Intelligence: 1 December 2017The Draft London Plan

On the Wednesday 29 November 2017, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published the Draft New London Plan (‘Draft Plan’) for consultation and represents the first step towards the Mayor embedding his politial priorities to address housing needs, maximise affordable housing provision and protect industrial land, into planning policy across the country. 

Prior to publication, a press release on housing numbers in October 2017 mooted that the revised housing target would be 65,000 new homes per year, the draft London Housing Strategy and the Mayor’s Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) also alluded to possible changes to the density policy, greater protection for industrial land and a minimum target for affordable housing provision.

At 530 pages long, the Draft Plan is not a streamlined strategic plan. It places a specific focus on policies usually addressed within Local Plans (i.e. basements), planning issues and emphasis on implementation that has not previously been covered in previous versions of the London Plan. Its prescriptive nature may be too much for some of London’s Boroughs, particularly those under Conservative or Liberal Democrat control.

Our London Planning team have reviewed the Draft Plan in full and set out here what they believe the Mayor means by ‘Good Growth’.

The emphasise on ‘Good Growth’ within the Draft Plan is the Mayor’s bid to ensure that the whole of London contributes toward addressing London’s housing needs.

Proposed policy changes to encourage higher quality and higher density development, small site residential development and lower car ownership are all present, however, we remain sceptical about how the housing targets are to be met without a green belt review and when stringent protection of Strategic Industrial Land (SIL) and Locally Significant Industrial Sites (LSIS) is proposed.

Key headlines: 

  • London needs to double the number of new homes currently being built to 65,000;
  • Small sites target of 24,573 net additional homes proposed;
  • Minimum 35% affordable housing provision, 50% on public sector land and 50% on Strategic Industrial Locations (SIL), Locally Significant Industrial Sites (LSIS) and other industrial sites deemed appropriate to be released for other uses; 
  • Mayor expects delivery of affordable housing to be maximised in Opportunity Areas;
  • Density Matrix removed from the Draft Plan and there are no minimum density thresholds;
  • General principle that there will be no overall net loss of industrial floorspace capacity across London in designated SIL and LSIS;  
  • Need for a standalone Fire Assessment to be submitted with larger planning applications.

Read our full guidance note, exploring the detail of housing, affordable housing, density and design, industrial land, opportunity areas and infrastructure delivery.



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