Crowd on Oxford Street

Central Activities Zone

The Central Activities Zone (CAZ) is London’s vibrant centre and one of the world’s most attractive and competitive business locations. It contains the seat of national Government and is renowned worldwide for its shopping, culture and heritage. Planning for the CAZ requires striking a careful balance between its strategic functions – including business, culture, entertainment, shopping and tourism – and more local activities including housing. This document provides supplementary guidance on London Policies to ensure that the right balance is struck in different parts of the CAZ.

What is the Central Activities Zone?

The Central Activities Zone (CAZ) is London’s vibrant centre and one of the world’s most attractive and competitive business locations. It contains the seat of national government and is renowned worldwide for its shopping, culture and heritage. 

  • 1.7m
    Jobs
    The CAZ contains 1.7 million jobs - about 1/3 of London total
  • 10%
    UK's output
    The Zone generates almost 10% of the UK’s economic output
  • 230k
    Residents
    230,000 people live in the CAZ
  • 1st
    Century AD
    The origins of the CAZ date back to the Romans in the 1st Century AD

What is Supplementary Planning Guidance?

Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) explains how policies in the London Plan should be carried through into action. SPG is a formal supplement to the London Plan and is an important consideration in decisions on planning applications. SPG can also assist London boroughs when preparing their Local Plans. The CAZ SPG will also be of interest to communities, businesses, landowners, developers, planning professionals and others concerned with development in London’s central area.

What guidance does the SPG contain?

The SPG provides supplementary guidance on London Plan policy for London’s globally iconic core - the ‘Central Activities Zone’ including:

  • Protecting London’s vibrant commercial heartland and ensuring it can remain a key driver of the UK economy for decades to come.
  • Striking an appropriate balance between office and new residential development including the removal of office to residential permitted development rights when the current exemption expires in May 2019.
  • Managing the attractions of the area as a global destination for culture, entertainment, shopping and tourism.
  • Outlining the potential for additional housing capacity in central London without compromising the business, culture and other key functions of the zone. This could be done by building new homes in specific parts of central London, including the Opportunity Areas and by renewing existing housing.
  • Promoting movement by walking and cycling and encouraging investment in existing and new transport infrastructure to support development; and
  • Recognising the value of central London’s unique heritage and supporting a quality of environment that befits the core of a world city.

Which London Plan policies does the document provide guidance on?

The CAZ SPG provides guidance on London Plan policies 2.10, 2.11 and 2.12.  It also provides guidance on a range of other London Plan policies which affect the central area (and, where relevant, the northern Isle of Dogs), including those related to:

  • economy
  • culture
  • leisure
  • tourism
  • retail
  • environment
  • heritage
  • housing
  • transport
  • Opportunity Areas

The document

The Central Activities Zone SPG can be downloaded below.

Central Activities Zone SPG