What House? and LCCI - New Homes Debate: Housing London 2020 and beyond

Mark Collins, Chairman of Residential at CBRE:

This morning, I attended a challenging and lively debate which considered the issues that are central to the future of housing in London, in front of an invited audience from the housebuilding and new homes industry. The event was held at the glorious Emirates Stadium by partnership WhatHouse? and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for which I am deputy-chairman of the Property and Construction committee. The forum consisted of four panels debating crucial topics such as transport, regeneration, planning structures, the delivery of new homes, the role of small-medium developers, the shortage of skilled workers, government and local authority housing policies and many more.

Chaired by Lord William Hague, former Leader of the Conservative Party, UK Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons, throughout the morning we heard from influential industry figures, including Tony Pidgley of Berkeley Group, James Murray (Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development) and Richard Blakeway (former deputy mayor and housing adviser to No. 10).

Speaking on the first panel of the morning, I sat on a panel debating the legacy of former London mayor, Boris Johnson, considering in particular the housing-specific policies that were introduced during his time at City Hall. One of the key elements we discussed was the major role that infrastructure continues to play in changing London’s housing landscape. Not only does it unlock both small and large areas of land that have previously been unviable for development, but it drives social and economic growth, creates new neighbourhoods and crucially helps deliver much needed new homes. I emphasised a standout statistic: it is estimated that 60,000 new homes were created by the introduction Crossrail. With this in mind, there is no telling what further infrastructure improvements and new transport links could bring to London’s housing market, and it must remain at the top of the agenda for the new mayor.

It is fantastic that we have the vision for Crossrail 2 and other imaginative and visionary new transport initiatives. Now we must not waste time in delivering them.