The number of social homes in Lewisham’s planning pipeline has increased increased by 11 per cent, sitting at 26.7 per cent of homes - but Mayor Damien Egan says there is still a long way before the authority hits its strategic aim of 50 per cent affordable homes across all developments.

This comes amidst concern for the number of social homes being built in the borough, with only a single social home out of 450 new builds for the year ending April 2018.

A council spokesperson said the number of social homes built in the year ending April 2019 had increased to 127.

Social homes approved by the authority made up 15.7 per cent in the year ending April 2018, but has increased to 26.7 per cent so far this year, the spokesperson said.

“The number of social homes approved has gone up by 11 per cent in year to end of April 2019.  It’s important to note that this figure was the position at the end of April 2019. As we approve more applications, this will change,” they said.

Mayor Egan said planning officers had gone to Islington Council to share knowledge on how to push developers to build more social housing in their developments.

Islington’s planning department has more success working with developers to build social housing, he said.

Lewisham had also been given a £37.7 million grant from the GLA to help build Council homes in Lewisham, and have also received £500,000 to build up staffing, he said.

There were a further 28 sites in the borough earmarked for development, which will be announced over the summer, he said.

But there were lessons to be learned from when the council’s officers were challenged by developers.

This comes after the council accepted developers could only build 20 per cent social housing on the controversial Conington Road development while the case was in front of the planning inspectorate.

Mayor Egan said: “We’ll be learning lessons from any time our planners were challenged and those challenges aren’t successful, and that’s the lesson [from] when we took our planners out to Islington Council, they have a lot more success than we have in terms of the social housing numbers. One of the lessons they had was 'challenge, challenge.'"