Last edited 28 Mar 2016

Central activities zone supplementary planning guidance

The London Plan is a statutory strategy prepared by the Mayor of London setting out an economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of London. The Mayor also publishes Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) which provides additional details where the level of guidance required is not appropriate for inclusion in London Plan, or if a rapid policy response is needed.

The term ‘Central Activities Zone’ (CAZ) refers to the centre of London, one of the world’s most competitive business locations, which also accommodates the seat of national Government, shopping, and centres of culture, entertainment, tourism and heritage. It provides local facilities such as housing and is home to 230,000 people as well as providing 1.7 million jobs and generating almost 10% of the UK’s economic output.

This unusual and important combination of functions creates particular planning conditions that require their own Central Activities Zone Supplementary Planning Guidance (CAZ SPG). A draft CAZ SPG was published for a 12 week public consultation between 15th September and 8th December 2015. The final guidance was published by the Greater London Authority (GLA) in March 2016 and applies to the Central Activity Zone, and, where relevant, the North of the Isle of Dogs.

Central activities zone.jpg

The CAZ SPG provides guidance about:

  • Protecting London’s commercial heartland and ensuring it remains a key driver of the UK economy.
  • Striking a balance between office and new residential development including the removal of office to residential permitted development rights when the exemption expires in May 2019.
  • Managing the attractions of the area as a global destination for culture, entertainment, shopping and tourism.
  • Outlining the potential for additional housing without compromising other key functions.
  • Promoting walking and cycling and encouraging investment in transport infrastructure.
  • Recognising the value of central London’s unique heritage and quality of environment.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, "Central London is one of the most connected places in the world. The delivery of Crossrail and other infrastructure is facilitating development and employment growth, and improving opportunities for people within and beyond London. This document provides guidance on London Plan policies to realise development capacity and improve infrastructure, movement and services in the CAZ whilst securing a quality environment that makes it the iconic core of our city. I want to ensure the CAZ will benefit from these investments, and be even stronger in 2020."

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