The Mayor of London has defended his housing plan, despite criticism that it could lead to a “loss” of homes across north London.

London Assembly Member Andrew Boff accused Sadiq Khan of adopting a “backwards approach” when it comes to dealing with the capital’s housing crisis.

He argues that his ‘London Plan’ fails to take advantage of land that could be utilised for building; land which, he estimates, could result in more than 300 new houses in Harrow.

Mr Boff said: “London absolutely needs a percentage of designated industrial land.

“However, when an area is listed as a Housing Zone it seems counter-productive to block homes being built on parts of it that are otherwise sitting vacant.

“Sadiq Khan’s London Plan has made it easier for someone to build a small block of flats in their back garden but made it more difficult to build on a large area of waste land. It’s a backwards approach to solving the housing crisis.

“This under-used land sits within zones specifically designated for housing. The Mayor needs to make the most of this opportunity and reconsider these unnecessary regulations.

“The London Plan shouldn't ignore the contradictions between Housing and Industrial Policy, it should help to resolve them.”

But Mr Khan has hit back at the accusations and believes that adopting an approach as suggested by Mr Boff would be detrimental to the current situation.

He noted that industrial land is the “engine room” of the capital’s economy citing the GLA’s Industrial Land Supply and Economy Study in 2016, which estimated that approximately 476,400 jobs are associated with such land across London.

The Mayor also took a swipe at his predecessor, Boris Johnson, suggesting that he allowed London to lose too much industrial capacity.

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “Andrew Boff’s approach would be hugely damaging to London’s economy and under his proposals, there’s a risk thousands of Londoners could find their jobs have been moved miles out of the city, putting huge additional pressure on the capital’s transport infrastructure and on people’s work-life balance.

“The Plan has identified where an ambitious target of 65,000 new homes can be built each year in the capital on brownfield land, without having to encroach on the green belt.

“It sets out how valuable industrial capacity will be retained, promoting intensification of industrial areas and co-locating industrial uses with new housing where appropriate.”