London Planning Summit 2013 – Plenary 1 – Planning Beyond Borough Boundaries

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Stewart Murray, Assistant Director – Planning, Greater London Authority

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Stewart commenced his presentation by providing an outline of the Mayor’s 2020 Vision for London which has been produced to:

  • Provide a signal of intent to ensure London stays as a leading global city
  • Show why the government must invest in London
  • Provide a route-map for stakeholders
  • Announce to the world that London is the best place to do business

One of the biggest challenges identified is London’s growing population, which is growing faster than anyone predicted, with a population of 10m forecast by the 2030s.

Stewart announced that the latest Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) figures suggest a capacity for around 40,000 dwellings in London, but the Greater London Authority (GLA) is looking for more capacity through working with the Outer London Commission (OLC) and looking at town centre densification.

It is currently the preferred option, as part of the London Plan Review, that the affordable tenure mix ration remains at 60:40. It is also desired to have more investment from the private rented sector and a greater role for the GLA in developing publicly-owned land. The GLA is also looking at introducing a ‘use it or lose it’ planning permission for developers to avoid land being left undeveloped.

In terms of the Duty to Cooperate, the GLA worked with around 70 planning authorities around London and the South East in March, with a Cross Boundary Steering Group established looking at issues such as Crossrail, Green Belt, airports and infrastructure.

The timetable for the London Housing Strategy (LHS) and Further Alterations to the London Plan is as follows:

  • Sep 2013 – Draft Revised Early Minor Alterations published
  • Nov 2013 – Draft LHS published
  • Jan 2014 – Further Alterations to the London Plan (+SHMA + SHLAA) consultation
  • Mar 2014 – LHS submission to SoS and Assembly
  • May 2014 – LHS published with 2015-18 allocations
  • Sep 2014 – Draft FALP Examination in Public
  • Jan 2015 – Draft FALP submission to SoS and Assembly
  • Spring 2015 – FALP published

Stewart also set out the GLA’s intentions to establish “potentially, a 2nd Mayoral Development Corporation” at Old Oak Common “within the next year” to help deliver the regenerative benefits (19,000 new homes, 90,000 new jobs with £3.5 – 6.2bn Gross Value Added to London and the UK economy) spinning-off from the planned High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) and Crossrail station interchange, at the same scale as Waterloo station. An ‘in principle’ MDC approval paper is expected to be presented to the Mayor this autumn with an implementation date set for autumn 2014. Although based on same legislation as the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) established last year, an Old Oak MDC would be different because the LLDC was set up as a special case following the Olympics. Old Oak MDC wouldn’t be as large and may need more of a focus on land acquisition issues. Consultation on the Vision for Old Oak closed recently.

Vivienne Ramsey OBE, Executive Director of Planning Policy and Decisions, London Legacy Development Corporation

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The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) was established on 1st April 2012 taking staff from the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), the London Development Agency (LDA), the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC). The LLDC became a planning authority on 1st October 2012 and is the first development corporation to have plan-making powers in addition to decision-making powers too.

Since the success of the Olympic Games, Viv outlined the achievements of the LLDC, including granting outline planning permission for the Legacy Communities Scheme which involves all the development sites in the park.

The North Park opened in July 2013 and had 100,000 visitors in the first month. The South Park is expected to open in Spring 2014. The Copperbox multi-use sports arena opened in July 2013 and is home to London Lions Basketball Team and Barry McGuigan Boxing Academy and had 26,500 visitors in its first month.

Viv outlined the planning policy achievements of the LLDC, including:

  • October 2012 – Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) agreed
  • October 2012 – Local Development Scheme (LDS) agreed
  • November/December 2012 – Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation and call for sites
  • June 2013 – Community Infrastructure Levy Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and Infrastructure Delivery Plan consultation

The way in which the LLDC works ‘across boundaries’ was explained by Viv in that the Leaders/Mayors of the 4 growth boroughs sit on the LLDC board and 5 Councillors sit on the Planning Decisions Committee. There are also regular meetings between the Chief Executives of the boroughs. Viv’s top tip for any potential Old Oak MDC was to “keep talking”!

Dr Stephen King, Deputy Director, North London Strategic Alliance and London Stansted Cambridge Consortium

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The London Stansted Cambridge Corridor stretches from the central and inner-north London boroughs, along the Lea Valley and M11 towards Stansted Airport and then north up towards Cambridgeshire. This includes key economic locations such as London Waste EcoPark, Park Plaza at Waltham Cross, Ilford Town Centre, Bishop Stortford North, Chesterford Research Park, Granta Park, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge Biomedical Campus and Cambridge Science Park.

Stephen explained how the area includes 4 Local Enterprise Partnerships, 3 counties and the Greater London Authority. LSCC’s role is to support the authorities in developing their strategies. The key sectors found in the corridor include:

  • Life science and medical
  • Low carbon, clean tech and energy from waste
  • Logistics
  • Digital and technology e.g. linking Microsoft at Cambridge to Google at Kings Cross
  • Food production
  • Process and transport engineering

The LSCC supports Stansted’s growth to its full capacity agreed in its planning permission, which means a doubling in size from 17 to 35 million passengers per year.

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