Draft of Thames Gateway strategy indicates 8300 houses must be built each year to catch up
Housing provision across the Thames Gateway is falling short of the targets set by ministers, says a government report.
The draft Thames Gateway strategy, seen by Building, shows that 7992 homes were completed in the Kent councils of Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale over the past five years. This is just two-thirds of what is needed to meet the new homes target for the Kent stretch of the Gateway.
“It falls well behind what would be needed to meet the 2016 target of 43,000,” says the report, which criticises council and planners for failing to earmark sufficient housing in their plans. It says the targets for Kent may need to be cut unless roads are delivered.
The report shows that 17,000 dwellings have been provided in the London part of the Gateway over the past five years. As a result 8300 homes must be built each year over the next decade to meet the capital’s target of 100,000 Gateway homes by 2016.
It notes that mayor Ken Livingstone and the capital’s councils have allocated enough land to meet the target.
It falls well behind what would be needed by 2016
Thames Gateway draft report
The report also criticises the South East of England and East of England regional development agencies for failing to prioritise the Gateway in their strategies.
It recommends earmarking investment in areas well served by public transport and says “further action” is needed to boost affordable housing. In addition it says not enough Gateway developers are bidding for Housing Corporation grants.
The next stage of the review will consider whether affordable housing can be increased by allowing registered social landlords to lead developments rather than the private sector.
The report also says Gateway bodies should not rely on a few large schemes that can be held up by infrastructure problems, such as Land Securities’ Eastern Quarry project in Dartford, Kent.
More stories on Thames Gateway see the archive section