Published:  03:12 PM, 09 November 2023

Ambitious plans to increase affordable housing announced in Tower Hamlets Council’s draft Local Plan

Ambitious plans to increase affordable housing announced in Tower Hamlets Council’s draft Local Plan

Tower Hamlets, (London), 09 November: A consultation for Tower Hamlets Council’s new Local Plan is running from 6 November for six weeks giving communities a say in the future development of the borough.  

The plan outlines new requirements for affordable housing as well as draft policies on topics such as improving green spaces, supporting small businesses, and encouraging gender-inclusive development.  

As the Council’s most important planning document, the Local Plan is used to guide decisions on planning applications in the borough.  

This means that if someone wants to develop a new building or change its use, they should make sure it follows the policies in the Local Plan. 

One of the new housing policies in the plan proposes that development sites must offer a minimum of 40 percent of new homes as affordable, with 85 percent of these at social rent and 15 percent as intermediate housing.  

To address overcrowding, the Council has stated that it is vital that 65 percent of social rented homes delivered are at least three-plus bed units. 

Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “A lack of social rented homes and acute overcrowding have meant that not all our residents can reside in good quality, affordable homes.  

“These issues are symptoms of the housing crisis, and as one of the most densely populated and fastest growing areas in the country, we are more severely impacted.   

“The proposed 40 percent target for affordable homes would help us to deliver an ambitious number of new homes, with a focus on larger, family-sized social rented homes. 

“It is time to act on the housing shortage and improve the lives of residents across the borough.” 

Increasing the number of tall buildings in locations across the borough is another policy that intends to alleviate the impacts of the housing shortage.  

Other policies cover ways to increase affordable workspace, an ‘air quality positive’ agreement for developers to follow, improvement ideas for local community facilities, and more.  

The Mayor added: “I strongly encourage all those who live or work in the borough to respond to our Local Plan consultation. This is your chance to have your say and shape the future of Tower Hamlets”. 

There are several stages to drafting a new Local Plan before it is formally adopted, this plan is due to reach this stage in winter 2025. 

The draft Local Plan was passed at a cabinet meeting on 25 October. The consultation is live from 6 November and will run for six weeks. There are many ways you can share your views and you can find out how, here: 

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