Policy 7.1 Lifetime neighbourhoods



A  In their neighbourhoods, people should have a good quality environment in an active and supportive local community based on the lifetime neighbourhoods principles set out in paragraph 7.4A.

Planning decisions

B  Development should be designed so that the layout, tenure and mix of uses interface with surrounding land and improve people’s access to social and community infrastructure (including green spaces), the Blue Ribbon Network, local shops, employment and training opportunities, commercial services and public transport.

C  Development should enable people to live healthy, active lives; should maximize the opportunity for community diversity, inclusion and cohesion; and should contribute to people’s sense of place, safety and security. Places of work and leisure, streets, neighbourhoods, parks and open spaces should be designed to meet the needs of the community at all stages of people’s lives, and should meet the principles of lifetime neighbourhoods.

D  The design of new buildings and the spaces they create should help reinforce or enhance the character, legibility, permeability, and accessibility of the neighbourhood.

E  The policies in this chapter provide the context within which the targets set out in other chapters of this Plan should be met.

LDF preparation

F  Boroughs should plan across services to ensure the nature and mix of existing and planned infrastructure and services are complementary and meet the needs of existing and new communities. Cross-borough and/or sub-regional working is encouraged, where appropriate.

G  Boroughs should work with and support their local communities to set goals or priorities for their neighbourhoods and strategies for achieving them through neighbourhood planning mechanisms.

Supporting text

7.4A  Three principles have been developed to help frame the concept of lifetime neighbourhoods as places where people at all stages of their lives:

1 can get around – neighbourhoods which are well-connected and walkable;

2 as far as possible, can have a choice of homes, accessible infrastructure and services, places to spend time and to work, with a mix of accessible and adaptable uses; and

3 belong to a cohesive community which fosters diversity, social interaction and social capital.

7.4  People should be able to live and work in a safe, healthy, supportive and inclusive neighbourhood with which they are proud to identify.[1] They should have easy access by public transport and active travel modes (walking and cycling) to services and facilities that are relevant to them and should be able to safely and easily move around their neighbourhood through high quality spaces, while having good access to the wider city.[2] They should have safe and easy access to a network of open and green spaces that meets their recreational needs to enhance their health and wellbeing, as well as welcoming and easily accessible communal spaces that provide opportunities for social interaction. The natural and built environment of the neighbourhood should reinforce a strong, unique local history and character that is easy to relate to.[3]

7.5  Against the background of a rising number of both younger and older Londoners over the Plan period, increasing the opportunities everyone has to access and participate in their communities will help all Londoners to enjoy and feel secure in their neighbourhoods.[4] Ensuring that families with small children, older people and disabled people can easily move around, enables everyone to participate in, and contribute to, the life of the community. Lifetime neighbourhoods,[5] where access to public transport, basic amenities, local shops, cultural facilities, places to meet and relax, and green and open spaces are within easy reach of homes, and where facilities such as public toilets and seating are consciously planned into proposals at the outset, help to build cohesive, successful and sustainable communities, and achieve social sustainability.[6]

7.5A  The Mayor will assist boroughs and other agencies in developing lifetime neighbourhoods by providing advice and guidance in the ‘Accessible London: achieving an inclusive environment’ SPG, and through the Mayor’s Housing SPG. This guidance will also include information and other resources to support neighbourhood planning.

7.6  Boroughs should be clear about their expectations for their communities and their neighbourhoods. They should work with neighbouring authorities, relevant infrastructure and service providers and local communities to prepare and communicate strategies for meeting those expectations, ensuring all sections of the community, including local businesses are engaged in shaping and delivering their local strategies and therefore encouraging a sense of belonging to their neighbourhood.  Neighbourhood plans are one mechanism for both the boroughs and community-led groups to agree on local priorities, including those for investments through the Community Infrastructure Levy.[7]

7.6A  The NPPF has also given communities the possibility of identifying smaller-scale green spaces of particular local significance through local and neighbourhood plans for special protection. These are to be designated Local Green Spaces and the policy applying to them will be consistent with Green Belt policy (Policy 7.16). Designation has to be consistent with the local planning of sustainable development, and complement investment in sufficient homes, jobs and other essential services (the detailed criteria for their designation are set out in the NPPF (paras. 76 and 77)). Following the NPPF, the Mayor will consider how best to promote community-led initiatives for renewable and low carbon energy being taken forward through neighbourhood planning.

7.6B  Identification and realisation of neighbourhood development goals is not limited to planning policy. Community-led projects in general or Community Rights that give powers to communities to take more control over the area where they live such as through Community assets, are a complementary route to the usual planning process and can help community-led groups build new community space, new shops or housing; save valued local amenities; or take over local services.[8] The Mayor has made available resources through the ‘Build your own home - the London way’ programme to enable the Community Right to Build to be implemented as quickly as possible in London. Positive change in the neighbourhood can also come through management practices and investment and maintenance decisions. 

[1]     Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), Home Builders Federation and Design for Homes, Building for Life, CABE November 2008

[2] This includes Active Design.  http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/our-work/CABE/Our-big-projects/Health-/H...

[3] Mayor of London. Shaping Neighbourhoods: Character and Context SPG. GLA, June 2014

[4] Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), Inclusion by Design Equality, Diversity and the Built Environment, November 2008

[5] Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Lifetime Homes Lifetime Neighbourhoods: A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society, February 2008

[6] DCLG NPPF 2012, para 7 op cit.

[7] DCLG Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) Regulations 2012

[8] Locality at http://locality.org.uk/

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