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TfL cautioned over property ambitions

Two Fifty One London Bridge

Transport for London’s (TfL) property development plans have been shaken after the London Assembly housing committee warned a series of radical organisational changes were needed.

TfL is one of London’s biggest landowners and has plans to raise £850M from property development by 2021/22, to reinvest in transport. Part of that commitment includes a pledge to start building 10,000 new homes by 2020.

However, in a report called Homes Down the Track, the London Assembly housing committee raised concerns over TfL’s ability to meet its house building targets. It cautioned that long-lasting organisational and cultural changes would be needed for TfL to become an effective property developer.

The committee added that delivering affordable homes on high-value London land would require significant financial subsidies. TfL will not receive a central government revenue grant from 2018 and is looking to make £800M in efficiency savings by 2021.

“TfL has set itself the target of starts on sites by 2020 to deliver 10,000 homes. Our evidence suggests this is something of a sprint, and we don’t think it’s going to make it unless it takes some more radical steps,” said London Assembly housing committee former chair Andrew Boff.

“Either way, we need to be clear about the trade-offs TfL’s making, to be sure its land is delivering the best deal for Londoners.”

The report comes as mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveiled an ambitious draft Transport Strategy for public consultation, offering a long-term overhaul of London’s transport network to cope with population increases in the capital.

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