Mayor publishes draft new London Plan with minor suggested changes reflecting consultation responses
On 13 August, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan released the ‘Draft London Plan showing Minor Suggested Changes’.
The changes within the document have been prepared following a review of representations made to the Mayor in response to the draft Plan consultation that ran between 1 December 2017 and 2 March 2018.
The ‘minor suggested changes’ consist of corrections, clarifications and factual updates, and will help inform the Examination in Public (EiP), which is expected to begin early next year.
The changes cover a wide range of policies and supporting text within the Plan; whilst mostly minor, there are several areas where policy has been strengthened, whilst other areas appear to better reflect current market conditions.
There is now greater emphasis on inclusion and diversity within the Good Growth policies, whilst policy GG3 ‘Creating a healthy city’ has been broadened to include mental, as well as physical health. Interestingly, there is also now a direct reference to a link between the under-delivery of homes, and the impact this has on various social, economic and environmental consequences.
Chapter 2, ‘Spatial Development Patterns’, now includes a table indicating the number of new homes and jobs that the designated Opportunity Areas are suggested to provide. There is greater emphasis on the historic value of places, whilst the need for town centre adaptation and diversification is now explicitly recognised.
Design guidance has been strengthened, with policy now stating that design ‘should be thoroughly scrutinised by borough planning, urban design, and conservation officers’. Inclusivity is to be ‘embedded into a project from initial conception through to completion’ There is also a new paragraph which states that design teams should be retained throughout conditions’ discharge, to better monitor the quality of a development.
There is greater clarity over affordable housing and tenure, particularly in terms of definitions, and there is now explicit reference to Social Rent. There is also more detail regarding Build to Rent, in relation to the provision of affordable housing and the fast track route.
In certain areas, more flexibility is now proposed. There is less prescription regarding policies relating to the provision of low-cost business space, as well as affordable work-space, which now includes a wider range of potential occupiers.
Policy GG2 which covers making the best use of land, now refers to ‘enabling’ the development of brownfield land, rather than prioritising it. Also of significance, the draft Plan now aims to accommodate ‘the vast majority’ of London’s growth within its boundaries – rather than ‘all’ of it.
Alongside this document, the Panel has issued its first ‘Panel Note’, providing preliminary information on the EiP, and also a timetable of provisional milestones:
- End of August 2018 – EiP Panel to consult the Mayor on a draft list of matters and participants
- Mid-September - Publication of draft list of matters and participants
- Mid-October – Deadline for comments on draft list of matters and participants
- Early November - Technical seminars (if necessary)
- Early November - Publication of final list of matters and participants (at least 6 weeks before EIP starts)
- Early December – first deadline for written statements in response to EIP matters
- Mid-January to May 2019 - EIP hearing sessions
- Summer 2019 - Panel report
The panel members who will carry out the examination are Roisin Barrett, William Fieldhouse and David Smith.
The EiP library is now live on the GLA website; it contains all the key documents relating to the draft new London Plan, including the evidence base, consultation responses and examination details.