ADD339 Isle of Dogs OAPF consultancy work

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD339
Date signed: 
26 August 2015
Decision by: 
Stewart Murray, Assistant Director of Planning

Executive summary

The Isle of Dogs Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) is a joint project being undertaken with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The area is anticipated to have significant development growth over the next 15-20 years linked to potential transport improvements.

This decision requests approval of expenditure on the employment of a consultant to provide technical support for the Development Capacity Study, and produce specialist graphics and desktop publishing for the production of the Isle of Dogs Opportunity Area Planning Framework document. 

 

Decision

That the Assistant Director approves Expenditure of up to £25,000 on specialist graphics, desktop publishing and printing costs for the Isle of Dogs Opportunity Area Planning Framework project.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA Planning unit is working with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to prepare an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for the Isle of Dogs.  This will cover the opportunity area identified in the London Plan. The area faces significant immediate development pressures and therefore it is important that the OAPF is in place as soon as possible. 

1.2        It is essential that an assessment of development capacity, and specialist graphics and desktop publishing work is undertaken on this project to enable its delivery to a high quality standard. It is proposed that specialist consultancy services are sought for this purpose to enable the production of the document. The consultant will be required to have experience in urban planning and previous knowledge of OAPF document requirements in this context.

1.3    A member of the GLA Planning Unit is leading in the production of this OAPF. They do not have the specialist skills required for this specific area of work, and the planning unit officer with relevant skills is working on another key OAPF.  Tower Hamlets do not have the specialist staff, and are unable to contribute resources to this piece of work as they have committed to a review of the Local Plan. 

1.4        It is estimated that up to £23,500 may be required for this aspect of the project to cover its various design phases, with an additional £1,500 for printing costs. However, the time spent and money accrued on the project will be reviewed weekly.

1.5    The project is highly important as it contributes to the Mayor’s jobs and growth agenda. It is estimated that the Isle of Dogs can provide at least 110,000 jobs and 10,000 homes.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1       The objective of this project is to produce the Isle of Dogs OAPF consultation draft document in conjunction with Tower Hamlets Council by the autumn of 2015. The graphics and desktop publishing services are needed to commence immediately and will be funded by the GLA.

Equality comments

3.1        In arriving at the recommended decision to approve this proposed budget, equalities issues have been considered in line with the GLA’s duties under the Equalities Act 2010. It is unlikely that this project will have negative equalities impacts but identified equalities issues (both positive and negative) will be covered in the Equality Assessment that will accompany the project. This will ensure that at each point of the drafting and consultation process for the proposed document, equalities impacts are considered and actions decided upon to address any emerging issues. The project will also be subject to a review and this will also address equalities impacts.

3.2    Given the regeneration focus of the proposed project, identification of relevant equalities groups and potentially vulnerable locally affected populations will be undertaken at the outset of the project. Population data is available for this purpose such as indices of deprivation used to identify regeneration areas in the London Plan. A detailed public consultation strategy will also need to be drawn up in consultation with Tower Hamlets Council to ensure that any local hard to reach groups are engaged in the process to ensure that resulting document is appropriate and accessible to all and meets the needs of different Londoners.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

If financial support is not provided to this OAPF, there is a risk that it will not be completed or will not be completed within the required timeframes. This would undermine the Mayor’s growth agenda set out in the London Plan 2015 (consolidated with alterations since 2011)

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

4.1    The specialist development capacity, graphics and design consultant will assist in the production of     the OAPF.  OAPFs are supplementary to the London Plan and bring together the Mayoral priorities     for housing, economic development, development, transport and the environment.  Realising the     development potential of Opportunity Areas is a Mayoral Priority, and OAPFs bring together     strategic and local stakeholders to deliver an area-wide spatial planning framework in accordance     with Government policy, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

c) impact assessments and consultations.

OAPFs are subject to public consultation, and equality and environmental assessments.

4.2    The need for this service is immediate to meet the project deadlines.

4.3    Value for money will be sought by seeking three competitive quotes from suitable specialist suppliers, ensuring that the successful consultant will be procured in accordance with the GLA Contracts and Funding Code.

4.4    This project seeks to develop a consultation draft of the document. Should further support be required to produce a final draft, a further ADD may be required in future. 

Financial comments

5.1    Assistant Director’s approval is being sought to spend up to £25,000 on specialist graphics, desktop publishing and printing costs for the Isle of Dogs OAPF project. This is to be funded from Planning’s 2015-16 OAPF budget approved under Directors Decision (DD) 1359. All the work will be delivered in 2015-16. 

5.2    As this work relates to a contract, officers have to ensure that the requirements of the Authority’s Contracts & Funding Code are adhered to.

5.3    Any changes to this proposal including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s Decision Making Process. If at any stage of this programme there is a need for any consultancy work officers have to ensure that the requirements relating to consultancy services within the Authority’s Financial Regulations and Expenses & Benefits Framework are adhered to.

5.4    All appropriate budget adjustments will be made. The Planning Unit within the Development, Environment and Enterprise will be responsible for managing this contract and work.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

August 2015

Announcement [if applicable]

N/A

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

Sept 2015

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external)

Ongoing

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

March 2016

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

May 2016