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Risk Dartford could become 'dormitory for London' under plans by Mayor of London Boris Johnson

There are fears Dartford could become a “dormitory for London’s workforce” and undermine employment opportunities in the town.

In a report set to go before councillors on Thursday, leaders will discuss a response to Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s London Plan.

It sets out the development strategy for Greater London but has been altered following the 2011 census which shows a much greater growth in population.

Projections suggest that the population of London could grow by 91,000 to 106,000 each year up to 2021 meaning more housing will be required than originally thought.

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Dartford council’s policy planner Mellisa Cooper said: “The Greater London Authority (GLA) has assessed the need as being between 49,000 and 62,000 homes a year.

“The lower 49,000 figure, which covers the whole plan period, has been taken as the basis for the housing requirement.

“London has the capacity to deliver at least 42,000 homes a year.

"This demonstrates a potential gap between projected need and supply of 7,000 homes a year.

"If the 2015-2026 housing need figure of 62,000 is used then this gap is increased to 20,000 homes a year.

"There would be pressure on the South East and East of England authorities to accommodate this shortfall.”

There are now fears that the housing gap means areas outside London could come under further pressure to take more development on top of existing growth.

Dartford council says this could lead to increased demands for housing on land earmarked for employment or building on Green Belt - as well as increasing demand on council services.

The report concludes: “The London Plan strategy appears to be one of continuing high density employment growth within London, with areas outside London providing a supporting housing supply.

“This increases the risk of Dartford becoming a dormitory for London’s workforce, which could potentially undermine Dartford’s locally-driven employment growth strategy by take-up of Dartford’s labour supply by London, leaving a shortfall locally.

“There may also be pressure on land identified for employment uses to provide housing. Higher levels of development could result in overstretched infrastructure and pressure on the environment, which in turn could deter business growth and reduce residents’ quality of life in the borough.”

Dartford’s concerns will be sent back to Mr Johnson for consideration.

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