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London Forum Updates

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Court of Appeal rules against quiet enjoyment of parks

Posted on: 16 November 2017 at 18:03:21
The Court of Appeal has taken away the protection of access to parks and open spaces that was provided by the Greater London Parks and Open Spaces Act 1967 which limited the area of open space (one acre or one tenth of the open space) that should be used for events.
See the Open Spaces press release on this subject.

Input to the Joint Select Committee on Air Pollution

Posted on: 12 November 2017 at 10:11:23
London Forum has compiled a draft of the views that it intends to submit to the Joint Select Committee inquiry into air pollution, as here.
Comments welcome.

Have life chances of people in east London improved?

Posted on: 10 November 2017 at 14:04:20
On 8th November 2017 the Regeneration Committee of the London Assembly produced a report on this subject.
The members conclude that

  • The gap in many quality of life indicators between the six host boroughs and the rest of London has not been closed.

  • The gap in terms of sporting or physical activity rates has deteriorated.

  • The earnings gap in 2015 is greater than it was in 2009.

  • Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and Newham have some of the highest proportions of children living in income deprived households in the country.

'InsideHousing' had an article on 10th November 'London's Olympic games have not benefitted everyone' by Assembly Member Navin Shah.'

50 Years of Conservation Areas - Historic England talk

Posted on: 5 November 2017 at 09:50:44
In the evening of Monday 20th November 2017 in Chiswick the Bedford Park Society has arranged a lecture by Emily Gee, Historic England's London Planning Director, on the role of heritage and conservation in the future of London.
This is an open meeting and anyone is welcome. It will be held at St Alban's Church, London W4 5LG with drinks from 7pm and the talk will commence at 8pm. The nearest stations to the church are Chiswick Park or Turnham Green on the District Line.
Details of the event and how to book are here.
If you book to attend and do not know the area, why not travel early to Turnham Green station and look around the Bedford Park Conservation Area to its north. The Bedford Park estate was the world's first garden suburb. See details here and here. Both its pub, The Tabard, and its church, St Michael and All Angels, are Grade II* listed and there are 356 Grade II listed houses.

Mayor's draft Housing Strategy

Posted on: 1 November 2017 at 17:54:11
The Mayor published in September his proposals for dealing with London's housing crisis - see here.
The closing date for comment is Thursday 7th December 2017.
It is important that the GLA gets feedback on this draft strategy with views on whether it would be likely to deliver the homes needed in the capital and what else needs to be done.
The draft Replacement London Plan due to be published on 29th November is likely to have a target annually for new homes of 66,000. That is twice the number that has been built in recent years and the Housing Strategy must show how the rate of delivery will be increased.
Please let the Mayor have your views.

Priorities for national infrastructure

Posted on: 16 October 2017 at 19:35:52
The government's infrastructure adviser's first draft infrastructure assessment proposes exploring new mechanisms to capture land value uplift. The document here asks for comments on how section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy regimes can be improved to capture land and property value uplift efficiently and help fund infrastructure.
The interim assessment identifies "supporting delivery of new homes" as one of seven priority areas. It says "current plans and policy frameworks fall well short of what will be required if the UK is to have the infrastructure it needs to support its long-term prosperity and quality of life".
Responses are requested by 12th January 2018.

Government policies for a low carbon future

Posted on: 14 October 2017 at 13:12:12
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a paper 'The Clean Growth Strategy' which you can see here, to deliver the intentions of the Climate Change Act. 

Government's Proposals for Housing

Posted on: 11 October 2017 at 14:15:41
A summary and some comments on what the Government is proposing for housing are available here.

Funding for more trees and better open spaces

Posted on: 16 September 2017 at 09:45:18
Greener City Fund, offering up to £9 million to support local community groups, schools, boroughs and charities to plant more trees and create and improve green spaces across the capital has been launched by the Mayor of London. The first round of Community Tree Planting Grants and Community Green Spaces Grants are now open for application. There’s £1 million of funding for the first round, and grants of between £5,000 - £50,000 are available. Apply by 29 September for the Tree Planting Grants and 20 October 2017 for the Green Space Grants.

Mayor's affordable housing guidance and strategies

Posted on: 22 August 2017 at 09:44:06
Sadiq Khan has published as 'Homes for Londoners' his Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). See details here
There are encouraging aims for the delivery of at least 35% affordable housing and the provision of homes affordable to rent by those on the London Living Wage. The Mayor intends to support boroughs in analysing the credibility of developers viability assessments. The SPG sets out situations in which the Mayor may call in or direct a planning refusal. These situations include where the Mayor "considers that opportunities for affordable housing may have been missed for reasons such as the unsatisfactory provision or insufficient scrutiny of viability information".
Some concern arises that the guidance may lead to smaller dwellings and higher densities of development. The SPG states “Build-to-rent can be particularly suited to higher density development within or on the edge of town centres or near transport nodes.”
Also, on space standards in the London Plan which apply to all tenures, the SPG indicates to boroughs that the London Plan “provides flexibility to consider innovative designs where they meet identified need and are of an exceptional design and standard”. Boroughs are advised to take a flexible approach to local polices on the size of apartments.
London Forum's members should report any schemes where the guidance may result in too many small homes or buildings that do not relate to their context.
The Mayor has published for consultation until 2nd October 2017 a draft Transport Strategy which London Forum's members should consider and make response.
There is a London Assembly call for evidence, with the same closing date, on the subject of Future Transport
On 11 August Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published his draft London Environment Strategy.
The public consultation on this strategy is open until 17th November 2017. 
With the air pollution and other enviromental issues that affect London now, it is important that civic and community groups examine the Mayor's proposals and make comment.

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