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Policy SD3 Growth locations in the Wider South East and beyond


  1. The Mayor will work with relevant WSE partners, Government and other agencies to realise the potential of the wider city region and beyond through investment in strategic infrastructure to support housing and business development in growth locations to meet need and secure mutual benefits for London and relevant partners.
  2. The Mayor supports recognition of these growth locations with links to London in relevant Local Plans.

This Plan aims to accommodate all of London’s growth within its boundaries without intruding on its Green Belt or other protected open spaces. As with any successful urban area this does not mean that in- and out-migration will cease, but that as far as possible sufficient provision will be made to accommodate the projected growth within London.

To ensure a common understanding of growth projections across the wider region the GLA will provide regionally-consistent demographic data, which takes into account long-term trends, and the Mayor will refer to this data as part of his representations on emerging Local Plans.

The GLA’s new Strategic Housing Market Assessment shows that London has a need for approximately 66,000 additional homes a year. The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment suggests that London has the capacity for around 65,000 additional homes a year and the housing targets in this Plan reflect this.

Despite this Plan seeking to accommodate the vast majority of London’s future growth, some migration will continue. Given the pressure for growth in both London and the WSE, the barriers to housing delivery that need to be overcome to avoid a further increase of the backlog, and potential changes to projections over time, it is prudent to plan for longer-term contingencies. Therefore, the Mayor is interested in working with willing partners beyond London to explore if there is potential to accommodate more growth in sustainable locations outside the capital.

This partnership work could help deliver more homes, address housing affordability and improve economic opportunities outside London. The focus is on locations that are (or are planned to be) well-connected by public transport and where development can help meet local growth aspirations as well as wider requirements. Recognising that investment in public transport can often bring significant benefits to wider areas, such partnerships could focus on optimising rail capacity between London, the wider region and beyond. Another area of focus could be proposals for new/garden settlements with good links to London. Government has already indicated support for a similar approach[9]. The Mayor could help to investigate and secure mutually beneficial infrastructure funding to unlock these opportunities.

[9] Locally-led Garden Villages, Towns and Cities (DCLG, March 2016)

Figure 2.15 shows London in its wider regional setting. 13 WSE Strategic Infrastructure Priorities have been endorsed by the WSE partners for initial delivery. Eight of these are radial priorities that connect directly to Growth Corridors within London. The remaining five are orbital priorities that can help reduce transit through London and stimulate the WSE economy beyond the capital. Some of these orbital priorities may have more capacity to accommodate additional growth than the radial ones.

Collaboration with willing partners can help alleviate some of the pressure on London while achieving local ambitions in the WSE for growth and development, recognising that this may require further infrastructure. The Mayor will work with key willing partners, including local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, the National Infrastructure Commission and Government, to explore strategic growth opportunities where planning and delivery of strategic infrastructure (in particular public transport) improvements can unlock development that supports the wider city region.

It will be important to ensure that growth in the WSE contributes to local vibrancy and economic activity at all times of the day and week, and that the scale of planned growth is proportional to public transport capacity in the area. Where appropriate, the Mayor will support for example Memoranda of Understanding to formalise partnership agreements/commitments between relevant authorities. Work with some individual authorities and groups of authorities in the WSE has been initiated and is being pursued further. The Mayor continues to encourage authorities outside London to become willing partners and work with the capital on opportunities for growth, where mutual interest can be achieved.