UK Economy (London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:02 pm on 10th March 2004.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister, Shadow Minister (London) 3:02 pm, 10th March 2004

My concern is that when I talk to developers in Westminster, many of them say to me up front that if they are told that they must have a 50 per cent. social housing requirement for residential accommodation, that does not make it worth their while to develop and they will sit on their hands. I appreciate that Westminster is an exceptional case. The set rule that the Mayor has proposed sounds sensible superficially.

Whatever target is set for the proportion of social housing, we must appreciate that key workers are people who work in the private sector as well as the public sector. The glue of many of our communities is people who are in relatively low-paid employment but are not necessarily paid from the public purse, such as many shopkeepers. We need a more innovative approach to this matter, particularly in central London where, as has been pointed out, there are strong pressures.