EIR - Sites designated as Metropolitan Open Land

Request reference number: 
Date of response: 
October 2017

Summary of request

Freedom of Information request

Thank you for your email dated 6 October 2017, which was received by the Greater London Authority on 6 October 2017.

Our response to your request is as follows:

1.      How many sites designated as Metropolitan Open Land have been built on under grounds of exceptional circumstances?

All developments built on Metropolitan Open Land would have to demonstrate exceptional circumstances for it to be in compliance with the NPPF. As such, please see the attached list of completed schemes on Metropolitan Open Land. This data has been taken from the London Development Database and covers the period financial year 2004 - financial year 2016.

2.      How many times has the Mayor intervened to prevent Metropolitan Open Land from being built on?

The Mayor's statutory planning powers allow him to direct refusal on a scheme under article 6 of the Mayor of London Order 2008. More information on this can be found on our website: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/planning-applications-and-decisions/what-powers-does-mayor-have-planning.

The current Mayor has exercised this power four times since May 2016, three of which related to inappropriate development on Green Belt/Metropolitan Open Land. All information relating to these applications can be found on our website: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/planning-applications-and-decisions/direction-refuse-applications-0.

The previous Mayor directed refusal on seven schemes, none of which related to inappropriate development on Green Belt/Metropolitan Open Land.

 3.      Furthermore, any information on how to protest against building on MOL land would be appreciated.

You can object to the relevant local planning authority for each individual planning application. In addition to this, every planning policy document created (NPPF, London Plan or Local Plan) will have an extensive consultation before it is published. All of these documents will contain information about the protection of MOL. In particular, Local Plans will contain more site specific information that you could review and potentially object to.

The current London Plan offers the strongest protection to MOL, in line with the NPPF. A draft London Plan will be consulted on from the end-of-November; more details of this will be published here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan. The Mayor is, however, committed to retaining the strongest protection of MOL.