Eight highlights from the Mayor’s draft London Plan
Mayor Sadiq Khan has published his draft London Plan, a broad-based plan to shape how London’s urban environment develops over the next 20-25 years. The plan opens for consultation on Monday.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Housing - With London’s population expected to increase by 70,000 every year, reaching 10.8 million in 2041, good planning is vital for growth. The Mayor has ripped up existing planning rules to get more affordable homes built, especially in areas served by strong infrastructure.
2. Green Belt - Sadiq has strengthened his commitment to protect ‘the lungs of the capital’ - London’s Green Belt - and other important open spaces in the London Plan. He has also set out proposals to help make more than half of London green by 2050.
3. Fire safety - The London Plan uses all the Mayor’s powers to make sure new developments meet the highest standards of fire safety, minimising the risk of a fire spreading, and ensuring a fire evacuation lift to allow means of escape.
4. Pubs - Since 2001, 81 pubs have closed each year in London, on average. The London Plan recommends stronger protection for pubs and asks boroughs to back plans for new public houses in suitable locations.
5. Takeaways - While takeaways are a vibrant part of London life, the Mayor wants to ensure they don’t lead children to make poor food choices. The London Plan encourages boroughs to refuse planning applications for new hot food takeaways near schools.
6. Cycling - The London Plan contains ambitious proposals to encourage Londoners out of their cars, with new requirements for developers and councils to increase the proportion of cycle parking around new shops and homes, which could see cycling parking provision doubled in many new developments.
7. Public toilets - In an Age UK survey this year, half of the over-75s who responded said that too few loos was a regular problem when going shopping. The London Plan contains detailed policy guidance on providing more free public restrooms that are suitable for all users, including older and disabled people, families with young children, and trans and non-binary people.
8. Fracking - Sadiq has said that fracking - a controversial means of extracting natural gas from underground shale deposits - has ‘no place’ in London. The London Plan reaffirms his commitment to refuse potential fracking applications in the capital.