Quality issues must be 'addressed across the housing stock', says London mayor

Space standards in private housing could become a reality in London, after mayor Boris Johnson announced his intention to regulate the private sector today.

Johnson has consistently talked about introducing a so-called “Parker-Boris” space standard for the development of new housing since being elected, but has so far failed to commit to an attempt to enforce this outside the affordable housing sector.

Boris Johnson
Johnson: "not stifling genuinely innovative approaches to addressing the whole range of demand"

Today, in his summary of responses to the July consultation on a review of the London Plan, the mayor said he is “determined” to roll out quality standards across all housing types.

He said: “I am strongly of the view that housing policy must not simply be a matter of numbers. The issues involved are more clear-cut in the case of affordable homes supported by public investment than with market housing, but I am determined to ensure questions of quality are addressed across the housing stock and will be doing further work to make sure this happens.”

However, Johnson said a balance needs to be struck to ensure that the introduction of space standards is “not stifling genuinely innovative approaches to addressing the whole range of demand for different types of new housing across London”.

The document also reaffirmed the mayor's intention to ensure that new developments of tall buildings are clustered in certain favoured locations. Johnson said he has asked city hall officials to work on identifying suitable locations “as a matter of priority”.

In general, he confirmed that the review will see a reduction in prescription from the London Plan, and added that he will also seek to reduce the amount of accompanying planning guidance.

The mayor also committed to introducing an annual London planning convention, the first of which will take place next summer.

He said that consultation responses supported a “full review” of the London Plan, rather than just a series of minor alterations.