Essential Living: The key to landlocked London is innovation and income generation

The London Land Commission revealed there are 40,000 publicly owned sites that could deliver a minimum of 130,000 new homes.

Charlie Hustler, land director at Essential Living, a developer and operator of homes for long-term rent, outlined a number of issues limiting the delivery of new homes in the capital.

Charlie Hustler, land director at Essential Living, said:

“Politicians’ dogged insistence that every inch of the green belt remains sacrosanct has fuelled market dysfunctions by ensuring such land remains cheap since nothing can be built on it.

“Few campaigners seem to be able to differentiate between ‘green field’ and ‘green belt’. And when the housing crisis isn’t being unfairly blamed on foreign investors or immigration, we are told there is a “shortage” of land – there isn’t. There are however, a number of solutions at our disposal for changing the game.

“We firstly need to be more upfront in confronting the inevitable barriers we face, such as nimbyism. It is not without irony that the areas most vociferously opposing development are those best placed to cater for it and with the most unaffordable homes. But the onus must be on us as developers to engage locally and make a compelling case.

“Yet the reality is that the response from local authorities is inconsistent at best: another major barrier.”