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London Forum Updates

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Can London build enough homes for 9m people? and Where?

Posted on: 5 November 2014 at 23:25:08
An article @CityAM points to a report by residential and commercial estate agent Stirling Ackroyd with a map of wards which are likely to have high, medium or low house building. The Outer London boroughs may need to increase densification to respond to the demand.

Will devolution to London happen?

Posted on: 5 November 2014 at 22:53:41
London Mayor Boris Johnson has admitted he has struggled to convince the Government that control of taxes like stamp duty should be devolved to City Hall as recently to Manchester - see  and as discussed at .

BBC London political editor Tim Donovan spoke to Mr Johnson, Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, and Mark Boleat, Corporation of London.
It seems that London is being asked to demonstrate what it would do with retained taxes and what return to the Treasury there would be before more devolution is likely.

Why Invest in Landscape?

Posted on: 5 November 2014 at 22:39:29
Further to the speech by Communities Minister Stephen Williams below, the Landscape Institute has published a report on investing in landscape here for:-

  • Creating spaces that users can connect with both physically and emotionally – leading to benefits for local businesses such as increased footfall and time spent.

  • Focussing attention on the value of the built and natural environment in the regeneration process.

  • Delivering reduced development costs through the intelligent use of existing landscape features and the imaginative disposal/incorporation of construction waste.

  • Realising increased saleability and rentability of both private housing and commercial property.

  • Optimising the full development potential of a given location.

CIL may be harming progress on developments

Posted on: 31 October 2014 at 20:44:26
Local authorities with a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule in place have seen a 49 per cent drop in the number of new residential planning consents granted in the 12 months following the introduction of the development tarfiff, according to a report by Savills.

Updated CABE-EH Guidance on Tall Buildings

Posted on: 31 October 2014 at 17:19:31
The latest version of the guidance for decision making about tall buildings can be seen here.

City Growth Commission calls for more powers for London

Posted on: 29 October 2014 at 22:02:08
London Councils Chair Mayor Jules Pipe has welcomed the findings of the RSA City Growth Commission that devolution away from Whitehall is an essential condition for strengthening national economic growth. The Commission’s report, launched last week and in full here calls for London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire to be given Devolved Status with a package of powers to be agreed between these city-regions with the government by January 2015. Urging the government to respond positively, Mayor Pipe said: "The report supports the call of London local government – the boroughs  and the Mayor – for devolution of services such as skills and employment support."

Ensuring inclusive design in our public spaces

Posted on: 23 October 2014 at 22:20:22
Communities Minister Stephen Williams urged developers in a speech to get communities involved from the very beginning of a project to make buildings, streets and public space more inclusive.

Housing for Vulnerable and Older People by HCA

Posted on: 23 October 2014 at 22:10:03
The Homes and Cmmunities Agency says it is committed to working with providers to deliver housing that meets local priorities and the housing needs of all sections of our communities, including meeting the needs of vulnerable and older people in mainstream, supported and specialised housing.
See here.

Labour's proposed Mansion Tax

Posted on: 22 October 2014 at 20:15:39
Simon Jenkins has written on this subject in the Evening Standard here and suggests that the tax may provide £180M for the Government, not the £1.7 billion which is the target for investment in the NHS.  There are letters to the Evening Standard about it here.
Meanwhile, Diane Abbott MP, who wants to be a candidate for London Mayor, suggests here that the money from Mansion Tax should be diverted from the NHS into more affordable homes for Londoners.
No doubt all political parties and candidates will clarify their polices before the 2016 GLA elections. 

Adverse effects of permitted development of offices

Posted on: 19 October 2014 at 18:50:34
The Local Government Association conducted a survey of the effects of the Government's imposition of permitted development for office to residential conversion.
Their conclusions are here.
The harm in London has been very serious and the GLA is seeking to stop the proposed Government extension of the 'freedoms'.
Mary Portas is reported in the FT here to have objected to the way office conversion is harming creative industries.

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