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London Forum Updates

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Community grants

Posted on: 22 September 2019 at 17:07:28
For 2019 the National Lottery good cause funders issued descriptions of two types on grants, one for communities and one for heritage. There is a web page for the community fund with more information and application links.
Your borogh may issue its own method of making similar grants available, using local Council funds also. As an example, LB Hounslow has done that here.
Do take the opportunity to bid for and apply funds to improve your area.
If you have an application pending, please note the change in process from 1st October, as here.

RTPI report on boroughs building new homes

Posted on: 15 August 2019 at 15:18:57
The RTPI has issued the following update:-
"As increasingly recognised across the main political parties and commentators, one major reason for the 'housing crisis' is that local authorities ceased their role of direct housing providers in the 1980s. Since then, the shortfall in housing provision has mirrored the scale of the former local authority contribution to the market.
In 2017 and 2019 the RTPI published two pieces of research to explore how local authorities are returning to housebuilding in England. The ultimate aim is to understand the role of planning in facilitating the delivery of affordable and high quality housing by local authorities. This will mean we can (1) develop practice advice to promote best practice, and (2) develop recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders to enable local authority housebuilding to flourish."
A further report on this study was published on 31st July 2019.
Read the summary report here or the full version here.

August 2019 newsletter of Green Spaces Friends Network

Posted on: 14 August 2019 at 17:14:43
The August 2019 edition of 'Our Patch!' the newsletter of the London Friends of Green Spaces Network is available here.
It has articles on

  • Create a FREE 'tree trail' for your park - special offer

  • 60 London Park Friends Groups on Go Parks - Have you listed yours

  • Community Green Space Grants

  • Save Protected Land at Green Dale Fields in Southwark

  • Garden History Course available at the Garden Museum

  • A new book to mark Finsbury Park's 150th. Happy Birthday!

  • Help map urban tree canopy cover and make parks count.

  • London is now officially a National Park City

  • Updates to national advertising guidance

    Posted on: 12 August 2019 at 11:49:40
    The Government has revised guidance on advertising which can be seen here.The most recent changes are dated 22 07 2019 and the document can be searched for those.The deemed consent for advertisements displayed on the glazed (external) surface of telephone kiosks previously granted under Class 16 of Schedule 3 to the Regulations was removed with effect from 25 May 2019.Other changes are to guidance for the types of advertisement that need express consent.Local authorities can restrict advertising and take action against fly-posting and unauthorised advertisements. The procedures are described.The list of National Planning Practice Guidance on all subjects is here.Civic and amenity societies may find it useful to see what enforcement action or controls their borough can apply and the guidance that should be taken into account in local decision making. As notified by an update in February 2019, Westminster City Council has won a landmark ruling on permitted development that experts say will help local authorities refuse proposals in future for additional telephones and wifi services on pavements that are connected to an advertising panel. Details are here.

    Charity Commission guidance on ‘public benefit’

    Posted on: 8 August 2019 at 16:20:20
    It is over five years since the Government published its requirement for charities to deliver public benefit and to report upon their achievements in doing so.
    The brief details are here and the guidance of the Charity Commission is here.
    This is a reminder that London Forum’s members should check that their charitable objects, purposes, targets and work are suitable for delivering and assessing public benefit. They should also include in their annual reports a statement that their trustees have had regard to the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit.

    Posted on: 8 August 2019 at 15:45:42

    Assembly report on affordable housing delivery

    Posted on: 23 June 2019 at 15:37:19
    The Housing Committee of the London Assembly has published its latest analysis, here, of affordable housing starts and completions.
    London needs 47% of all new homes to be low cost rent type, that means 31,000 London Affordable Rent or Social Rent homes each year. The Assembly found that only 1,051 were completed in 2018-19, although starts of that tenure are increasing.
    Intermediate tenure homes that year were 49% of completions but the assessed need for such Shared Ownership and London Living Wage homes is only 18% of all new homes.
    That would imply that homes people cannot really afford are the ones being delivered.
    The map on the last page of the report shows which boroughs have delivered the most and the least social/Affordable Rent homes between 2016 and 2019. Completions in twelve boroughs of that type of home were below 5%, with five local authorities delivering none.
    However, several boroughs have now commenced their own house building programme.
    London Forum's members should check the achievement of their borough shown on that map and have discussions about it with their Councillors and officers. Any information that you can report here would be appreciated on problems that have prevented delivery of low cost homes and what the opportunities are locally in the future.

    Steve Chambers article on TfL bus service cuts

    Posted on: 22 June 2019 at 15:14:03
    The recent cuts in bus services in London were covered by a news piece in citymetric/transport by Steve Chambers.

    Response to Aviation Strategy 2050

    Posted on: 22 June 2019 at 15:07:20
    London Forum has responded critically to the Government's consultation on their Aviation Strategy to 2050

    Delivery rates for low cost rent homes are too low

    Posted on: 6 June 2019 at 14:22:24
    London Forum has examined reports by the GLA on affordable housing delivery and found that the requirements for low cost rental homes in London are not being met. Also, there has been a slowing in the building of approved housing schemes and new applications have fallen in some areas.
    A paper on the subject is here.
    A section in the Mayor's Annual Monitoring Report for 2016-17 showed that the delivery of affordable homes in some boroughs had been low.
    A report compiled by London Assembly Members showed that London homes delivered under Permitted Development Rights for converting offices are unaffordable.
    London Forum's chairman, Peter Eversden, has presented these findings to the London Planning and Development Forum and discussed the lack of affordable homes with the Planning and Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP.
    London Forum will continue to work with TCPA, RTPI, the London Tenants Federation, the Just Space Network, academics in London and National Amenity Societies to seek policies and actions to improve the delivery of homes of the type that are needed in the capital.
    London Forum's member societies should seek action by their Council(s) to boost the delivery of low cost rent homes. In many boroughs there are plans for homebuilding by the local authority with partners and a report on their progress will be available later in June 2019.
    This year's Examination in Public of the draft New London Plan opened with a statement by the GLA that "80% of the new homes delivered in London are affordable by only 8% of Londoners."

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