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Policy E10 Visitor Infrastructure


  1. London’s visitor economy and associated employment should be strengthened by enhancing and extending its attractions, inclusive access, legibility, visitor experience and management and supporting infrastructure, particularly to parts of outer London well-connected by public transport, taking into account the needs of business as well as leisure visitors.
  2. The special characteristics of major clusters of visitor attractions and the diversity of cultural infrastructure in all parts of London should be conserved, enhanced and promoted.
  3. A sufficient supply of serviced accommodation for business visitors should be maintained, and the provision of high-quality convention facilities in town centres and in and around the CAZ should be supported.
  4. Within the CAZ, strategically important serviced accommodation should be promoted in Opportunity Areas, with smaller-scale provision in the commercial core parts of the CAZ (see Policy SD5 Offices, other strategic functions and residential development in the CAZ), subject to the impact on strategic office space. Intensification of the provision of serviced accommodation in areas of existing concentration should be resisted, except where this will not compromise local amenity or the balance of local land uses.
  5. In outer London and those parts of inner London outside the CAZ, serviced accommodation should be promoted in town centres and within Opportunity Areas where they are well-connected by public transport, particularly to central London.
  6. The role of apart-hotels and short-term lettings should be supported whilst ensuring that they do not compromise housing provision (see Policy H11 Ensuring the best use of stock).
  7. To ensure sufficient choice for people who require an accessible bedroom, development proposals for serviced accommodation should provide either:
    1. 10 per cent of new bedrooms to be wheelchair-accessible; OR
    2. 15 per cent of new bedrooms to be accessible rooms in accordance with the following requirements:
      1. one room or five per cent, whichever is the greater, with a wheelchair-accessible shower room for independent use
      2. a further one room or one per cent, whichever is the greater, with a fixed tracked-hoist system or similar system with the same degree of convenience and safety as an en-suite bathroom for assisted use, and a connecting door to an adjoining (standard) bedroom for use by an assistant or companion
      3. one room or five per cent, whichever is the greater with an en-suite shower room to meet the requirements of ambulant disabled people
      4. four per cent of bedrooms easily adaptable and large enough for easy adaptation to be wheelchair-accessible (with en-suite) if required in the future, and incorporate all the correct dimensions and sanitary layouts and be structurally capable of having grab-rails installed quickly and easily if required.

London is the second most visited city in the world and the Mayor wants to spread economic and regeneration benefits by working with London & Partners to promote tourism across the whole of the city, including outside central London. This Plan supports the enhancement and extension of London’s attractions particularly to town centres and well-connected parts of outer London, complemented by supporting infrastructure including visitor accommodation, high-quality public realm, public toilets and measures to promote access by walking, cycling and public transport.

Given the importance of tourism to London’s economy, London needs to ensure that it is able to meet the accommodation demands of tourists who want to visit the capital. It is estimated that London will need to build an additional 58,000 bedrooms of serviced accommodation by 2041, which is an average of 2,230 bedrooms per annum[96].

[96] GLA Economics. Working Paper 88. Projections of demand and supply for visitor accommodation in London to 2050. GLA, 2017

Boroughs in the CAZ are encouraged to direct strategically-significant serviced accommodation (defined as more than 20,000 sqm in the CAZ) towards the CAZ Opportunity Areas with smaller-scale provision in other commercial core areas of the CAZ. Concentrations of serviced accommodation within parts of the CAZ that might constrain other important strategic activities and land uses (for example offices and other commercial, cultural and leisure uses) or erode the mixed-use character of an area should be avoided. Boroughs in outer and inner London beyond the CAZ are encouraged to plan proactively for new serviced accommodation in town centres to help spread the benefits of tourism to the whole of the capital.

Alternative forms of accommodation such as short-term lets have supplemented the supply of serviced accommodation and provided greater choice for visitors. However, it is important that short-term let provision does not compromise the supply of conventional housing and that the impact such provision can have on traditionally residential areas is addressed. The use of student halls as visitor accommodation during university vacation periods can help meet seasonal fluctuations in demand. It is important that this is in appropriate locations and does not disrupt the daily lives of resident students and their academic calendar.

Improving the availability of accessible serviced accommodation[97] is vital to ensuring that as many visitors as possible can stay in London and experience its visitor attractions and business offer. To help achieve this, serviced accommodation developments should achieve the highest standards of accessible and inclusive design (also see Policy D3 Inclusive design). The policy requirement provides two options and developers can choose the option which best fits the scale of development proposed. These requirements aim to recognise the need for not only standard wheelchair accessible rooms, but also rooms suitable for people with ambulant mobility impairments or older people who could benefit from additional access features, as well as rooms suitable for people who require assistance or need to be near to a carer.

[97] Projections of demand and supply for accessible hotel rooms in London, GLA Economics 2017” and make the name a link to this page: