Mayor of London publishes strategic plan for the capital
A city-wide planning strategy to deliver the economic, environmental, transport and social improvements that London will need over the next 20 years will be published today (Tuesday, March 10) by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
The latest version of the London Plan sets out in planning terms how London will be able to manage its unprecedented population growth until 2036, by which time the city will be home to more than ten million people.
The first London Plan was published in 2004 and has been through several reviews to ensure it reflects the needs of an ever-changing city. This latest version takes into account the fact that the capital is now home to more people than at any time in its history, with more than 8.6 million people living in the city. Policies contained in the London Plan guide decisions on planning applications by councils and the Mayor.
Key alterations to the London Plan confirmed today include:
- Confirmation of figures set out in the Mayor’s London Housing Strategy, adopted in October 2014, that London has the capacity to build 42,000 homes a year - an increase of 10,000 from the last London Plan. The Mayor is exploring how this potential could be expanded through town centre and opportunity area intensification. This would also help to address London’s estimated need of 49,000 new homes a year. This target has been developed through negotiations between the Mayor of London’s Office and local councils that have identified a third more developable land than in the 2011 London Plan.
- With average life expectancy in London increasing, housing for older people is one of the most important emerging planning issues for the city. It is anticipated that between 2011 and 2036, the number of people over the age of 64 will increases by nearly 580,000 to reach 1.49 million – an increase of 64 per cent. During the same time period, the number of over 90s is expected to grow by 89,000. For the first time, the London Plan includes indicative requirement benchmarks for the delivery of specialist housing for older people for every London borough. The London-wide target is 3,900 specialist units for older people a year until 2025. In the last few years, delivery in the capital has been around 1,200 units a year.
- Plan to help London’s 33 local authorities to protect valued pubs from being lost, where it is possible to do so. This is the first time that the important role of London’s pubs has been recognised in the London Plan and has been included following publication of a Greater London Authority report that stated that 900 pubs closed in the capital from 2003 to 2012. Local authorities are encouraged to “maintain, manage and enhance” them. The plan also supports councils in preventing the loss of pubs, if it can be demonstrated that they are “community assets”.
- Increasing the total number of Opportunity Areas in the capital from 33 to 38 Opportunity Areas are London’s main locations for new development over the next 25 years with significant capacity for new housing, commercial and other uses supported by existing or planned improvements to public transport. By establishing Opportunity Areas, and working closely with London boroughs and partner agencies, the Mayor will be best able to deliver significant social and economic regeneration. New Opportunity Areas have been designated at Bromley Town Centre, Canada Water and Harrow and Wealdstone, the Old Kent Road corridor.
- In addition, Old Oak Common has been designated an Opportunity Area to ensure it can reap the enormous benefits of plans to build a ‘super hub’ High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail station. It has today been confirmed that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson will chair the board of the new Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) which is due to come into existence on April 1, with Sir Edward Lister appointed Vice Chair. The OPDC has been established to drive forward the regeneration of the area and transform it into a thriving new district with up to 24,000 new homes and 50,000 jobs. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles confirmed that he supported plans to establish the OPDC in January and last week, legislation was laid to give the OPDC planning powers. The London Assembly also confirmed it was happy for the Mayor to move forward last December and Deloitte Real Estate has now been appointed to advise on preparation of a Growth Strategy for the area.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The London Plan is quite literally the capital’s planning Bible – driving development and setting out exactly what is and is not acceptable as we work to build a cleaner, greener, safer city that abounds opportunity, talent and economic activity. As the capital continues to flourish over the next few years, we will need to create hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs and the London Plan will be crucial in allowing us to sustain our position as the best big city in the world.”
Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Sir Edward Lister outlined the importance of the new London Plan while delivering his keynote speech on the main stage at MIPIM – the biggest property convention in the world.
Sir Edward Lister said: “London’s population has increased by an incredible two million people in the last 25 years – the equivalent of two Birminghams. As we meet here at MIPIM to increase housebuilding and discuss major regeneration schemes, this document will help us to deliver the homes and growth we need to sustain our astronomic growth.”
Both Sir Edward and Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, are attending MIPIM to directly lobby key investors and developers as part of work to double house building, including the provision for more affordable and low cost homes for hard working Londoners, and to fund major regeneration projects around the capital.
The Mayor is set to deliver a record 100,000 low cost homes for Londoners over his two terms, with more than 83,000 already completed. In this financial year, more affordable homes are expected to be built than in any other year since 1981. He continues to stimulate house building in the capital with a range of pioneering new policies, including accelerating supply through 20 housing zones and a housing bank providing loan funding – both delivering affordable home options for hard working Londoners.
The updated document, known as the Further Alterations to the London Plan have been subject to a full consultation which was followed by a public examination. The strategy also has the approval of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.
The Further Alterations to the London Plan build on the Revised Early Minor Alterations to the London Plan published in 2013 and the Early Minor Alterations to the London Plan published in November 2011.
To read the Further Alterations to the London Plan visit http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/planning/london-plan/further-alterations-to-the-london-plan