Housebuilders are urged to use brownfield sites

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More than 5,000 homes could be built every year in London if housebuilders took advantage of acres of disused industrial land coming on to the market, government advisers will say today.

More than 5,000 homes could be built every year in London if housebuilders took advantage of acres of disused industrial land coming on to the market, government advisers will say today.

The London Development Agency said 50 hectares of brownfield land could become available for development in the capital every year. It said each hectare would support between 50 and 100 homes depending on its location and the type of development.

The LDA, which is part of the Mayor of London's office, revealed it owned enough land along the Thames Gateway corridor through east London to support the development of 25,000 homes.Ken Livingstone, the Mayor, said the land the LDA had identified would help meet the "urgent need" for new homes in the capital. He said: "Making the most efficient and productive use of London's land is central to my vision of a sustainable city with a dynamic, productive economy. High-density, high-quality development on brownfield sites will bring substantial business advantages to London.

Last week leading developers such as Berkeley Homes, Quintain Estates and Development Securities met Manny Lewis, the chief executive of the LDA, who outlined a new guide on development.

"Reusing one site can also help to unlock the potential of neighbouring sites," he said. "This will be crucial to helping London's population and economy to grow without encroaching on its green spaces".

London is far outpacing other regions in terms of building homes. Last year 24,123 homes were built in the capital, the highest for more than 20 years and a 31 per cent rise on the previous year. The rest of the country posted a 3 per cent rise.

The LDA said it was the first time it had published an estimate of the number of homes that could be built on the land it owns. The 25,000 total includes 10,000 in the disused Royal Docks, 6,500 near the former Ford car plant in Dagenham and up to 4,200 at the Woolwich Arsenal. The LDA believes that more than 90,000 homes can be built in the London section of the Thames Gateway although the Government has put the figure at 60,000.

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