About Editors


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.


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




Challenging the London Plan

[14 August] The web site for the Examination in Public now has links to the complete set of submissions made in March and to a new version of the London Plan with ‘minor alterations’ in red. There is also a complete set of the supporting documents – the ‘evidence base’. Thanks to Prof Ian Gordon at LSE for pointing this out.

[2 August 2018] The Web site for the Examination in Public (hearings) on the draft new London Plan has now appeared. Check it frequently for updates to the timetable. We understand that the draft list of proposed Matters for examination and of Participants is not likely to appear until September, though a preliminary note may be published in August and so may be the full set of representations made during the consultations. [See the end of this post for link to most of the community submissions.]

[4 June 2018] The more we digest the 2017 draft new London Plan, its Impact Assessment and other supporting documents, the more alarmed we become for the future of London as an inclusive city. Just Space and its member groups are gearing up to challenge it during the coming months of debate. Update from the GLA follows (but the timetable in these bullet points has since slipped. See our later posts.) :

  • there were 4,000 responses to the consultation draft, including postcard campaigns and Talk London (responses to an online survey);
  • Examination in Public (EiP) Panel of 3 inspectors is now in place and will be announced soon.  It will be serviced by Carmel Edwards, Programme Officer, and Jinder Ubhi, Admin Assistant (Jinder works at GLA);
  • GLA London Plan team aim to forward all the responses to EiP Panel by the end of June, with Mayor’s comments and early suggested changes to the draft Plan;
  • All responses will go on-line in July;
  • The Annual Monitoring Report on the London Plan (normally every Feb) won’t be published until July.
  • The Panel’s draft list of the “matters” they propose to examine in public is  expected in August, when the EiP office will open. This draft list (which also identifies which organisations and individuals will be invited to hearings on each issue) is open to challenge for a short while;
  • Technical seminars will be held in September;
  • EiP hearings are expected to start in November and run through to March 2019.

Just Space will make further postings here, including statements of position on the key issues.  Meanwhile the consultation responses of Just Space, its member-groups and many others are gathered together here. Let us know of any important ones we have missed by commenting below.

Estate ballots

[April 2018 + later additions at the end.] Just Space responds to the Mayor of London’s Consultation on whether and how ballots should be held as a pre-condtion for estate “regeneration” schemes which  involve demolition of people’s homes. The response is firm and strong, calling for

  • the Mayor to use planning powers as well as grant-making powers
  • all schemes involving demolition to be covered, not just big schemes
  • ballots to be held early in consultations to reduce the anxiety and disruption of  lives which result from uncertainty
  • voting eligibility must include all household members, not just those named in tenancies or on council waiting lists;  the age cutoff should be 16 and ballots should include tenants who have already been moved moved away but expressed an interest in returning after redevelopment.

Continue reading

draft London Plan: responses

Just Space response

Consultations on the draft new London Plan and its associated
Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) closed on 2 March 2018.
Download complete JustSpace response (116 pages) here:
Just Space on new London Plan complete

For those who don’t want it all, here are comments on the separate chapters:
0 Introduction  JS on Chapter 0
1 Good Growth  JS on chapter 1
2 Spatial Development  JS on chapter 2
3 Design (+ housing density)  JS on chapter 3
4 Housing  JS on chapter 4
5 Social Infrastructure  JS on chapter 5
6 Economy*  JS on chapter 6
7 Heritage and Culture  JS on chapter 7
8 Green Infrastructure and Natural Environment  JS on chapter 8
9 Sustainable Infrastructure  JS on chapter 9
10 Transport  JS on chapter 10
11 Funding  JS on chapter 11
12 Monitoring  JS on chapter 12

and JustSpace supporting documents:
IIA Just Space response
Just Space – community participation in regeneration
London Plan Community Mapping

JustSpace cooperated with students & striking staff at UCL in a “teach-in” on Wednesday 7th at which a summary of this response to the London Plan was presented. A slide show is available here as PDF (not official) ME on JS on LP

*Just Space response to the draft Economic Development Strategy appeared on 13 March 2018 JS response to Draft Economic Development Strategy

Other responses to the draft London Plan
List to grow as organisations & individuals send us their documents

Press & blog links
Duncan Bowie 15 June 2018 on Dave Hill’s blog


Beyond (below) this point the page contains drafts and background material generated up to the end of February 2018. Some of it remains useful.  Continue reading

new Plan: first impressions

11 December 2017:  Protection for pubs and much better for reading on screen. Some protection for industrial land and jobs. Otherwise the draft is looking like a step backwards. We are all reading it now.

The draft of the new London Plan appeared on 1 December. Here we shall gather comments as they appear. If you want a (free) printed copy of the draft Plan mailed to you please email your request to LondonPlan@london.gov.uk

Duncan Bowie, housing expert and former GLA planner in charge of housing, on the failures of the draft Plan to tackle housing need: Bowie on housing supply policies in draft London Plan Dec 2017 and an earlier comment on density from Michael Edwards.

First quick summaries/reactions on themes in the draft Plan: Just Space LP Economy note || London Plan housing Dec 2017 || Summary – Draft London Plan Housing Chapter || Opportunity Areas new London Plan 2017 ||…

Planning blogger, Andrew Lainton, famously acerbic and prone to typos, is dismissive of the plan’s attempt to square the circle of housing supply.

Please use the comment box below to link us to more critiques.

Commentaries on the draft Housing Strategy, an overlapping document, are gathered in the previous post.

13 December: the draft Economic Development Strategy is published. This too is for consultation (until 13 March 2018) but the comments are not published – except by us – and not subjected to public debate; only the London Plan has an Examination in Public (hearings). [ Later: Just Space response March 2018 is here JS response to Draft Economic Development Strategy ]