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Policy SD5 Offices, other strategic functions and residential development in the CAZ

SD5

  1. New residential development should not compromise the strategic functions of the CAZ.
  2. Residential development is not appropriate in the commercial core of the City of London and Northern Isle of Dogs (detailed boundaries to be defined by boroughs in Development Plans).
  3. Offices and other CAZ strategic functions are to be given greater weight relative to new residential development in other core commercial areas of the CAZ including:
    1. other parts of the City of London and Northern Isle of Dogs (outside core areas in part B above)
    2. the West End, Knightsbridge and other core commercial areas in the City of Westminster including Soho, Covent Garden, its Opportunity Areas and commercial parts of Marylebone and Fitzrovia
    3. commercial core areas identified in the City Fringe/Tech City Opportunity Area Planning Framework
    4. all other Opportunity Areas (except Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea and Elephant & Castle)
    5. identified clusters of specialist CAZ strategic functions, CAZ retail clusters and locally identified Special Policy Areas.
  4. Offices and other CAZ strategic functions are given equal weight relative to new residential in other parts of the CAZ not covered in parts B or C above including:
    1. Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area
    2. Elephant & Castle Opportunity Area
    3. predominantly residential neighbourhoods or wholly residential streets (with exceptions in appropriate circumstances – for example clusters of specialist CAZ strategic functions, Special Policy Areas and CAZ retail clusters).
  5. In Development Plans, boroughs should develop local policies and define detailed boundaries for the areas in parts B, C and D above.
  6. The Mayor will work with boroughs and support them to introduce Article 4 Directions to remove office to residential permitted development rights across the whole of the CAZ and the Northern Isle of Dogs (and those parts of Tech City and Kensington & Chelsea lying outside the CAZ).
  7. Mixed-use office/residential proposals are supported in principle in areas defined in parts C and D above where there is an equivalent or net increase in office floorspace.
  8. Residential development proposals should not lead to a loss of office floorspace in any part the CAZ unless there is no reasonable and demonstrable prospect of the site being used for offices and/or alternative provision is made for the provision of net additional office space near the development (including through swaps and credits – see part I below).
  9. Local approaches to mixed-use development of offices with housing should take into account the potential to use land use swaps, credits and off-site contributions to sustain strategically-important clusters of commercial activities such as those in the City of London, other parts of the commercial core of the CAZ and the Northern Isle of Dogs

The CAZ is an internationally and nationally significant office location, complemented by the Northern Isle of Dogs and Tech City.

Table 6.1 indicates that the CAZ and the Northern Isle of Dogs are projected to accommodate more than 367,000 additional office jobs and a net increase of 3.5 million sq m (GIA) of office floorspace over the period 2016- 2041[18], an average of 140,000 sq m per annum. The provision of a range of office floorspace in terms of size, quality and cost should be supported through a combination of intensification, redevelopment and refurbishment whilst ensuring a suitable supply of secondary stock, which provides relatively affordable lower-cost market provision of business space (see Policy E2 Low-cost business space and Policy E3 Affordable workspace).

[18] Ramidus Consulting, London Office Policy Review 2017, GLA

The agglomerations of offices and other CAZ strategic functions should not be compromised by new residential development. In particular, residential development is considered inappropriate in the commercial core areas of the City of London and Northern Isle of Dogs reflecting the prominent role of these locations in providing capacity for world city business functions. This policy will ensure that the current and future potential to assemble and deliver office development in these locations is not compromised by residential development.

Offices and other CAZ strategic functions are given greater weight relative to new residential development in the West End and other core commercial areas of the CAZ reflecting the importance attached to CAZ strategic functions in these locations.

The Opportunity Areas of Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea and Elephant & Castle have potential to deliver greater levels of housing alongside employment than the other CAZ Opportunity Areas. In these areas, offices and other CAZ strategic functions may be given equal weight relative to new residential development.

Development Plans will play a key role in setting out detailed office policies for the CAZ and the appropriate balance between CAZ strategic functions (including offices) and residential in mixed-use areas and in identifying locations or sites where residential development is appropriate.

The Mayor supports a co-ordinated approach to the introduction of Article 4 Directions by the CAZ boroughs before the exemptions expire in May 2019 to ensure that London’s nationally-significant offices in and around the CAZ are safeguarded. Boroughs are encouraged to draw on both strategic[19] and local evidence to support these Directions.

[19] Ramidus Consulting, London Office Policy Review 2017, GLA; Ramidus Consulting, Small offices and mixed-use development in CAZ, GLA 2015

Land use swaps, credits and off-site contributions can be used to support local balances between CAZ strategic functions and housing. A land use swap is where a developer provides an off-site office development to satisfy the requirements of part I by a specified residential or mixed residential and commercial development. The planning applications for the two sites are considered at the same time by the planning authority and are linked by a Section 106 agreement or planning condition. A land use credit is where new off-site office provision is provided in advance by a developer on the basis that it could be drawn down to satisfy the requirements of part I by a specified residential or mixed residential and commercial development.

Affordable housing provision should be provided on-site as part of residential and mixed-use schemes in the CAZ (see Policy H5 Delivering affordable housing). In exceptional circumstances, off-site and cash in lieu contributions can be provided in line with Policy H5 where this serves to sustain important clusters of commercial activities in the CAZ and Northern Isle of Dogs.