London councils express concern over development tax

Wandsworth and Lambeth councils have criticised proposals by the mayor of London that they believe could put at risk new homes for low-cost rent and shared ownership.

The councils also believe that the proposals will affect the Northern line extension.

A tax on all new developments has been used by City Hall to pay for Crossrail since 2012, but from April 2019 it has been proposed by the Greater London Authority (GLA) that boroughs, including Wandsworth, will see increases from between 23% to 184%.

A report that will go to the council’s executive today (29th September) outlines how this would pay for Crossrail 2, even though the government has yet to decide whether or not to go ahead with the Surrey-London-Hertfordshire rail link, which could have a station at Clapham Junction.

The report warns that on-site provision of new homes for low-cost rent and shared ownership could be reduced due to the higher mayoral levy, as well as new job-creating business space at Nine Elms, which would incur new central London charges.

Both Wandsworth and Lambeth councils have written to the mayor to voice strong opposition.

“On this issue, Wandsworth and Lambeth are united in opposition to the mayor’s proposals,” said Cllr Ravi Govindia.

“The Northern line extension, two new Tube stations and 4,000 new housing association homes, parks, health centres and schools, in fact all the community benefits carefully negotiated for Nine Elms would have never made it off the drawing board had such a burden been in place at the time, and this is what is now being put at risk by the mayor’s plans.”

Further consultation is expected in early 2018, with a public examination of the policy taking place in autumn later that year.

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