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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

Not a Plan for all Londoners

Tuesday 15 January sees not just a ‘meaningful vote’ in Parliament but the opening of hearings at City Hall on the draft new London Plan. In so many ways the Plan flies in the face of evidence and has avoided exploring the alternatives the city could follow. It looks bad but the panel of inspectors is now asking most of the right questions.

Just Space and the groups which make it up have been submitting their responses to the first weeks of questions posed for the Examination in Public. A new page on this web site puts the panel’s questions alongside our responses (in red) and the timetable: https://justspace.org.uk/hearings-eip-2019

That page will grow throughout the EiP process which stretches through to May 2019 and we’ll add other organisations’ statements and reports on the hearings if we get enough volunteers to cover 33 days.

Bookmark it as a unique resource.

Preparing…

The hearings (Examination in Public EiP) on the draft new London Plan start mid-January. Community groups are busy preparing.

Just Space (with some support from UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning) is holding a series of briefing and report-back meetings for community groups involved and for students and others following the process.  The first was on 26 November. Slides are here [ UCLJS briefing 26 Nov 2018.ppt] and a writeup will follow.

The next meeting is 5 December.  Details on our events page.

For more about the process, scroll down to previous post.

Preparing for the hearings: next steps

Stop press 7 Nov: presentations for the Technical Seminars 6 and 7 November are now available. Here you can also watch the webcasts of the seminars on both days. https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/examination-public-draft-new-london-plan#Stub-175730

Our notes on 6 November (employment & household projections, housing need and demand, land supply) are here.  On 7 November (Zero Carbon and perhaps Waste to be added) here.

Continue reading

Missing questions, missing voices

The draft new London Plan enters public hearings in January. Just Space and some of its member groups have just written (11 October) to the panel of inspectors who are preparing this ‘Examination in Public’, pointing out key questions which have been missed in their draft list and, in come cases, seeking to be heard at the hearings. The procedures were described in our previous post.

The  Comments on draft lists of Matters submitted by Just Space will make most sense read alongside the panel’s drafts (linked from our list)

We’ll add comments submitted by our member organisations and others if and when you send them to us.

Add your community voice…

Hundreds of community organisations and campaign groups sent observations on the draft London Plan back in the winter. The Panel which is holding the Examination in Public from January until June have now published a draft list of the topics (“matters”) and questions they propose to discuss and a draft list of the groups they would invite to each discussion. They will finalise these lists in the light of comments they get by noon on 11 October — very soon.

Just Space has been invited for 37 matters out of the 48 total. That’s a great achievement for all of us who contributed to our collective submission.

Continue reading

Major role for Just Space in EiP

The Panel holding public hearings next year (Examination in Public EiP) has just (on 12 September) issued its draft list of the issues it wants to explore and its draft list of organisations (and in a few cases individuals) it wants to invite on each topic. The panel clearly envisages a major role for Just Space (and implicitly its component groups). The massive work by dozens of Just Space member groups and hundreds or thousands of Londoners over the last 2 years has clearly produced compelling challenges and contributions.

These documents are parts of Panel Note 3 and can all be downloaded from https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/examination-public-draft-new-london-plan/eip-library

Changes to the two lists can be suggested and the deadline for this is noon on Thursday 11 October.  Just Space will be meeting shortly to consider next steps and may publish some initial comments here.

Timetable slips

The timetable for the EiP has slipped. last time we blogged about it the EiP was expected to start in November. Now it will be in mid-January 2019 and run until May.  The revised timetable is in Panel Note 1. This and and many other documents can be downloaded from the same web page as the draft lists (above). This new timetable replaces what we summarised in our previous post, but that previous post has a lot more information and is still available.

The new timetable is a one-page PDF of 10 September 2018 here and archived by us in case it disappears: lp_provisional_timetable_10sept18