Canary Wharf viewed from river

London Forum Updates

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Guidance on Good Quality Homes for All Londoners


Posted on: 13 December 2020 at 21:10:13
The Mayor has published proposals on this subject and seeks response from communities, boroughs and other stakeholders by 15th January 2021 here.


New London Plan introduction saga


Posted on: 13 December 2020 at 18:39:14
Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote on 9th December 2020 to housing secretary Robert Jenrick stating that, having not heard from the minister since the Government prevented the publication of the New London Plan in March 2020 and demanded further changes to it, he now intends to publish the plan for adoption. 
The Minister responded the next day to Sadiq Khan with further directions on the earlier changes and two more amendments, one on industrial land and the other for the suitability of new tall buildings for their location.
The Mayor responded by sending to the Minister a 'Publication London Plan' which includes the changes he was directed to make.
If that plan is published in the coming months, revision of borough Local Plans should be initiated promptly, before the outcome of the Planning White Paper is known as that may have a longer implementation period than the Government had proposed.
The New London Plan gives opportunities for boroughs to have in their Local Plan design codes plus area and site specific definitions of requirement in order to control development. They will have new powers also to determine by policy their local housing size mix, to plan a wider range of tenure types and to implement a more progressive policy for affordable housing.
A blog on the delayed introduction of the New London Plan is here.


PDR - town centre uses to housing plus extra infrastructure


Posted on: 6 December 2020 at 14:56:08
The Government announced new permitted development rights to allow buildings included in its newly-created Class E in town centres, such as offices, restaurants, shops and gyms, to convert to housing without needing planning permission.
There is a briefing on the proposals by Associates at Forsters.
The Planning magazine had a good article by Joey Gardiner covering the potential problems of the Government's proposals.
The consultation includes further flexibility for extensions for schools, colleges, universities and hospitals (Class M) to provide extra capacity on existing sites.
These proposals, as with existing permitted development, take away the ability of Councils and their communities to control what happens and where. It could result in harm to district and town centres. Civic societies and residents' groups are urged to consider the implications, brief their MP and respond to the Government.
Extracts from blog 'The most radical planning reform of the year' on the proposals by the lawyer Zack Simons can be read here. He has produced comments on the complexity of the proposals also.
The consultation runs until 28 January 2021. 


HCLG Committee work including on PWP


Posted on: 30 November 2020 at 15:04:10
London Forum responded as here to the call for evidence by the HCLG Committee on the Planning White Paper 'Planning for the Future'.
Several London Forum members were invited to join HCLG discussion groups on the subject.
Lisa Fairmaner, Head of the London Plan team, and others gave evidence to that committee, as here
The HCLG Committee's web page will be updated with reports on this inquiry and others, with any Government response, under 'Publications'.
The Committee had a reply from the Government to their proposals made after an earlier inquiry on the need to deliver more social housing. You will see the unsatisfactory response to their recommendation 6 and to others.


Report on the new Use Classes


Posted on: 28 November 2020 at 16:49:34
 
A report on a series of practical problems with the new Use Classes regime, raising concerns over its longer-term impact, has been published here.


New database of all planning applications


Posted on: 26 November 2020 at 15:13:51
The GLA has launched a new database that includes data about all development proposals in London - see The Planning London Datahub.


Planning Aid for London re-launched


Posted on: 26 November 2020 at 12:27:28
Planning Aid for London will be issuing quarterly newsletters to those who subscribe on their web site.
They report that "In partnership with the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), PAL has been awarded a grant from Trust for London in June. We have expanded our advice line service, and have started to work with community groups on planning in their local area. Long-term casework support for community groups seeking to influence development and planning in their neighbourhoods will be available again from early next year."


Mayor sets out a social housing programme


Posted on: 24 November 2020 at 21:21:19
The most acute housing need in London is for low-cost homes to rent. The Mayor has secured an agreement with the Government to allow more than half the £4 billion Affordable Homes Programme for 2021-26 to be used to fund social rented homes. See here.
Conditions are described for developers wishing to bid for funds.


Local heritage list campaign


Posted on: 13 November 2020 at 20:47:46
The Government has issued a call for expressions of interest to encourage communities to nominate those locally important historic buildings which they value most for inclusion in their local authority’s local list.
Also, there is an Historic England consultation on revision of its advice for supporting communities and local authorities in introducing a local heritage list in their area or making changes to an existing list.


Homes for London's key workers


Posted on: 13 November 2020 at 19:03:11
A case for providing homes for key workers in the airspace above existing buildings has been developed at the Bartlett School of the Built Environment, University College London.
Increasing the height of existing buildings has been made permitted development by the Government as here. However, this Bartlett suggested initiative goes beyond the restrictions of those provisions and, where approved, could provide low cost affordable homes specifically for London's workers on low incomes.

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