Mayor updates London Plan

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has just revealed the Further Alterations to the London Plan. Originally published in 2004, the city planning strategy says what economic, environmental, transport and social improvements London needs over the next 20 years by 2036 when population is over 10 million.

Key alterations to the London Plan confirmed today include:

– Confirmation of figures set out in the Mayor’s London Housing Strategy, adopted in October 2014, state that London has the capacity to build 42,000 homes a year – an increase of 10,000 from the last London Plan. The Mayor is exploring how this potential could be expanded through town centre and opportunity area intensification. This would also help to address London’s estimated need of 49,000 new homes a year. This target has been developed through negotiations between the Mayor of London’s Office and local councils that have identified a third more developable land than in the 2011 London Plan.

– With average life expectancy in London increasing, housing for older people is one of the most important emerging planning issues for the city. It is anticipated that between 2011 and 2036, the number of people over the age of 64 will increases by nearly 580,000 to reach 1.49 million – an increase of 64 per cent. During the same time period, the number of over 90s is expected to grow by 89,000. For the first time, the London Plan includes indicative requirement benchmarks for the delivery of specialist housing for older people for every London borough. The London-wide target is 3,900 specialist units for older people a year until 2025. In the last few years, delivery in the capital has been around 1,200 units a year.

– Plan to help London’s 33 local authorities to protect valued pubs from being lost, where it is possible to do so. This is the first time that the important role of London’s pubs has been recognised in the London Plan and has been included following publication of a Greater London Authority report that stated that 900 pubs closed in the capital from 2003 to 2012. Local authorities are encouraged to “maintain, manage and enhance” them. The plan also supports councils in preventing the loss of pubs, if it can be demonstrated that they are “community assets”.

Increasing the total number of Opportunity Areas in the capital from 33 to 38 Opportunity Areas are London’s main locations for new development over the next 25 years with significant capacity for new housing, commercial and other uses supported by existing or planned improvements to public transport. By establishing Opportunity Areas, and working closely with London boroughs and partner agencies, the Mayor will be best able to deliver significant social and economic regeneration. New Opportunity Areas have been designated at Bromley Town Centre, Canada Water and Harrow and Wealdstone, the Old Kent Road corridor.

– In addition, Old Oak Common has been designated an Opportunity Area to ensure it can reap the enormous benefits of plans to build a ‘super hub’ High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail station. It has today been confirmed that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson will chair the board of the new Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) which is due to come into existence on April 1, with Sir Edward Lister appointed Vice Chair. The OPDC has been established to drive forward the regeneration of the area and transform it into a thriving new district with up to 24,000 new homes and 50,000 jobs. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles confirmed that he supported plans to establish the OPDC in January and last week, legislation was laid to give the OPDC planning powers. The London Assembly also confirmed it was happy for the Mayor to move forward last December and Deloitte Real Estate has now been appointed to advise on preparation of a Growth Strategy for the area.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The London Plan is quite literally the capital’s planning Bible – driving development and setting out exactly what is and is not acceptable as we work to build a cleaner, greener, safer city that abounds opportunity, talent and economic activity. As the capital continues to flourish over the next few years, we will need to create hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs and the London Plan will be crucial in allowing us to sustain our position as the best big city in the world.”

Further Alterations to the London Plan

Comment

  • London’s chronic shortage of homes for its ever-growing population needs to be addressed. While Boris Johnson’s attempts to encourage the construction of 42,000 homes a year is to be welcomed, it will do little to accommodate the new population that will enter London in the next 10 years.

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