Alliance Planning Update: The London Plan - Consultation Draft Replacement Plan
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has published the draft replacement London Plan setting out his vision and strategy to make London the ‘best big city on earth’.
The London Plan provides the overall strategic planning framework for the Capital to 2031 and it has been issued alongside two other interlinking draft strategies setting out the Mayor’s plans for Transport and Economic development.
A complete review is being taken forward reflecting the increased powers of the Mayor, various other changes in the planning system and Boris Johnson’s desire to make more rapid progress with a new strategy that sets out his own vision, policies and priorities. It is also intended to reflect his proposals for a new, more consensual and collaborative approach to planning in London, with a ‘greater focus on delivery rather than process and structure’.
The resulting draft Plan does go some way towards meeting the Mayor’s aims for it to be different from the previous one. It is more clearly strategic and aspirational, shorter and more user friendly. However, it is already being criticised in some quarters for not setting out clearly enough how critical elements of the Plan will, in reality, be delivered. A more collaborative approach to planning is certainly a laudable aim but, again, this will be difficult to achieve in practice.
A key area for the London Plan is housing. An annual average of at least 33,400 additional homes is sought and specific ‘minimum’ targets are set for each Borough. As anticipated, the 50 % target for affordable housing has been scrapped in favour of numerical targets to be agreed with every Borough, but the general thrust of policy remains one of seeking to maximise affordable housing provision and Boroughs are encouraged to seek affordable housing on sites of less than 10 homes. There is a greater policy emphasis on quality and space and the Plan includes minimum space standards for new residential development.
Elsewhere, the Plan sets out greater support for protecting small shops, promoting small businesses and new targets and sets out tighter regulations to reduce C02 omissions from new developments to tackle climate change. Greater protection is given to the promotion and enhancement of London’s green spaces and waterways; walking, cycling and green transport will all be supported and further guidance will be prepared on how the Community Infrastructure Levy will be applied, particularly in relation to Crossrail.
The consultation period for all three draft strategies runs to the 12th January 2010.
Haydn’s contact details are 0207 499 1982 / 07791 740 611, firstname.lastname@example.org.