Policy 3.1 Ensuring equal life chances for all
A The Mayor is committed to ensuring equal life chances for all Londoners. Meeting the needs and expanding opportunities for all Londoners – and where appropriate, addressing the barriers to meeting the needs of particular groups and communities – is key to tackling the huge issue of inequality across London.
B Development proposals should protect and enhance facilities and services that meet the needs of particular groups and communities. Proposals involving loss of these facilities without adequate justification or provision for replacement should be resisted.
C In preparing DPDs, boroughs should engage with local groups and communities to identify their needs and make appropriate provision for them, working with neighbouring authorities (including on a sub-regional basis) as necessary.
D Boroughs may wish to identify significant clusters of specific groups (such as those who experience particular disadvantage and social exclusion) and consider whether appropriate provision should be made to meet their particular needs such as cultural facilities, meeting places or places of worship.
3.2 London’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths and one of the things its residents most appreciate about living here: more languages and cultures are represented in the capital than in any other major city. The Mayor is committed to securing a more inclusive London which recognises shared values as well as the distinct needs of the capital’s different groups and communities, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. He recognises that the city’s strength is that it is far more than the sum of the communities and neighbourhoods that make it up. The GLA has a statutory duty to promote equality for all people in its work. The Mayor’s Equality Framework promotes an approach that brings Londoners together, rather than dividing them. To underpin this, the Mayor has adopted a new definition of equality that focuses on promoting equality for those groups who enjoy legal protection against discrimination, but also for other groups who may face discrimination and disadvantage.
3.3 The Mayor is committed to ensuring a London that provides equal life chances for all its people, enabling them to realise their potential and aspirations, make a full contribution to the economic success of their city – and share in its benefits – while tackling problems of deprivation, exclusion and discrimination that impede them. This includes understanding and addressing the physical and social barriers that prevent disabled people participating (‘the social model of disability’). Addressing the spatial needs of London’s people and communities is essential to enable them to enjoy and contribute to a safe, secure, accessible, inclusive and sustainable environment, and to ensure these are taken into account in new development. Development proposals should have regard to the supplementary planning guidance on Accessible London: Achieving an Inclusive Environment and other guidance issued by the Mayor.
3.4 Helping people, groups or communities to find consensual strategies or common grounds on which they can work together to create a united vision and a sense of belonging are important to realising these aims, and to sustaining cohesive communities. These should be built on the bonds that unite rather than the differences that separate.
3.5 It is important that the needs of all in society, such as faith groups, are addressed – if necessary through co-ordinated action with neighbouring boroughs. How these needs should be met is a matter for local determination; delivery will be the responsibility of boroughs, working with communities, through local strategic partnerships and other relevant locally based partnerships and organisations to identify those with greatest needs in a particular area, and the mechanisms by which they can be met, using statements of community involvement to support this (Policy 3.16, paragraph 3.88). A social infrastructure service delivery plan or published programme, possibly included in a community strategy and reflected in LDFs, may be a useful tool when assessing planning applications for development that affects existing, new or replacement social and community facilities.
3.6 The Mayor encourages all Londoners, especially those who have not previously done so, to engage in strategic and local decision making. He also seeks to make London more ‘age friendly,’ for example through liaising with the London Older People’s Strategies Group (LOPSG) and by securing play and informal recreation facilities for children and young people (Policy 3.6).
3.7 In assessing local communities’ needs in the way referred to in Policy 3.1D, particular regard should be had to the policies elsewhere in the Plan about establishing particular needs, including policies 3.2 (health and health inequalities), 3.8 (housing choice), 3.9 (mixed and balanced communities), 3.16 (social infrastructure), 3.17 (health and social care), 3.18 (education), 3.19 (sports facilities), 4.12 (improving opportunities for all), 7.1 (Lifetime neighbourhoods), 7.2 (inclusive environments) and 7.18 (local open space).