City of London seen from Southbank

London Forum Updates

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Planning reform: PDR for supporting the high street

Posted on: 16 January 2019 at 00:20:49
The Government issued a consultation on a package of measures, including permitted development they claimed would provide greater planning certainty to support the high street and ensure that new homes can be delivered in the right places, and without delay.
London Forum's very critical response can be seen here.

Data for each borough for LIP on achieving MTS aims

Posted on: 13 January 2019 at 22:29:27
Each London borough is required to produce a Local Implementation Plan (LIP) setting out how it intends to contribute towards the implementation of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS). As well as outlining the borough’s local transport objectives, a LIP should detail the specific interventions and schemes intended to contribute towards meeting the MTS goals, challenges and opportunities. A clear strategy for monitoring the performance should also be included. As part of the process of monitoring LIPs, progress will be tracked against six strategic performance indicators – on mode share, bus service reliability, road traffic casualties, CO2 emissions and asset (highway) condition.
Data for the LIP performance indicators most recently reported are here.

Shelter has issued a report on social housing

Posted on: 12 January 2019 at 00:11:30
A call has been issued by charity Shelter for the Government to build 3.1 million new homes over a 20-year period. The programme would extend the offer of social housing to more people.
The full report is here.

'Pocket Parks Plus' grants for open spaces

Posted on: 10 January 2019 at 18:12:01
The Open Spaces Society has welcomed the new grant-scheme for establishing, restoring and renovating open spaces.  Launched by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Pocket Parks Plus provides match funding to communities who want to create small spaces for local people to enjoy.
The scheme runs only until 25 January 2019.

Publications on planning and housing Sep/Oct 2018

Posted on: 29 October 2018 at 14:10:50
The following publications provide updates:-
A report by the RIBA on the Government's proposals for building upwards.
Historic England's planning bulletin October 2018.
A new procedural guide for planning appeals.
An update from the Chief Planner in MHCLG on planning changes.
A debate in the House of Lords on the case for more affordable homes.
A conference report of the 'Future of Metroland'.
A survey of the use by planning authorities of Community Infrastructure funds.
An article on the effectiveness of Neighbourhood Plans.

Peers debate the need for truly affordable new housing

Posted on: 26 October 2018 at 21:27:28
There was a debate in the House of Lords on 25th October 2018 on the need for more homes that people can afford to rent.
It was a good discussion and worth reading. The opening remarks by Lord Shipley sum up the current situation of lack of homes that people can afford comprehensively.
There was a statement by Lord Horam, Conservative, that the days of the Housing and Planning Act were "dire".
Baroness Warwick as the chair of the National Housing Federation, the trade body for housing associations in England said "Everyone should be able to access a good-quality home that they can afford either to rent or to buy, but so many cannot." "This is a real crisis." "Public funding for social housing has been declining for decades: 40 years ago, it was £18 billion a year. In 2015-16, it was just £1.1 billion. Over the same period, the housing benefit bill grew from £4 billion to £24.2 billion a year."
Lord Rooker, Labour, said "The first [requirement] is the restoration of the affordable housing programme, cut by 60% in 2011 when the funding for social rent was completely removed. We also have to start to use our brains. I was on the original Standing Committee in the Commons when rent allowances became housing benefit. We warned at the time of the possibility that this subsidy to private landlords would get out of hand—it is now £24 billion."

James Murray responds to questions on London housing

Posted on: 9 October 2018 at 14:07:49
Answers to questions by the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, James Murray, about homes in the capital can be seen here.

Response to the Mayor's Sports Strategy

Posted on: 8 October 2018 at 17:32:20
London Forum has made some comments on the Mayor's Sports Strategy.
Other London Forum responses to Government, GLA and Transport for London consultations and evidence to Commons Select Committees can be seen here.

Potential funding problems for some London boroughs

Posted on: 31 August 2018 at 15:49:50
The London Communications Agency has reported that the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has predicted that the government could make inner London borough councils bear greater costs for the delivery of statutory services, as the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) considers consultation responses to its Fair Funding Review.
The Review is designed to determine how resources should be allocated to local authorities from April 2020. The IFS contends that inner London boroughs, which often set low tax rates (such as Wandsworth and Westminster), will be assessed by the Government as having lower spending needs and thus less wanting of central government funding.
The IFS interpretation of the Review’s direction is an interesting one, but should only be treated as an interpretation given the number of other factors the Review considers that could determine final funding allocations, such as employment density and so on. That said, the fact the IFS  has led with these predictions poses questions for those London boroughs that have historically chosen to keep council taxes low, many of whom often have high assessed spending needs.

'Planning' publishes a set of comments on the new NPPF

Posted on: 30 August 2018 at 15:06:23
There is a set of articles published here by PlanningResource which explain and review the implications of various parts of the new National Planning Policy Framework. They include comments by RTPI, RIBA, TCPA and others.

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