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Business group calls for more London transport infrastructure

Transport links must go hand in hand with new housing says London First.

Investment in transport infrastructure is critical to boosting housing provision in London, a leading businesses lobby group has claimed.

A housing task force set up by London First yesterday made 12 recommendations for creating the conditions for supporting residential construction in the capital.

The Home Truths study says housing demand is outstripping supply, hampering London’s economic and physical growth.

It called for creation of two new suburbs, one in the south west of the city and one to the north east, adding that it is vital that new transport links are built to support them.

“The construction of new transport infrastructure such as Crossrail and the proposed north east to south west London rail link Crossrail 2 should be used as an opportunity by London government, in consultation with local communities, to build new suburbs,” says the report.

It says property values have soared close to new stations created by major London transport initiatives in the past and that this can help to pay for the new transport infrastructure.

“Providing fast and reliable transport infrastructure is an essential prerequisite to supporting the development of new suburbs,” says the report.
“The value generated by new transport infrastructure, which supports new housing development, can play an important role in contributing towards the cost of paying for the transport infrastructure in the first place.”

The task force also called for creation of a 21st Century Domesday Book of publicly owned sites that could be sold off for homes.

It said London boroughs should be set “hard” housebuilding targets and given a new, long-term financial incentive to support house building.

Task force chairman Roger Bright, a former chief executive of the Crown Estate, said radical change was needed.

“We need political will and real leadership on this, because marginal change will not deliver the step change in house building that London needs,” he said.

“This is hampering the capital’s economic and physical growth and will continue to do so unless the real obstacles to getting more homes built are tackled.”

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