You are here

Chapter 1 Planning London’s Future (Good Growth Policies)

London’s growth and development is shaped by the decisions that are made every day by planners, planning applicants and decision-makers across the city. Every individual decision to provide affordable housing helps to make the housing market fairer. Every decision to make a new development car-free helps Londoners to depend less on cars and to live healthier lives. Every decision to build or expand a school improves the prospects of the next generation of Londoners.

Each week, hundreds of these individual decisions contribute to progress across London, shaping places and improving lives. Over the course of years, they can transform the whole city, for the benefit of Londoners now and in the future.

The London Plan provides the strategic framework within which all these decisions are made. It guides boroughs’ Development Plans to ensure that they are working towards a shared vision for London, and it establishes policies that allow everyone involved in new developments to know what is expected from them. By setting a new level of ambition for the people who make all of London’s planning decisions, this London Plan will create a better city for all Londoners.

Planning for Good Growth

The London Plan covers the full range of planning issues, from the number of homes London needs to the design of its streets, and it is important that each policy is clear and implementable. But the Plan is not only a set of individual policies – taken together, these policies provide a vision for how London should sustainably grow and develop in the future.

London’s global economy is the envy of other world cities and with good reason – it is the engine of the national economy and will sustain the level of population growth expected in London over the coming years. But to plan a city that works for all Londoners, as the population grows towards 10.8 million by 2041, it will be important to think about what the purpose of economic growth actually is.

A failure to consider this fundamental question has led to some of the most serious challenges London faces today. The growth in population and jobs has not been matched by the growth in the number and type of homes London needs, driving up rents and house prices to levels that have priced many Londoners out of the market. A focus on large multinational businesses in the centre of London has not been matched by economic development in other parts of the city. A failure to consider the wider implications of London’s growth has increased car dependency, leading to low levels of physical activity, significant congestion, poor air quality and other environmental problems.

This London Plan takes a new approach. It plans for growth on the basis of its potential to improve the health and quality of life of all Londoners, to reduce inequalities and to make the city a better place to live, work and visit. It uses the opportunities of a rapidly-growing city to plan for a better future, using each planning decision to improve London, transforming the city over time. It plans not just for growth, but for Good Growth – sustainable growth that works for everyone, using London’s strengths to overcome its weaknesses.

A city that is planned well can improve as it grows. Planning for the right number of homes and higher levels of affordable housing will take advantage of London’s growth to re-balance the housing market. Planning for mixed-use developments in all parts of London will spread the success of London’s economy and create stronger communities where everyone feels welcome. Planning new developments to reduce car dependency will improve Londoners’ health and make the city a better place to live. Planning for a ‘smarter’ city, with world-class digital connectivity will enable secure data to be better used to improve the lives of Londoners.

Planners, planning applicants and decision-makers should consider how their actions are helping to deliver these objectives as they work to develop and improve London. By doing so, they will keep London’s development on track, ensuring that the growth of the city benefits all Londoners.