London Plan hearings blogged

The first 2 weeks of public hearings on the new London Plan have been held and Just Space offers a blog to help people follow the debates. It starts here.

This is the first time that London Plan hearings have ever been so easy to follow. Journalists rarely attend, there is no broadcasting except on a few days, and very few Londoners can afford to sit in City Hall for 35 days. We are very grateful to students at UCL who have been taking and editing notes.

If you prefer to have the full details you can follow the narrative listing page which has links to the individual blog posts for each item.

This is what we wrote when the hearings opened;

EiP begins with warning on discrimination

The Examination in Public (EiP) of the Mayor’s new London Plan began on Tuesday at City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA.

In preparing our statements and evidence over the past year we have become increasingly alarmed for the future of London as an inclusive city. The new Plan wants significantly more market-led housing and intensification but it seems to ignore the effect it will have on a large chunk of London’s citizens. Just Space is challenging this at the EiP.

We believe the impact of the policies on vulnerable groups will be severe, for example in places where there is large-scale housing estate regeneration and dislocation.

The Mayor chose not to evaluate our alternative Plan developed over two years, Towards a Community-Led Plan for London. Our plan focuses the housing effort on meeting the backlog of low- and moderate-income needs, and prioritises the everyday economy, reducing the need to travel and improving the environment. GLA agreed that the decision not to compare our plan (and not to explore an alternative with extensive development of green belt which some had sought) was theirs, rather than their consultants’ (Arup).

Since Just Space started in 2006 our aim has been to get the many voices of grassroots Londoners heard in the formulation of planning policy, to make London a more environmentally sound and fairer city for all. This aim continues at the EiP.

On day 1 of the hearings a wide spectrum of organisations presented evidence which showed how badly the GLA had handled the impacts on women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and other segments of the population which Sadiq Khan says he is so concerned about. On day 2 the panel of inspectors announced that they would ask for further data on equalities impact to be provided by Monday 21st January and that participants would have until (15 a subsequently extended period till) midday 25 February to submit any resulting comments. The ” Supplementary Information on Equality Assessment” can now be found on the london,gov website as part of the EiP Library here.

Follow the EiP Hearings here https://justspace.org.uk/hearings-eip-2019 where you will find the questions being asked by the Panel of inspectors, the Just Space analysis and proposals on each topic and the daily programme. We’ll add reports on what happens, if we have enough volunteers. Twitter @JustSpace7 as usual and #LondonPlan