REMA - Decision by the Secretary of State

Wednesday 9 October 2013, 10:00am

Motion detail

This Assembly condemns the Mayor’s decision to ignore the recommendations of the independent Inspector of the Revised Early Minor Alterations (REMA) to the London Plan. We also condemn the Secretary of State’s decision to approve the plan despite the Mayor failing to accept the Inspector’s recommendations.

The Inspector, sitting in a quasi-judicial capacity, explicitly outlines in paragraph 5 of his report that “changes… are needed to make the revised LP sound and legally compliant”. These changes, required to make the REMA compliant with national policy as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework, have been entirely ignored by the Mayor and, consequently, the Secretary of State. 

Unlike local authorities, the Mayor correctly outlines that he is not legally obliged to adopt recommendations by planning inspectors in relation to the London Plan. However, the London Plan must be compliant with national planning law and the Inspector is clear that this is not currently the case. As the Inspector highlights of just one part of the REMA:

“The broad thrust of government policy in the NPPF for affordable housing has two key strands: to maximise necessary provision and deliver a wide choice of homes, including meeting affordable needs. The overarching objective of the policy would not be met if provision were to be maximised but the Boroughs could not meet the NPPF requirement to meet objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in their own area.”

It is this Assembly’s view that the Secretary of State has made an error in approving the revised Plan, which is clearly not compliant with national planning law, and we wish him to reconsider his decision.