The London Plan sets out strategic policy for the whole of London. It covers
housing, design, social infrastructure (health, education, sports), the economy, heritage and culture, green space and the natural environment, sustainable infrastructure (air quality, emissions, waste), transport and strategies and places for growth.
Legally it is part of the 32 London Boroughs’ development plans and must be taken into account in their decision-making. (The City of London too, plus the Mayor’s Development Corporations at the Olympic Park and Old Oak Common.)
Work began on the new Plan after Sadiq Khan’s election. It is the third version of the Plan since the Mayor of London and Greater London Authority were created in 2000.
The finished draft was opened up for a 3 month public consultation that ended 2 March 2018. After amendments, the current Draft version is now being examined by government planning inspectors at an ‘Examination in Public’ (EiP) from 15 January to 17 May.
The EiP is open to the public at City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA. Sessions begin at 9.30am and 2pm see Hearing programme
At the EiP each set of policy topics in the Plan is discussed at a Hearing, with the Inspectors sitting between the GLA planners (who wrote it) and the people disputing it. Those who responded to the consultation and asked to speak have been chosen by the inspectors. The inspectors’ written questions form the basis of each Hearing.
Just Space and The London Plan
Just Space has a seat at almost all the Hearings. Being a large network of groups with expertise on many issues, different people will use our seat according to the topic.
The main work of Just Space since even before Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor has been to develop ideas about what a London Plan would be like if it were to prioritise the interests of its citizens, its environment and its smaller, interlinked economies – instead of the emphasis on private development and the global economy. We worked to shape research and policy development by the GLA planning teams early on when they began this full review of the London Plan.
Just Space is a network of many different groups and interests but we share common ground and a joint vision for the planning of an environmentally responsible, fairer London. In 2015 we decided to write our own document Towards a Community-Led Plan for London: ideas for discussion and debate. 62 different groups contributed to its making. The GLA engaged in some discussion, though they refused to add it to the strategy options for the Plan.
Just Space links the Inspectors’ questions with our responses and some notes on what happens in some sessions, so far as there are people to take notes. There will also be briefing sessions organised by Just Space with UCL in weeks when the EiP is not happening.
London Plan guidelines
The London Plan must take account of National Planning Policy for England (the NPPF) and the principal purposes of the Greater London Authority (GLA) which are set down in the law:
- promoting economic development and wealth creation in Greater London
- promoting social development in Greater London
- promoting the improvement of the environment in Greater London.
In developing the London Plan, the Mayor should have regard to the GLA Act 1999:
- the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people
- reducing health inequality and promoting Londoners’ health
- achieving sustainable development in the United Kingdom
- climate change and the consequences of climate change
- the desirability of promoting and encouraging the use of the Thames, particularly for passenger and freight transportation
- the resources available to implement the Mayor’s strategies.
Sadiq Khan’s Plan has also written his own “Good Growth” policies:
- Policy GG1 Building strong and inclusive communities
- Policy GG2 Making the best use of land
- Policy GG3 Creating a healthy city
- Policy GG4 Delivering the homes Londoners need
- Policy GG5 Growing a good economy
- Policy GG6 Increasing efficiency and resilience