London Forum Updates
Peers challenge restrictions on conditions
Posted on: 19 January 2017 at 10:59:54
18 January 2017 by Michael Donnelly
The government is 'keen to engage' on controversial measures in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill to restrict the use of pre-commencement conditions, the peer guiding the bill through the House of Lords has told the legislative chamber.
Speaking yesterday during the bill’s second reading in the House of Lords, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said that the bill would "build on the improvements we have made since 2010 to build more homes and give greater responsibility to local communities to decide what gets built and where".
However, peers flagged concerns about the bill, including over plans to restrict the use of pre-commencement conditions. Labour peer Lord Kennedy of Southwark said that such conditions "have an important role in securing sustainable development that is careful and considerate of local communities". "What we cannot do is inadvertently encourage inappropriate development by lowering our standards of acceptable development", he said.
In response, Lord Bourne said that the government was "keen to engage on pre-commencement planning conditions" on issues such as environmental protection and heritage protection.
"It will be appropriate to look at them at a later stage but issues about what colour roof tiles should be or what sort of windows should go in are not appropriate as pre-commencement conditions. I am very happy to look at how we should tackle such issues going forward", he said.
Lord Bourne also said that he was "happy to engage" on increasing protections for local pubs threatened with redevelopment.
Elsewhere, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Shipley said that, at a briefing held before the debate, the government had said it is to table amendments to the bill "on the primacy of neighbourhood plans, the right of parish and town councils to be consulted in drawing up local plans, and the housing needs of disabled and older people".
Lord Bourne also revealed that the the government’s intention is to publish its much-anticipated Housing White Paper before the bill reaches its report stage in the Lords.
"As I speak, I think that we are confident of landing that. It will cover issues such as the fees situation, brownfield registers and many others", he said.
The bill’s report stage will come after it is considered at committee. Lord Bourne said he believed that the bill’s committee stage would start in the week commencing 30 January and there would be two sessions that week and two sessions the week after.
Government proposals for Public Library services
Posted on: 5 December 2016 at 12:34:47
A new report calls on local authorities to make use of the buildings, staff and services, and think innovatively to help increase reading, literacy and digital access in communities.
The report says library buildings should be used to provide access to a range of public services such as employment, health and learning opportunities to make sure libraries have a sustainable future.
New basements need planning permission
Posted on: 5 December 2016 at 11:37:01
The High Court appears to have determined that basements cannot constitute permitted development and must always have permission. See summary here.
Mayor's draft SPG on Affordable Housing and Viability
Posted on: 30 November 2016 at 11:39:58
A Supplementary Planning Guidance document has been published by City Hall on this subject for consultation up to the end of February 2017.
Applicants for subsidy-free developments that meet or exceed the 35 per cent threshold for affordable housing will not be required to submit viability information, as long as such housing is provided on site, and meets the borough’s specified tenure mix.
Posted on: 29 November 2016 at 10:50:19
Report for London Assembly on rogue landlords
Posted on: 14 November 2016 at 15:14:44
Caroline Pidgeon, Assembly Member, is the author of the report.
RTPI report on 16 ways to address the housing crisis
Posted on: 14 November 2016 at 15:05:12
The RTPI recommendations on this subject can be seen here.
There is also an RTPI paper on where new homes should be built.
Heathrow and Gatwick expansion benefits
Posted on: 14 November 2016 at 15:00:40
An article in the Evening Standard commented on a Government report which claimed that a third runway at Heathrow airport was not as beneficial in some respects as a second runway at Gatwick.
Centre for London report on the future of the West End
Posted on: 14 November 2016 at 14:58:31
The report and recommendations can be seen here.
Replacement London Plan - preparation and worshops
Posted on: 14 November 2016 at 14:47:13
London Forum's members have been informed by an e-bulletin about the consultation and reviews that are taking place to inform the preparation of a replacement London Plan.
Sadiq Khan's summary of aims and intentions in a document 'A City for All Londoners' is here. London Forum's members are urged to comment on the content of the document by 11th December by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org