Green Spaces face growing population pressures, Assembly is told

29 January 2014

London’s growing population will put more pressure on precious green and open spaces the Assembly’s Planning Committee was told yesterday. During a meeting about the loss and protection of London’s open space, the Committee heard that with a rapidly rising population over the next two decades, London’s green and open spaces will come under increasing pressure from development.

Tower Hamlets is already experiencing problems trying to reconcile the competing demands for open space and requirement to accommodate the needs of a growing population. Michael Bell, Strategic Planning Manager at London Borough of Tower Hamlets, told the committee of one recent example where the borough had to choose between open space and a new secondary school. [1]

Nicky Gavron, Chair of the Planning Committee, said:

“London’s open spaces are a fantastic asset, but they are coming under increasing pressure from development. There are also many parts of the capital which don’t have enough. As the Mayor considers his alterations to the London Plan we need to make sure they don’t weaken protections for open spaces, as some fear.”

The Mayor is currently consulting on amendments to his London Plan that will guide the development of London over the next twenty years.

Notes for Editors:

  1. See Tower Hamlets’ Strategic Development Committee Report for site details (item 6.1):

  1. Open space in London includes specially-designated spaces like Green Belt and Open Land, as well as playing fields, pocket parks, and other bits of open space.
  2. The Planning Committee is undertaking a series of meetings in preparation for responding to the Mayor’s consultation on proposals to revise the London Plan. The next meeting on 25 February will deal with other policy areas and the Committee will submit its final comments to the Mayor on 10 April.
  3. Nicky Gavron, Chair of the Planning Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


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