What are Opportunity Areas?

London has limited opportunities for accommodating large scale development. Several suitable areas are identified in the Mayor’s London Plan March 2015: 38 Opportunity Areas and seven Intensification Areas. 

If you want to see any Opportunity Areas, please visit The Opportunity Areas page 

What are Opportunity Areas?

Opportunity Areas are London’s major source of brownfield land which have significant capacity for development – such as housing or commercial use - and existing or potentially improved public transport access.

Typically they can accommodate at least 5,000 jobs, 2,500 new homes or a combination of the two, along with other supporting facilities and infrastructure. 

What are Intensification Areas?

Intensification Areas are built up areas with good existing or potential public transport links and can support redevelopment at higher than existing densities.

They have significant capacity for new jobs and homes but at a level below that which can be achieved in the Opportunity Areas.

The Mayor’s role in Opportunity Areas

The Mayor works closely with the boroughs and other stakeholders in developing Opportunity Areas. He provides encouragement, support and leadership in preparing and implementing Planning Frameworks, which serve to help realise the potential of these areas.

These partnerships work in a number of ways, including:

  • joint GLA and borough steering groups
  • secondments both to and from the GLA
  • active involvement of the private sector
  • the use of ‘in-house’ expertise
  • the appointment of consultants (where appropriate)

How should the guidance be implemented through planning decisions

Development proposals within Opportunity Areas and Intensification Areas should:

  • support the strategic policy directions for the relevant Opportunity Area(s) and Intensification Area(s)
  • seek to optimise residential and non-residential densities and provide infrastructure to sustain growth
  • contribute towards meeting the minimum guidelines for housing and/or employment capacity
  • realise scope for intensification associated with improvements in public transport accessibility and promote inclusive access including cycling and walking
  • support wider regeneration and integrate development proposals to the surrounding areas especially Areas for Regeneration.

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