Mayor’s Plan to Tackle Affordable Housing Raises Environmental Concerns

Publication Date: 29th November 2017

Subject: Housing

Following the news that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to change planning rules in the capital in order to boost the construction of affordable homes, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has welcomed the move but urged balance with environmental priorities.  

In his new London Plan, the Mayor has outlined plans for thousands of homes to be built on small sites across the capital, including gardens and end-of-terrace plots, with rules protecting local character being torn up and density limits removed. 

The plan states that almost 25,000 homes should be built every year on smaller plots adjacent to existing residential and commercial buildings, with the most pressure being placed on areas such as Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Barnet, to drastically increase their housing capacity.

There is a real housing crisis in London, with a lack of affordable, good quality provision in both the owner/occupier and private rented sectors.

For decades, London has not built enough homes to accommodate its growing population. As such, demand has been far outstripping supply, ensuring that house prices have risen exponentially. This means buying a home in London has become impossible for increasing numbers of people, with young people suffering the most.

However, the Mayor has also made a series of welcome commitments to environmental protections, and pledged his support to vital efforts to reduce air pollution across the capital. There is concern that the pledge to rapidly expand the building of affordable homes in existing built-up areas will make adhering to his environmental commitments impossible.

Tamara Sandoul, Policy Manager at CIEH said:

It is very promising to see the mayor coming closer to making his pledge on affordable housing a reality. We also welcome that, whilst higher density buildings will be encouraged, the mayor will also ensure housing standards are improved, including the introduction of a new minimum space standard for new homes.

However, we call on the mayor to provide urgent clarity on how this plan will impact his existing environmental and air quality strategies, and whether services and infrastructure in the designated areas will be properly resourced to meet the greater population density in the capital.”


Notes to editors 

For enquiries, please contact Ross Matthewman, Public Affairs and PR Manager, on 02078275922 or 

About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):   

The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 9,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved. 

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. The CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.  

For more information visit and follow the CIEH on Twitter @The_CIEH


print Print | email Email