Draft London Plan
On 29th November 2017, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan published the Draft London Plan, a strategic plan to shape how London evolves and develops.
One of the central issues tackled in the Plan is the volume of housebuilding. The new policy strategy removes the old density guidelines in an effort to double the capital’s capacity. This comes as a response to projections that the city’s population will reach 10.5 million in 2041. The Mayor hopes that the new Plan will lay out how this growth can be managed while relieving the pressure on land, infrastructure and the environment.
The Mayor’s Plan says that local councils should refuse planning permission for proposed developments that do not adequately maximise housing density, making the most of scarce available land. In addition, the Plan calls for councils to identify locations that are appropriate for tall buildings.
The Mayor has made a commitment for 50% of all new homes to be ‘affordable’ and to approximately double the current rate of housebuilding, to 65,000 homes a year. To achieve this, there is an emphasis on developing 24,500 homes on small sites – typically, those between 1-25 homes – and boroughs are encouraged to approve applications for small developments, if they meet strict design standards.
The Plan also provides greater protection for industrial land, examining solutions such as stacking distribution sheds and encouraging the development of industrial workspaces alongside new housing.
Khan has also included proposals to try and safeguard music venues in part of his drive to encourage the ‘night economy’. Previously, the responsibility has been on venue owners to finance noise reduction measures when developers build residential properties in close proximity to pubs, clubs or music venues. Under the new proposals, the responsibility would be shifted to the developers to finance the soundproofing themselves.
Sadiq Khan said:
“With London’s population expected to increase by 70,000 every year, reaching 10.8 million in 2041, it’s vital we properly plan for growth with new affordable homes in every area of the capital. I am using all of the powers at my disposal in my first draft London Plan to tackle the housing crisis head on – removing ineffective constraints on homebuilders so that we can make the most of precious land in the capital to build more homes in areas with the best transport links.
“My London Plan sets out how we are planning for the challenges our great city faces, but crucially focuses on my vision of a London that welcomes growth, celebrates its diversity and ensures every Londoner gets the opportunity to fulfil their potential."
The consultation on the New Draft London Plan begins on 1 December 2017. Comments can be made online from 4 December 2017 to 2 March 2018.
You can download the Draft London Plan here.
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