GLA seeks inputs to NEXT London Plan

7 January onwards. The GLA planning team emails to say that they are having a consultation on what should go in to the next London Plan. We are shocked to find that the consultation period started in mid-December and has just 3 weeks remaining.

So unless the GLA can be persuaded to offer more time, community groups will need to move very fast indeed to make serious, considered submissions. Are the planners serious?

Looking back through the emails, we find that this was trailed on 14 December, so we should not be so put out by today’s message. Apologies. However there have been holidays in the mean time so the consultation period is very short.

Just Space has been working hard on a Recovery Plan for London but it won’t be ready before the end of February (changed from January). We do urge all member organisations to respond to this GLA invitation as best they can in the time available.

Later (17 January) we have written to the GLA:

We are responding to your email newsletter and web site posting inviting submissions about how the GLA should go about developing the next London Plan.
Just Space will, of course, wish to make submissions and representations about the next London Plan and about the process for preparing it, and to deliberate with its member-groups in the process of doing so.
We were surprised at the timing of this short consultation. There is not much time for us – or other groups – to do what you ask before 31 January and the earlier invitation just before the Christmas/New Year break escaped our notice, as it did for the London Forum and others.
Our members have been, and are, very busy indeed preparing a document provisionally entitled a Recovery Plan for London and this will be a major input from Just Space to the London Plan process. However it will not be finished until some time in February. So we are letting you know that this will reach you after your target date. 
More broadly, we live in hope that the Mayor and your team will adopt a more open and co-production approach to this next London Plan. As part of this we want to be more involved in the scoping and execution of the plan making process. 
We are glad that your December request emphasises equality issues (though with only a request for anecdotes and suggestions on widening your contact networks). We shall be particularly keen to see these crucial issues sorted out, especially given the need to greatly improve the approach to equality in the previous Plan.
Please could we have a virtual meeting with you about all this in February – either on the process/procedures or on substantive issues or both.

More about the GLA work on equality / equity is trickling out.
It seems that GLA (?Environment team) has commissioned Centric Lab to do some work on Environmental Inequity. Their web statement looks quite good and as though community knowledge will be respected on a par with ‘expert’ knowledge. They are starting with work on Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest. They are holding an online open meeting on Wednesday 19th january 1900h for just one hour. Sign on for details.

Caitlin Colquhoun is leading within GLA housing team on the equality review and they are doing a report now on housing and inequality. (Added 17 January)

The GLA Planning request in full is: At this stage, we are calling for evidence that Londoners and other stakeholders think we should consider while developing the programme. This could include:

  • Published reports, research, case studies or other information which might help us understand how London should change or develop in the future
  • Personal accounts of how development, buildings, places, spaces and planning affect different communities, especially impacts that relate to age, disability, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, marital status or pregnancy and maternity. This may include personal accounts of how people from different groups experience places very differently, and experiences of those who identify with more than one of these characteristics
  • International or national examples of best practice
  • Suggestions for how we can reach a more diverse range of Londoners

Later 10 February 2022. Michael Bach of the London Forum sent a submission to the London Plan team and has circulated this reply:

To answer your question, once the current call for evidence submissions concludes, an initial phase of engagement is envisaged during March 2022, which will seek to capture a wide range of views around broad areas of discussion. Later phases starting over the summer/autumn will enable more detailed discussions on specific issues, including key long-term challenges facing London and the range of options and approaches that could help address them. 

We will provide further details of our plans for engagement as soon as we are able to. The Programme is intended to provide a structure to capture the views of stakeholders and, through this and the gathering of evidence, identify issues and options that a future review of the London Plan (after this Mayoral term) could consider.

I hope this answer is helpful, and if you have any more queries please email the Planning for London Programme inbox.

On 13 February the London Forum posted strong criticism of the GLA’s proposed timetable for for doing the next London Plan – basically leaving it until after the next mayoral election in 2024 – and their post has a lot of helpful detail.

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