Canary Wharf viewed from river

London Forum Updates

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Better homes and bungalows for Britain's older people


Posted on: 22 March 2015 at 20:07:22
Older people should be given a greater choice where to live during their retirement under plans outlined on 21st March 2015 by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.
With around one in six people aged over 65, Mr Lewis said anyone wanting to move should have the option to do so – but should also get help if they want to stay in their own home.
The minister is publishing new planning guidance asking councils to take better account of the needs of their older residents when planning new homes in their area.
This will make clear the responsibility councils have to ensure a wide range of different properties are built in their area to meet the diverse housing needs of people as they get older – including for bungalows where they are needed
The details are here 


Open Meeting 23 March - CANCELLED


Posted on: 10 March 2015 at 08:08:10
London Forum regrets to announce that the Hustings Open Meeting set for the evening of 23 March has been cancelled.Despite vigorous efforts it has not been possible to assemble a panel of candidates to answer questions from an audience.


English Heritage: new management and energy efficiency


Posted on: 17 February 2015 at 18:03:30
Two publications have been added to this site.
One is about the Heads of the two parts of what was English Heritage and the other is about achieving energy efficiency in historic buildings.


Taxi Drivers Assoc wants facilities for electric cabs


Posted on: 4 February 2015 at 11:55:21
Clean Air for London and the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association have called on the Mayor to provide facilities and to change rules to enable electric taxis.
See http://tinyurl.com/pz57yr3


Response to Flood Risk Management consultation


Posted on: 3 February 2015 at 20:14:24
The London Forum's response to the Environment Agency's consultation on this subject is here.
The fact that only 40 of the measures listed by the EA (12%) are described as ‘protecting from risk’ suggests this approach may not be receiving enough emphasis.  But there also needs to be much more emphasis on prevention and we have proposed that there should be the following additional objective:
Reduce the speed of storm water run off in London by minimising the loss of green areas, (including paving over gardens), promoting the use of green roofs, installing permeable surfaces in paved areas, especially roads and car parks, and ensuring all new developments have sustainable drainage.
We expressed concern about the continued number of burst water mains and the disruption they cause.


Create Thames City-Region urges Assembly Tories


Posted on: 2 February 2015 at 18:52:49
Conservative Assembly Member Andrew Boff has published a report which calls for devolution to London and the areas surrounding it as a 'Thames City-Region' with increased powers including creation of new Garden Suburbs.
Also, the combination of seven Local Enterprise Partnerships for strategic co-ordination of economic development in the new region.


London Forum response on an additional airport runway


Posted on: 2 February 2015 at 16:46:36
London Forum has commented here to the Davies Commission on their consultation for an additional airport runway.  Our response includes claims that the Commission has failed to take into consideration several aspects that we summarise.
London Forum would like to see the operation and management of Heathrow fully examined for its key purpose of serving international destinations important for businesses in London and the south-east of England. That may include freeing up take off and landing slots there by moving short haul flights to other airports.


Councils must issue brownfield development orders


Posted on: 31 January 2015 at 11:53:16
In June 2014 the Treasury announced that 30 ‘housing zones’ would be created across the country, including 20 in London, in which "all unnecessary planning restrictions" are removed to boost house-building. Five sites in London were announced - Meridian Water in Enfield, Tottenham Hale in Haringey, Southall in Ealing, South Poplar in Tower Hamlets and Winstanley and York Road in Wandsworth
George Osborne said Councils would be "required to put local development orders on over 90 per cent of brownfield sites that are suitable for housing". Councils can grant local development orders (LDOs), which grant automatic planning permission to specific types of development in a defined area, to encourage developers to build without going through the formal planning application process.
Funds were made available for local authorities which prepared development orders.
A new consultation has been issued by the Planning Minister with a closing date of 11th March 2015. It defines brownfield land as being suitable for new housing if it is deliverable, free of constraint, capable of development and capable of supporting five or more dwellings. It proposes that local planning authorities (LPAs) will be designated as under-performing where they do not meet the objective for bringing forward sufficient coverage of local development orders on brownfield land suitable for new housing, or where authorities have failed to provide sufficient evidence that this objective is being met. Where an authority is designated, applicants would then have a choice of applying directly to the Secretary of State for planning permission.
To encourage more Councils to prepare NDOs, DCLG is making more funding available to local authorities.
Prior to this consultation a report commissioned by the Treasury was published on the role local authorities could play in increasing housing supply with a range of new measures aimed at kick-starting a wave of new housebuilding by councils.
Lloyds Bank also commissioned a study by Mark Frisk and Nick Raynsford on how more homes could be built and it has a dozen recommendations, including affordable homes, delivery of the required infrastructure, availbility of suffient planning resources and a new professional landlord sector.
Many large brownfield sites in London will be covered as Opportunity Area and Area of Intensification processes by planning frameworks.
London Forum's members are advised to check how well those 'masterplans' meet the requirements as development orders to determine what will be built and where. They should liaise with their borough on the preparation of development orders for other brownfeld sites.  Without approved specifications in place of what is to be developed, the lead will be taken by planning applications or, in the case of any boroughs designated as under-performing, by the Secretary of State to whom an developer can appeal for determination.
Please send any comments on the consultation and other points above to planning@londonforum.org.uk


Former housing ministers: Ways to build more homes


Posted on: 30 January 2015 at 18:02:04
Lloyds Bank commissioned a report on how delivery of new housing could be improved.
 


GLA report on part time working in London


Posted on: 28 January 2015 at 20:55:08
The GLA's Economics Unit has published a report here on this subject.

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