adopted around the end of this year, that sets us a target of 1,300 homes i.e. a massive increase.

“We’ve got to be realistic. Our response to the emerging local plan is that we’ve set our targets too high.”

Another Lib Dem councillor, Caroline Kerr, has also said housing is a worry for the council. “We often don’t have the ability to make independent decisions. A good example of this is housing requirements.

“If the council is unable to provide this number (1,300), it undergoes a judicial review, which can lead to power being completely taken out of our hands which means the process is even less democratic.”

Meanwhie, residents have expressed concerns over the way parts of the housing plan are developing and how fast it is going.

Kingston resident Caroline Shah said: “People are expressing concerns at the level of growth and the lack of infrastructure, the lack of anything that’s going to accompany this and protect and enhance the borough, and keep it a great place for current and future residents.”

The council has requested that residents participate in a new consultation regarding the location of these new homes, starting in May.

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