The draft London Plan was released yesterday and can be downloaded here. The consultation period will open on 4th December 2017 and all comments must be received by 2nd March 2018. We've highlighted some of the key points.
Mayor Sadiq Khan notes that the London population is expected to increase by 70,000 every year, reaching 10.8 million by 2041, and it is therefore vital to appropriately plan for growth to match the need in every area of the capital. Below is a quick summary of matters included in the draft Plan.
There is a key strategic housing commitment for 50% of all new homes built to be genuinely affordable, which will be made possible through planning, investment and building on public land. Private developers will be given a fast-tract route to planning permission if they reach a minimum of 35% affordable. New ambitious targets have been set for councils as part of an overall London Plan figure of 65,000 homes a year, which is almost double the current rate of home building.
The plans propose the removal of density limits, which would allow developing sites to have more homes than neighbouring developments which followed the previous guidelines. Sites that do not maximise housing density should be refused.
The Plan shows there is capacity for 24,500 homes a year on London’s small sites (between one and 25 homes). These sites must be utilised to their greatest extent and make a significant contribution to the housing supply.
With an increase in the number homes built near town centres or good public transport links, this would reducing the need for car spaces on developments, and thus provide further land for development. Additionally, increasing bike parking on developments, and greater electric car provisions outside new homes was encouraged in the Plan.
Proposals outlined in the plan lay emphasis on good design for all buildings including low-rise, medium and high rise. All developments must meet the highest standard of fire safety, minimising the rise of fire spreading and include providing a fire evacuation lift as a means of escape.
New growth corridors
The growth and areas of higher density have been set out in the Plan, alongside planned new infrastructure which will support the development of jobs and homes. These include: Crossrail 2, Thames Estuary, Bakerloo line extension, Central London, Elizabeth Line East, Heathrow, Elizabeth Line West, Trams Triangle/London-Gatwick-Brighton mainline and HS2. There is also a commitment to support and sustain Strategic Industrial Locations (SIL) and other industrial capacity by considering opportunities to intensify and make more efficient use of land in SIL.
Green belt and green cover
The Mayor reaffirms his commitment to protecting London’s Green Belt and open space. The Plan proposed to make more than half of London green by 2050.
The Plan demonstrates the Mayor’s supports tall buildings, however these must be in the right places and to high design and safety standards. It is the responsibility of each Borough to identify where these are most suitably placed.
Councils and planning
Councils should take a case by case approach with developers and housing associations to each site and determine capacity based on surrounding infrastructure.
Whilst the plan encourages developers and homebuilders to make use of the land available in the capital, he expects councils to refuse applications that do not meet the new standard and will use his planning powers to their full extent if necessary to ensure the best quality developments are provided throughout London.
If you would like to speak to our team about a specific scheme or planning application then please call us on 0203 640 2005. We have already used our unique insight into London’s planning environment to shape communication strategies for clients across the capital and we would be delighted to help.
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