London - Campaign to Protect Rural England

Skip to navigation

Is the government undermining the London Mayor's ability to solve our housing crisis? ask London campaigners

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 14:00

CPRE London [1], the London Forum [2] and Planning Aid for London [3] join forces to give Londoners a chance to ask candidates about this key election issue

Campaigners will give Londoners the opportunity to ask whether government is helping or hindering the London Mayor's ability to tackle the crisis of affordable housing in London, and what candidates propose to do about it. Londoners will have the chance to debate this issue and more with London Assembly candidates and members at the Planning for London: community control or city chaos? Hustings on 22 March.[4]  

Peter Eversden, Chairman of the London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies, said “We are extremely concerned that the Housing and Planning Bill will drastically reduce the availability of homes to rent by people on low to average incomes in London, harming the capital’s economy in the process. We want to hear how the candidates would stop this happening.” [5]  

Georgia Wrighton, Director of CPRE London added: “We also challenge the idea that using vast amounts of public funds to subsidise starter homes [6] is the best use of public money in London, as they just give a windfall to a select group of young people who earn over £75,000 [7] who can simply sell the homes on a few years down the line. The money could be better spent supporting measures to secure affordable rents for people on low incomes who won’t be able to even think about buying non-affordable ‘starter homes’.[8]  

“We want to know what the candidates will do to withstand the onslaught of national legislation which in our view threatens to undermine our Mayor's ability to meet its population’s needs.”  

Georgia Wrighton, Director of CPRE London and Peter Eversden added: “We are campaigning for a Community Right of Appeal for local community groups. At the moment, only the organisation or person applying for planning permission can challenge a decision: we want a third party right of appeal. We also want communities to be able to challenge developer Viability Assessments which threaten to push out social and low rent housing.”[9]  

Meeta Kaur, Chair of Trustees of Planning Aid for London said: “Planning Aid for London wants candidates to support organisations to help communities get involved in planning and have a say in their built environment. Londoners are ready and willing to embrace positive engagement and involvement in planning decisions that affect their future if given the opportunity.”  

A partnership of London’s leading planning and environmental groups, Campaign to Protect Rural England London, Planning Aid for London and London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies are calling for the next mayor and London Assembly to commit to a fairer, greener London during their term.   The group has worked together to organise a Hustings and will be challenging a cross-party group of London Assembly members and candidates to respond to their concerns.

Tony Juniper author of “What Nature Does for Britain” and leading British environmentalist [10] will be chairing the event.   Panel members will include David Dean, Conservative London Assembly candidate for Merton and Wandsworth; Val Shawcross, Labour London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark; Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly candidate for Islington; Annabel Mullin, Liberal Democrat London Assembly candidate, West Central Constituency and Peter Harris, UKIP London Assembly candidate, City & East Constituency.


(1) CPRE London is a membership based campaigning charity, a Branch of the national charity Campaign to Protect Rural England, concerned with protecting and enhancing London's Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land, parks, green spaces and green infrastructure, and achieving compact, green urban communities to help prevent sprawl into the countryside and ensure that living in the city is good for Londoners. For more details on CPRE London activities and campaigns visit our website

(2) London Forum was established as a charity in 1988 by the Civic Trust to network, inform, support and represent over 180 civic and amenity societies and likeminded individuals to work to protect and improve the quality of life in London. That is done by liaison with the Mayor and the Greater London Assembly, national Government, London Borough Councils and other London-wide agencies to influence policies on planning, the environment, transport and regeneration for sustainable development decision making.

(3) Planning Aid for London in 2013 celebrated 40 years of providing advice and training for individuals and communities in London. Planning Aid for London offers a free advice and information service using our volunteers (qualified planners and legal specialists) (4) More information on the Hustings can be found here control-or-city-chaos

(5) The London Forum has set out its concerns about the Housing and Planning Bill here: g_and_Planning_Bill.pdf

(6) CPRE London's views on Starter Homes were set out in its response to the government's recent NPPF consultation here: government-consultation-on-the-nppf

(7) For more detail on how the £75,000 figure was reached, please contact the London Forum.

(8) Only half the number of the London Plan target for affordable homes were built in 2014/15, as noted in the London Plan Monitoring Report, reported in the Guardian 15.3.16 affordable-housing-figures-show

(9) CPRE London is asking for a Community Right of Appeal and for viability assessments to be open and challengeable as part of its manifesto election. The London Forum has been seeking a community right of appeal on planning decisions which do not conform to the policies of the NPPF and the London Plan, as well as borough’s local and neighbourhood plans. London Forum sought an amendment in the Commons’ debate on the Housing and Planning Bill for a community right of appeal in all cases, with conditions.  They have subsequently pursued the amendment through members in the House of Lords. They have also worked with Peers interested in open viability assessments.

(10) Tony Juniper is a “campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor and leading British environmentalist”  

join us

Back to top