DD2019 London Office Policy Review 2016

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2019
Date signed: 
01 July 2016
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

Approval of expenditure of up to £85,000 is sought to procure and commission a consultancy study to undertake the London Office Policy Review 2016.  The study will review office market trends and assess supply/demand dynamics in central, inner and outer London; assess the impact of office to residential permitted development rights; provide projections of office employment and office floorspace demand to 2041 and assess the future prospects for office development in viable locations outside central London and to consider relationships with the wider south east of England. The work will inform a full review of the London Plan and the preparation of Local Plans and Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks and support the co-ordination of office policy with the wider south east.

 

Decision

The Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment approves expenditure of up to a total of £85,000 to lead, procure and commission specialist technical services to undertake the London Office Policy Review 2016.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The importance of informing the preparation of development plans with robust assessments of the existing and future demand of land available for economic development is set out in the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)  and associated practice guidance .  

1.2    The London Plan’s approach to office policy is designed to be both informed by, and responsive to, changes in the demand and supply of office space. Through the London Office Policy Review (LOPR), the GLA has developed a series of independent reviews of market trends, involving robust monitoring benchmarks and associated time series data to illustrate key themes, market relationships and their bearing on policy. The 2016 London Office Policy Review (LOPR 16) will inform the Mayor’s new London Plan and responds to other key issues facing the London office market.

1.3    The study will be led by the GLA Planning team in the Directorate of Development Environment and Enterprise in collaboration with the Regeneration team, Economic and Business Policy unit and Transport for London. 
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

1.4    LOPR 16 contains three interrelated parts, details of which are provided in specification attached in Appendix 1:

•    Part A: Review of office market trends and benchmarking

•    Part B: Office employment and floorspace demand projections

•    Part C:  Future prospects for office development in viable locations outside central London and relationships with the wider south east of England.

1.5    The outputs of this study will inform the full review of the London Plan; preparation of Local Plans; work on Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks/ Area Action Plans and co-ordination with the wider south east of England. The study will also support the work of the GLA in addressing its growth and regeneration agenda.
 

Equality comments

3.1    No adverse equalities impacts are identified. The study supports the equalities objectives of the London Plan and will provide evidence to inform policy and guidance to improve London’s economic base and sustainability, secure access to a range of employment opportunities and improve transport access. The release of surplus office space to other uses will support objectives to deliver housing, social infrastructure and where appropriate, strengthen town centres. The evidence assembled in this study will therefore contribute to wider equalities issues across these subject areas.

 

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues 

4.1    The contract will be managed in line with standard GLA risk management procedures.

4.2    If the study were not carried out it would:

•    undermine the implementation of London Plan policies 4.1 and 4.2 which seek to promote the continued development of a strong, sustainable and diverse economy across all parts of London, ensuring the availability of sufficient and suitable workspaces in terms of types, costs and sizes including space for small and medium sized enterprises as well as larger occupiers
•    undermine the Mayor’s evidence base to support examinations into a full review of the London Plan and work with boroughs on Local Plans and Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks as well as co-ordination of office development with the wider south east
•    risk sub-optimal investment to support London’s strategically significant office locations, businesses and wider employment.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

4.3    The study will inform the implementation and review of the London Plan. It will support London boroughs in the preparation of Local Plans and partnership working by the GLA, boroughs and others on Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks. The study will inform collaboration and co-ordination with wider south east planning authorities and support regeneration and business policy initiatives including those associated with the London Enterprise Panel (LEP).

c) impact assessments and consultations

4.4    Impact assessments are carried out as part of the preparation of reviews and alterations to the London Plan. A separate impact assessment is not required for this research study. Consultation on the project specification has taken place within the GLA and with Transport for London (TfL). Further collaboration with London boroughs will take place during project implementation including sharing draft outputs for verification and presentation of findings.
 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought to procure and commission specialist technical services to undertake the London Office Policy Review. 

5.2    The estimated total cost of this work is up to £85,000. The costs will be met from the 2016-17 London Plan Programme Budget and will be complete in 2016-17.
 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract

July/August 2016

Delivery Start Date

August 2016

Interim Report Date

October 2016

Delivery End Date

December 2016

London Plan AMR update

January 2017

Final evaluation and Project closure

February 2017