About Michael Edwards

staff in the Bartlett School of Planning and cooperating with others in UCL and with the Just Space Network to support London citizens' inpu

Demolish or refurbish? new evidence

Just Space and the London Tenants Federation are collaborating with the new Engineering Exchange at UCL where researchers have produced fact sheets and surveys of evidence for community use. This is a pioneering attempt by academics to focus their research on hot topics in the metropolitan community and has led to some first publications and to evidence to the London Assembly Housing Committee from Dr Sarah Bell and Dr Charlotte Johnson. More at 

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Legacy Plan unsound, says Just Space

Just Space, in 6 September 2014 observations on the LLDC Local Plan, says “We consider the Local Plan is not legally compliant and does not meet the duty to cooperate. We also consider the Local Plan is unsound because:-
•   It has not been positively prepared
•   It is not consistent with national and regional policy
•   It is not justified
•   It is not effective”      [  

Public hearings on new Plan under way

The Examination in Public of the Mayor’s proposed changes to the London Plan opened on 1 September at City Hall and run through most of September.  

The structure, topics and programme for the hearings are summarised here, with links to the Statements which Just Space, other community groups and other individuals and organisations have made on each topic. 

Users of Twitter should look for #FALP14

Hearings announced

The GLA announces that the hearings about the Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP)—the Examination in Public (EiP)—will start on 1 September and run for about 3 weeks. The web page http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/planning/london-plan/examination-in-public has details and will soon have a complete set of the 300+ responses that have been made. There will be a preliminary meeting about the EiP process at 1100h on 11 July, followed in the afternoon by a Technical Seminar, both in City Hall. The Inspector for the EiP will be Anthony Thickett BA Hons BTP MRTPI Dip RSA and the Secretary will be Ms Carmel Edwards who has been very helpful to Just Space and community groups in past hearings. Info via Robin Brown. More details on the timetable leading up to the EiP are on the events page.

Influencing plans in Opportunity Areas

Just published: The London Tenants Federation and Just Space held a conference of people trying to exert some community influence on what happens in London’s Opportunity Areas —the 33 large parts of London where major developments are under way or proposed. It drew on the experiences of campaigners at King’s Cross over 25 years and the results are now published by LTF as an important report: http://bit.ly/1n84K3U  The conference was part of a two-year project supported by the Trust for London to foster community engagement in 6 rapidly-changing areas.

The conference also saw the launch of a web-based map linking community activity in London which is part of the same project.

Strong criticism in community responses to plan

Community groups across London are releasing the comments they submitted on 10 April to City Hall on the Mayor’s draft Further Alterations to the London Plan FALP. #FALP14

A common thread in the responses is that the plan will be a waste of paper because it doesn’t begin to meet the housing implications of growth while it welcomes the growth itself. A linked problem is the way the plan fans the flames of land and property speculation which in turn impoverishes the majority of Londoners while enriching a minority and sprinkling skyscrapers along the river and in arbitrary spots elsewhere.

The Mayor has been shifting the emphasis of his housing policy away from those in the greatest need – and indeed from most average Londoners – for years. In his last round of alterations to the London Plan he followed government instructions to scrap ‘social-rented’ housing and use the new concept that rents up to 80% of local market levels shall be deemed – and named – “affordable”. He even took power to forbid Boroughs from setting lower rent levels within their areas.  The London Assembly was so incensed that—quite exceptionally—it voted to reject that Plan. Unfortunately, however, a 2/3 majority would have been needed for the Plan to fall. The changes proposed in this 2014 set of Alterations further shift the emphasis of policy away from London’s real needs.

Other comments on the plan include calls for much more decisive action on air quality and climate change, stronger defence of jobs in industrial zones and suburban centres and much more effective democracy in which local councils meet their people’s needs rather than—as so often—just siding with developers and displacing low- and middle-income communities.

Submissions made to City Hall are available here, as they come in.

New London Plan: responding by April 10th

Just Space held a well-attended Community Conference on Saturday 15 March for community groups to hear about and discuss the Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP) and give their input in eight key areas. The reports from the conference will form the basis of Just Space’s response to the London Plan and are designed to help groups which want to make their own responses. Results from the conference are being published here to assist groups in formulating their own responses.

A final meeting to coordinate final responses was held on Friday afternoon 4 April.

These are some of the key issues.

Do make sure you get your views to City Hall by 5.00pm on Thursday 10th. Advice here