Playing a strategic role in planning

The Mayor has overall strategic responsibility for planning in London.

The Mayor of London is responsible for strategic planning across London. The main responsibilities of the Mayor are to:

  • produce a spatial development strategy - the London Plan. This planning strategy covers the type of development and land use that the Mayor wants to see in London.
  • ensure that, as they are revised, the collection of planning documents in London boroughs' Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) conform generally with The London Plan.
  • be consulted on planning applications of strategic importance, with the power to refuse planning permission on strategic grounds, or to take them over for his own determination.
  • monitor and collect information on the implementation of the London Plan
  • represent London's planning interests in the wider South East.

About the London Plan

The London Plan is a wide-ranging strategic plan for London's development that puts planning issues into context with other areas of responsibility for the Mayor, including transport, economic development, social development and the environment. It also takes into account European, national and regional planning policies. It sets the guidelines for how London should grow and change, and is crucial to the integrated development of the capital.

The Mayor's role in the boroughs' Local Development Frameworks

The boroughs are responsible for preparing Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) for their own areas, but must ensure that they conform broadly to the Mayor's London Plan.

The Mayor reviews the boroughs’ LDFs during the public consultation process. At submission stage the Mayor will give his formal opinion on general conformity. Where necessary GLA officers will participate in examinations of LDF documents on behalf of the Mayor.

Applications of strategic importance

Borough Councils are required to consult the Mayor on applications of potential strategic importance, as defined by the government in the Mayor of London Order 2008:

The Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 PDF (opens in new window)

The Mayor is required to provide a statement of compliance with the London Plan, within six weeks of receipt of the consultation. Once the planning authority has resolved to determine the application it is required to refer it back to the Mayor to allow him to decide whether to direct refusal, take over the application for his own determination or allow the planning authority’s decision to stand.

Case officers within the Planning Decisions Unit will liaise with the applicant/agent, planning authority and other statutory agencies during the course of determination in order to try and resolve any issues that the Mayor has raised.

The Mayor’s vision for London is set out in the following key documents.

Transport Strategy (external website)

Economic Development Strategy PDF (opens in new window)

Investing for Recovery: A new deal for London PDF (opens in new window)