Minor Alterations to the London Plan 2015

The 2015-16 Minor Alterations (MALPs) have been prepared to bring the London Plan in line with the national housing standards and car parking policy. Both sets of alterations have been considered by an independent inspector at an examination in public and were published on 14th March 2016.


Background to housing standards

On 25 March 2015 through a written ministerial statement, the government introduced new technical housing standards in England and detailed how these would be applied thorough planning policy. The system comprises of new additional ‘optional’ building regulations on water and access, and national space standards for new homes (referred to as “the new national technical standards”). These new standards came into effect on 1 October 2015. Transitional arrangements were put in place as set out in the Housing Standards Policy Transitional Statement.

Background to parking standards

The Mayor made a commitment in his 2015 London Plan that he would bring forward a review of residential parking standards in parts of outer London with low public transport accessibility. This followed concerns by the government that the use of maximum parking standards leads to a ‘vicious cycle of clogged up streets’.

Public consultation

The Mayor carried out a public consultation on the draft housing and parking standards MALP from 11 May – 22 June 2015.

The following documents were subject to public consultation:

Consultation events included the following presentations:

Consultation responses

Evidence base

To support the Mayor’s London Plan response to the government’s Housing Standards Review, we commissioned the following studies:

The government had previously raised concerns about the impact of maximum parking standards on road congestion. To address this, the Mayor asked the independent Outer London Commission to provide advice on residential parking policy in parts of outer London.

Technical seminar

A technical seminar was held on 26 August 2015 in City Hall.

As part of the seminar, David Hogger the independent inspector appointed to conduct the examination in public (EiP) into the MALPs gave a brief introduction outlining how he would conduct the examination in public.

All of the documents related to the seminar are available to download below.

Pre-EiP suggested changes and notes from the Mayor

In response to suggestions from consultees – and to clarify policy intent, correct errors, and to provide factual updates – a number of ‘suggested changes’ to the Housing Standards and Parking Standards MALP were published by the Mayor on 21 August 2015. Two ‘further suggested changes’ to the Housing Standards MALP were published on 29 September 2015.

In response to a request from the Inspector, on 19 October 2015 the Mayor provided a note on air quality mitigation measures.

MALP parking standards – note on air quality mitigation

Examination in public

An EiP into both sets of minor alterations took place in City Hall from 21 - 22 October 2015. The EiP process allows the inspector to examine matters arising from the public consultation. Respondents to the public consultation may be invited to attend, together with relevant experts on the matters for discussion. The EiP was open for the public to attend as observers.

The EiP inspector issued agendas for both hearing sessions.

Both hearing sessions were broadcast live. They are available to view by following the links below.

The EiP Library contains all the documentation related to the EiP, including participants' written statements. 

Post-EiP ‘homework’

During and immediately following the EiP the Inspector requested various clarifications and further small pieces of work from the Mayor. These were sent to him on 28 October 2015, and comprised notes on post-EiP actions and consequential further suggested changes to the MALPs. The inspector gave participants two weeks to consider this additional material, after which he would finalise his report for the Mayor.

Inspector’s report

Mr Hogger submitted his report to the Mayor on 15 December 2015. 

On 16 December 2015 the Mayor considered the Inspector’s report, agreed to accept all of its recommendations and approved ‘intend to publish’ versions of the Housing Standards and Parking Standards MALPs for submission to the Secretary of State and to the London Assembly. 

The Mayor published the Inspector’s report on 4 January 2016.

Submission to the Secretary of State

On 16 December 2015, the Mayor sent the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government a copy of the Housing Standards and Parking Standards MALP as intended to be published, and his response to the MALP Examination in Public inspector’s recommendations.

The Secretary of State has six weeks within which to consider the ‘intend to publish’ MALPs in terms of their compliance with national planning policy and their impact on neighbouring regions, and may direct the Mayor to make further changes. If no direction is received, the Mayor may publish (ie adopt) the MALPs providing the London Assembly has not rejected them.

On 2 February 2016, Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning wrote to the Mayor to confirm that he was content for the Housing Standards and Parking Standards Minor Alterations to be published.

‘Laying before’ the London Assembly

The Mayor must also submit the ‘intend to publish’ MALPs to the London Assembly. The Assembly then has 21 days within which to consider the minor alterations. The Assembly may reject the MALPs if a two thirds majority of members present at a meeting of the whole Assembly votes to do so. Under the GLA Act the Assembly cannot amend the MALPs, it can only reject them.#

On 25 January 2016, Sir Edward Lister, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning, wrote to Jennette Arnold AM, Chair of the London Assembly to formally ‘lay before’ the London Assembly the Mayor’s ‘intend to publish’ Housing Standards and Parking Standards MALPs.

On 10 February 2016, the London Assembly considered the MALPs in Plenary session, at which they were not rejected.

Link to Plenary 10 February 2016

Publication of the MALPs

On 14 March 2016, the Mayor published the Housing Standards and the Parking Standards MALPs. From this date these alterations are operative as formal alterations to the London Plan (the Mayor’s spatial development strategy) and form part of the development plan for London.

The London Plan has been updated to incorporate the MALPs. This involves alterations to chapters 3 (London’s people), 5 (London’s response to climate change), 6 (London’s transport), 7 (London’s living spaces and places) and Annex 6 (the Glossary), as well as some minor consequential changes to the Overview and Introduction chapter to bring the Plan-making process up to date.

Share this page