Redbridge failing housing delivery test

Redbridge Council could lose control over planning decisions in the borough if it doesn’t build hundreds more houses before November.

The council has the worst record for building new homes of any in London and the third worst out of all local authorities in the UK.

Last year, the Government introduced the “Housing Delivery Test”, assessing what percentage of needed homes every local authority had delivered in the last three years.

Redbridge Council, along with seven others across the UK, now risks being forced to automatically approve developments if it doesn’t pass the second test this November.

The council would only be able to reject a development if it was on a nationally protected site or “would have a serious adverse impact” on the surroundings.

In five months, the council will need to have delivered 75 per cent of required homes to pass the test and keep its planning powers.

According to the local plan, it should be building 1,123 homes a year but has so far achieved only 38 per cent of this.

Redbridge Conservatives leader Cllr Lindaa Huggett said that failing the test could put the borough’s green belt “under threat” from developers.

She said: “There is sufficient land to build the homes we need without resorting to developing our green belt. Redbridge Council should get its act together and build on brownfield sites.”

On Monday June 22, the council’s planning committee approved two developments providing 129 homes in total, despite the fact one development offered only 11 per cent affordable housing.

Speaking on February 3, council leader Jas Athwal said the council would spend a large chunk of its budget this year building homes.

He said: “Historically, Redbridge has been one of the lowest housebuilders, it is the most overcrowded borough in London because we never built.

“Our 104,000 liveable units are way less than similar boroughs of our size. What we are doing is making sure we are catching up.”

Redbridge Council was contacted for comment.

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Mick Ferris

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