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London and south-east 'will need 2.5m homes'

London and the south-east will require 2.5 million homes if the region is to cope with future growth projections.According to the Aecom study, local authorities across the region have underestimated the need for extra homes by one million, reports of the plans of 127 local authorities within a 60 mile radius of central London revealed 2.5 million homes - rather than the 1.5 million currently projected - were needed by 2036.The firm studied the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments of each of the capital's boroughs and found sites for 685,000 homes had been identified in the period - 423,000 fewer than is required.London could soon become one of a handful of global megacities, with a population of close to 30 million by 2065, Aecom claims.Aecom's managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Andrew Jones, said: "Limiting the conversation about the housing shortage to the [London borough] borders ignores the 700,000 people commuting into the city every day and the acknowledgment that London is the number one economic driver for the entire south-east."He added that it would be necessary to see London as a "metropolis of 20 million people that is economically, socially and culturally connected to the capital" in order to manage its future growth.Mr Jones stated that the equivalent of one new Milton Keynes a year would need to be built in the region to deal with a population that is due to expand to reach 24 million for the whole of London and the south-east by 2036.Improved transport links would be a crucial facilitator of future development, with intensified development around tube and rail stations to create revitalised centres. He added that the suburbs would be key to growth. 

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