DD2255 Principal Planner – London Plan & Growth Strategies

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2255
Date signed: 
02 July 2018
Decision by: 
Lucy Owen, Assistant Director, Team London

Executive summary

As part of the planning restructure, the management of OAPFs and Urban Design has been aligned with the London Plan work to form one team. This will ensure that a plan led approach is at the heart of delivering major transport infrastructure, unlocking new areas for development, enabling the delivery of additional housing and jobs and ensuring that they are not planned for in isolation.

The growth strategies and urban design team currently has one principal post, leading on the scrutiny of Local Plans. The new London Plan is more delivery-focused, and the Opportunity Areas (OAs) have the potential to deliver a significant amount of the new homes and jobs that London needs. This is leading to a high level of demand for the GLA to support Opportunity Areas from London Boroughs and the development community than the GLA can resource. To reflect the enhanced role that plan-led strategies will play in implementing the new London Plan, and the additional management responsibility of the urban design team, a new G10 principal post is proposed to co-ordinate the resourcing, planning and project management of multiple Opportunity Area Planning Framework workstreams.

The role has a delivery programme responsibility for the OA programme: delivering three specific OAPFs in the next 12 months (Thamesmead Abbeywood, Bexley Riverside & Royal Docks).

Decision

That the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise & Environment approves the expenditure of £138,000 of Planning Decision programme budget to fund a grade 10 Principal Planner post for 2 years.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

As part of the planning restructure, the management of OAPFs and Urban Design has been aligned with the London Plan into one team. This will ensure that a plan led approach is at the heart of delivering major transport infrastructure, unlocking new areas for development, enabling the delivery of additional housing and jobs and that they are not planned for in isolation.

The new London Plan represents a new, delivery-focussed, approach to planning for growth. It has identified 47 existing and new Opportunity Areas (OAs), that have the potential to deliver a substantial amount of the new homes and jobs that London needs. In these areas, Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks can represent the first stage in a plan-led approach to providing significant quantities of additional jobs and homes, improvements to transport and other infrastructure, and provide better access to local services.

The growth strategies and urban design team currently has one principal post, leading on the scrutiny of Local Plans. To reflect the enhanced role that plan-led strategies will play in implementing the London Plan, and the additional management responsibility of the urban design team, a new grade10 principal post is proposed.

Objectives and expected outcomes

As part of the planning restructure, the management of OAPFs and Urban Design has been aligned with the London Plan work to form one team. This will ensure that a plan led approach is at the heart of delivering major transport infrastructure, unlocking new areas for development, enabling the delivery of additional housing and jobs and ensuring that they are not planned for in isolation.

To ensure that there is sufficient resource to support the work in delivering the Authority’s statutory duty to prepare the London Plan, and ensuring that planning frameworks are produced for designated opportunity areas; and, in such areas, in delivering the Authority’s statutory duties with regard to strategic planning applications that are directly linked to the preparation of planning frameworks, and development plan documents that are linked geographically to opportunity areas. In addition to this, the team will also be working on providing urban design advice to the Development Management team and London Plan team, ensuring that applications are in line with the Mayor’s new Draft London Plan and the principles of good growth. Without additional resources to support the delivery of the OAs, there is a risk that the growth set out in the new London Plan will not be delivered, along with major transport improvements linked to growth that are set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

The growth strategies and urban design team currently has one principal post, leading on the scrutiny of Local Plans. To reflect the enhanced role that plan-led strategies will play in implementing the London Plan, the reduced level of planning resource in many boroughs, and the additional management responsibility of the urban design team, a new G10 principal post is proposed with the following key outcomes/responsibilities:

• To support/deputise for Growth Strategies Manager in overall delivery of strategic objectives for OAs as set out in the London Plan and support in establishing an overall OAPF delivery programme which reflects current London Plan priorities.

• To take a programme-lead for delivering OAPFs including a programme of directly project managing and preparing three specific OAPFs in the next 12 months (Thamesmead Abbeywood, Bexley Riverside, Royal Docks) in addition to programming support for boroughs producing plans for OAs for the subsequent period (to be developer funded in line with new resourcing model to be rolled out).

• As there is currently a higher level of demand for support for OAs from London Boroughs and the development community than the GLA can resource, this principal planner role will be key to establishing new working models such as identifying and capturing resources from developer groups and other key stakeholders to fund delivery of OAs identified in the London Plan.

• This role is also key to improving the delivery of the OAPF as a service by the Planning Unit, and to improving delivery timescales. This will be achieved by coordinating workstreams with other GLA/TfL teams to establish ways of maximising joint working to produce in-house evidence for OAPFs and improved delivery of shared corporate objectives.

• To provide oversight and support to the individual project teams on the day to day liaison with boroughs and developers and the delivery of outputs relating to required evidence base and the final document.

• To co-ordinate the project management and resourcing of multiple Opportunity Area Planning Framework workstreams, through resourcing agreements.

• To oversee and support the GLA Design Team function, which has now been formalised as a result of the Planning Unit restructure, and will be key to maximising use of resourcing through finding new ways to work with other GLA and TfL teams on joint design-led programmes and projects.

Equality comments

Under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, in making these decisions “due regard” must be had to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics include age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation (and marriage or civil partnership status for the purpose of the duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination only). This duty has been taken into account, but no additional equality impact assessments are required beyond those considered in the relevant planning documentation for the Mayor to make these decisions.

Other considerations

Link to Mayoral Strategies

The work is fundamental to the implementation of the Mayor’s London Plan which identifies that the delivery of much needed housing as a key Mayoral priority along with other associating social infrastructure and transport infrastructure to enable the development. Opportunity Areas are London’s most significant locations with development capacity to accommodate new housing, commercial development and infrastructure (of all types), linked to existing or potential improvements in public transport connectivity and capacity. See Policy SD1 (Opportunity Areas): https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-pla....

Financial comments

Approval is sought for the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment to approve expenditure of up to £138,000 on a 2 years fixed term grade 10 Principal Planner post. The post will be funded by the Planning Decisions Programme Budget (£51,000per annum) and the additional funding (approximately £18,000 per annum) will come from the Planning Smoothing Reserve. The post is expected to start in June 2018 and end around May 2020 (depending on start date).

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

n/a

Announcement [if applicable]

n/a

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

June 2018

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:

June 2020

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

n/a

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

n/a