February 1st was London Plan Day (did you notice?)

After four years work the Mayor Sadiq Khan has…nearly formally adopted his London Plan. After receiving final approval from the Minister for Homes Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP the new London Plan is nearly now in force and will succeed the old London Plan.

The plan is designed to implement a number of manifesto commitments made by Khan when he was elected mayor of London in 2016, including improving the capital’s air quality, making London a zero-carbon city by 2030, a long-term target for 50 per cent affordable homes in new developments, and protecting the green belt.

The plan also includes updated space and quality standards for new build homes.

The formal adoption of the plan will follow more than a year of delays after inspectors forced Khan to reduce the housing numbers contained in the document after declaring them undeliverable, and then housing secretary Robert Jenrick forced a raft of further changes. Calls by planning inspectors for a review of London’s green belt, viewed by many in the development industry as essential, in order to deliver the homes needed have been avoided with a reduction in housing numbers over all.

However it is clear from a first look at the policies within that the pressure is on the Borough’s to deliver. This is more pertinent now as Barking and Dagenham, Haringay, Havering, Redbridge and Spelthorne have found themselves in the group of 32 authorities that have failed to meet Housing delivery Targets for three years running!

Spotted by our Helen Morris-Ruffle Policy H2 of the New Plan shows where the mayors thoughts are in terms of small sites and the need for them to deliver:

Whereas policy H4 gives a london wide limit for Affordable housing flying in the face of the much debated “40 or 50” statements made by Mr Jenrick in the Autumn of 2020.

Whilst Mr Khan, said:

“The completely unnecessary delay in signing off my plan – which I sent to the secretary of state more than a year ago – has done real harm to confidence in key industries and among Londoners right across the capital, including the work to build more homes.

“Finally, we can now get on with doing everything in our power to increase housing delivery and addressing the appalling legacy of the previous administration.”

Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff, said Khan had slowed housebuilding in London by wasting nearly three years on the plan.

“If the secretary of state had not stepped in, Khan’s plan would have failed to deliver family homes and endangered the green belt by preventing housebuilding on large swathes of brownfield land. By pursuing his damaging proposals for so long, and failing to accept changes until now, the mayor has wasted precious time in London’s race to get building.”

by Jon McDermott