Examination of Witnesses(Questions 80-81)|
TUESDAY 15 OCTOBER 2002
80. Can I ask you about the planning route to
securing affordable housing? You have obviously done very well
in Hammersmith & Fulham in persuading developers to make a
contribution to affordable housing. Would you like to comment
on whether or not you feel you already have sufficient powers,
or whether you would like additional powers in order to be even
more persuasive in your negotiations with developers?
(Mr Pallace) The powers we have are broadly sufficient,
provided our exceptions policy approach is supported and not attacked
in government guidance. Because it is not widely operated, we
sometimes find ourselves having to argue against proposals which
may be helpful in other areas, for example, setting targets for
affordable housing delivery at say 50 per cent or 60 per cent.
We set a target of 100 per cent in our exceptions policy sites,
so those targets undermine our approach to deliver affordable
housing through that means.
81. What target would you like to set throughout
the borough on other sites, if you could legally set one?
(Mr Pallace) We have taken an approach where we do
not want to set a numerical target. We have the maximum reasonable
proportion as the target written into our development plan, which
has been very effective. We have started from 100 per cent in
negotiations depending upon the planning context, and negotiated
down from that. We have indicated that 65 per cent would be a
benchmark monitoring target, because that is what we have achieved
over a decade, but we do not want to set a target that becomes
interpreted as a maximum by the market, which it would be.
Chairman: I am afraid we have to cut you off
because we are running out of time. Thank you for your evidence.