Boris sets out London housing plans


London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson has set out his housing manifesto, as he continues to campaign for the capital’s top position.

Current regulation, introduced by mayor Ken Livingstone, necessitates that borough councils meet a quota of at least 50 per cent affordable housing on all new housing developments. But in a speech today, Johnson said that this policy meant that new homes weren’t being built in boroughs which needed them most – such as Haringey.

In an announcement that should be of interest to residential and commercial property agents in London alike, the Tory MP said he would lower restrictions on new developments.

"I will be willing to ease those quotas – but only in order to encourage development. Because, in the words of one councillor, 50 per cent of bugger-all is still bugger-all," he commented.

He added that he would look to protect London’s traditional architecture, making sure skylines aren’t blocked by seas of high-rise blocks.

"When I look at some of the plans for the 27 phallocratic towers that Ken wants to erect in the suburbs, I wonder whether we have learned anything from the experience of the last 50 years," he said.

"So why is the last Victorian terrace in the Isle of Dogs being torn down to be replaced by a high-rise? We seem to be in the grip of barbarians who are determined to knock down venerable buildings – Victorian police stations and swimming baths – and put drab blocks in their place.

"You can have more houses without wrecking the garden city of London."