London Plan Chapter 2 2x1

Policy 2.5 Sub-regions



A  The Mayor will, and boroughs and other stakeholders should, develop the most effective cross boundary working arrangements and groupings to address specific issues.

B  The Mayor will monitor implementation of the London Plan, and other strategies as appropriate, on the basis of the sub-regional structure shown in Map 2.1.

Supporting text


2.23  The challenges and opportunities facing London have little regard to administrative boundaries. The Mayor strongly supports partnership-based, cross border working to address them, with working arrangements tailored to particular tasks in accordance with the new duty to co-operate. This will be particularly important where issues (such as the development of opportunity areas) affect more than one sub-region. Strategic agencies will have a role in these where they can add value in delivering strategic and local objectives, for example by providing support for implementing cross borough strategies and initiatives.  Where appropriate, partnership arrangements should be extended to include neighbouring authorities, especially to coordinate infrastructure provision and to address common issues affecting development corridors beyond London.

2.24  For statutory monitoring and sub-regional coordination purposes the London Plan is based on the sub-regional structure shown in Map 2.1. These boundaries have been prepared in consultation with borough councils and others, and offer a closer fit with patterns of working on the ground than previous ones. The GLA and its functional bodies will also move towards using them as the basis for engagement and resource allocation.

Map 2.1 Sub-Regions

London Plan Map 2.1 - London's Subregions

Outer London

2.25  Outer London (see Map 2.2) encompasses a large and hugely diverse area of the capital, ranging from the leafy residential suburbs of ‘Metroland’ to industrial suburbs like Dagenham. Its town centres and neighbourhoods play a vital role in the life and prosperity of the capital.  It is where 60 per cent of Londoners live and almost 40 per cent of London’s jobs are located.  In general it is greener, and its people healthier and wealthier and enjoying a higher quality of life, than in more central areas – but it also has significant pockets of deprivation and exclusion.  This part of London is likely to experience considerable population growth over the period to 2036.

Map 2.2 Outer London, Inner London and CAZ

Map 2.2 - Outer London, Inner London and CAZ

2.26  However, its economic performance has given rise to concerns that it may have been relegated to a ‘dormitory’ role and that its economy and infrastructure provision have been neglected. In light of these concerns, the Mayor established the Outer London Commission specifically to ‘identify the extent to which outer London has unrealised potential to contribute to London’s economic success, the factors which are impeding it from doing so and the economic, social and environmental benefits that could be achieved’.

2.27  The Commission concluded that over the long term (two economic cycles), employment grew in outer London at only a quarter to a third the rate of that in either inner London or the adjacent counties. However, employment levels (rather than growth rates) in outer London are in fact more buoyant than in inner areas – partly because two fifths of outer Londoners commute out of the area to work, and partly because outer London itself has a substantial employment base, albeit one which is not growing vigorously throughout the area. Historically, employment in some parts has been contracting, in others stable or slightly increasing, and in some growth has been similar to, or better than, inner London or parts of the neighbouring counties (the Outer Metropolitan Area).  Given this, a ‘one size fits all’ solution is not appropriate; nor can actions to realise the area’s potential be prescribed by artificial boundaries. Parts of inner London have outer characteristics and vice versa.

2.28  The policies set out here will both contribute towards a more balanced and genuinely polycentric pattern of development in London and help address pressures on the transport network into central London caused by the imbalance between where people live and where they work.