Policy 7.30 London’s canals and other rivers and waterspaces


Planning decisions

A  Development proposals along London’s canal network and other rivers and waterspace (such as reservoirs, lakes and ponds) should respect their local character and contribute to their accessibility and active water related uses, in particular transport uses, where these are possible.

B  Development within or alongside London’s docks should protect and promote the vitality, attractiveness and historical interest of London’s remaining dock areas by:

a  preventing their partial or complete in-filling (see paragraph 7.103)

b  promoting their use for mooring visiting cruise ships and other vessels

c  encouraging the sensitive use of natural landscaping and materials in and around dock areas

d  promoting their use for water recreation

e  promoting their use for transport

LDF preparation

C  Within LDFs boroughs should identify any local opportunities for increasing the local distinctiveness and use of their parts of the Blue Ribbon Network

Supporting text

7.99  London’s wide diversity of water spaces that constitute the Blue Ribbon Network require a careful approach to their planning and management. Rivers, lakes and ponds are heavily affected by natural forces such as flooding and erosion, even manmade canals and reservoirs are affected to some degree. It is important to see these as dynamic systems and ensure that development in or close to the network respects its particular characteristics (see also policies 5.12, 5.13, 5.14 and 5.15).  There are some aspects of the management of the Blue Ribbon Network – cleaning of rivers, for example, where lines of responsibility are blurred. The Mayor will work with the relevant organisations to seek to clarify these responsibilities.

7.100  The Mayor places great emphasis on ensuring that new development utilises the water space; primarily for transport purposes where that is possible, but also for active water based leisure, for informal waterside recreation or access, for regeneration purposes through water-related development, and for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity. The facilities supporting recreational use mentioned in Policy 7.27 have significant value on canals supporting the visitor economy.

7.101  The Blue Ribbon Network is also a valuable educational resource and several organisations have been established which specifically promote water-based educational programmes. The Blue Ribbon Network is often an appropriate setting for public art and performance. People generally like to gather by the waterside and opportunities for this should be encouraged.

7.102  The Mayor is particularly mindful that the very nature of the Blue Ribbon Network is that it flows into London from adjoining regions and that the Thames flows out of London in the two adjoining regions. Communication across regional and local authority boundaries will be important to sustainable management of the system.