A key industry body is calling for London’s mayor to rethink the draft London Plan for Build to Rent.
The British Property Federation (BPF) believes the plans could limit students’ access to purpose-built student accommodation and could put additional pressure on the capital’s existing housing stock.
Sadiq Khan is requesting Build to Rent and Build for Sale developments must have a minimum of 35 per cent affordable housing to enable them to be fast-tracked through the planning stage.
However, the BPF is concerned that Build for Sale should have different criteria because developers traditionally gain revenue from sales during the construction phase, whereas Build To Rent developments must finish the development before they have income from tenants. This means Build to Rent projects could struggle to compete with Build to Sale when acquiring land.
Ian Fletcher, BPF director of real estate policy, explained: “We would prefer to work with the mayor to set a realistic threshold for Build to Rent, which was the intent up until November of last year, and base it on evidence from the existing Build to Rent developments across London.”
He added the lack of incentives to invest in student accommodation is also a concern, especially when “we should be doing all we can to support the growth of the higher education sector in London and its associated accommodation needs.”