Revised London Plan is now out

There have been press stories today from Cannes reporting that the Mayor of London has announced (at MIPIM) an ambitious new London Plan.  In fact what has happened is that the Further Alterations to the London Plan (#FALP14) which were debated in last year’s public hearings – EiP – have finally been integrated with previous versions and published. This is now the operative London Plan and can be downloaded from the City Hall web site  http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/planning/london-plan/further-alterations-to-the-london-plan

Work is starting on a complete review of the London Plan (and Just Space plans a conference in the summer on what it should contain).  Meanwhile a further set of minor alterations is expected to be published for consultation immediately after the UK general election in May 2015.

Inspector’s report issued #falp14

The report by the Inspector on the Further Alterations to the London Plan 2014 has been published on the  GLA website

It starts with: Non-Technical Summary

“This report concludes that the London Plan as changed by the Further Alterations provides an appropriate basis for the strategic planning of Greater London provided the suggested and further suggested changes are made and my recommendations are accepted.

The recommendations can be summarised as follows:

  •   Committing to an immediate full review of the London Plan
  •   Removing references to London Boroughs being required carry out their own assessments of objectively assessed housing need
  •   Allowing London Boroughs to set their own income criteria with regard to intermediate housing

Just Space will add comments when they are ready.

Public hearings on new Plan under way

The Examination in Public of the Mayor’s proposed changes to the London Plan opened on 1 September at City Hall and run through most of September.

The structure, topics and programme for the hearings are summarised here, with links to the Statements which Just Space, other community groups and other individuals and organisations have made on each topic.

Users of Twitter should look for #FALP14

London for all: opening up debate on London’s economy

Monday 14 July 2014 1.30-6pm

Bromley by Bow Centre, St Leonard’s Street, London E3 3BT

http://londonforall.eventbrite.com

Final Programme

 

Organised by the Just Space Economy and Planning group (JSEP), this event brings together speakers from the Centre for London, new economics foundation, Federation of Small Businesses and London Assembly, amongst others, to debate how a future London Plan and Economic Development Strategy could better support a more inclusive and sustainable London economy.

With the Mayor of London currently pursuing alterations to the London Plan and the London Enterprise Panel developing an Economic Development Plan, this event will make the case for sustained dialogue with a broad range of groups.

The diversity of London’s economy is poorly represented in plans, policies and stakeholder engagement processes, where developers and large businesses generally dominate. Less well heard are the voices of London’s small and local businesses, industrial activities, social enterprises and ethnic retailers, for example, as well as groups concerned with poverty, inequality and environmental issues.

By engaging with a more diverse range of groups, JSEP has already uncovered evidence of the under-represented economies locating in London’s high streets, affordable office spaces and industrial areas. Yet the Mayor’s proposed changes to the London Plan are likely to squeeze out these activities, posing severe risks to the prospects of achieving a more inclusive and sustainable London economy.

All are invited to participate in the debate, which will be initiated with contributions from speakers including:

* Jenny Jones AM, Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee

* Ben Rogers, Director, Centre for London

* Sue Terpilowski, Federation of Small Businesses

* Rachel Laurence, new economics foundation

* Polly Trenow, Women’s Budget Group and the Fawcett Society

* Laurie Heselden, Southern and Eastern Region of the Trades Union Congress

* David Fell, London Remade and Brook Lyndhurst

* Diane Perrons, London School of Economics and Political Science

Programme:

1.30-2pm: Registration; tea and coffee.

2pm: Opening remarks from Just Space Economy and Planning and Bromley by Bow Centre.

2.15pm: Opening debate, including contributions from Jenny Jones AM (Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee) and Ben Rogers (Centre for London).

2.45-4.15pm: Themed debates.

4.15-5pm: Concluding discussion.

5-6pm: Drinks reception.

How to find the Bromley by Bow Centre (www.bbbc.org.uk)

Bromley by Bow Centre is around 30 minutes from central London, being just five minutes from Bromley by Bow Underground station on the District and Hammersmith & City lines.

Address and reception: Bromley by Bow Centre is at the corner of St Leonard’s Street and Bruce Road (London E3 3HN), the Centre’s reception is in the Connection Zone which is on the Bruce Road side of the building.

By Underground: Bromley by Bow station (District Line, Hammersmith and City Line).

By Docklands Light Railway: Bow Church or Devon’s Road stations.

By bus: From the West End and City – 8 or 25; From Stratford or Lewisham – 108; From Hackney – 488.

Next steps for Just Space Economy and Planning

After the enormous collective effort of our 40 page response to the Mayor’s proposed Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP), Just Space Economy and Planning group is, well, regrouping, with two evening seminars and a half-day event planned over the next few months.

JSEP ponders the FALP, gathering evidence and examples with which to respond to the proposed alterations to the London Plan

JSEP ponders the FALP, gathering evidence and examples with which to respond to the proposed alterations to the London Plan

Fear not! We’ll  be getting back to the FALP soon enough, in order to marshal a diverse range of representations on economic issues for the Examination in Public in September. To get involved, contact Myfanwy Taylor (myfanwy.taylor.09 AT ucl.ac.uk). To catch up on JSEP’s work on the FALP, you can read our collective response here (2nd response), and the note of the discussion which informed it here.

But before then…

On Friday 20 June, we’ll be trying to look beyond the minutae of the FALP to develop our thinking on more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economic development strategies for London.  The London Enterprise Panel (LEP) is currently working on a new Economic Development Plan for London (and have commissioned London First for the task) but its hard to get involved as the meetings are held in private and there’s no community representation. Nearly six months on, JSEP’s request to meet with the LEP still remains unanswered.

We’re also working to organise a long overdue discussion with trades unions, cooperatives and other groups that represent people who work in London, whose voices tend not to be heard in debates about economic issues in planning.

Finally, watch this space for further details about a half-day event to explore how a future London Plan might support a more socially and environmentally sustainable economy We’ll be addressing the questions Boris ducked in the FALP, reinvigorating public debate about how planning policy can support the kind of London economy we want.

Hearings announced

The GLA announces that the hearings about the Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP)—the Examination in Public (EiP)—will start on 1 September and run for about 3 weeks. The web page http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/planning/london-plan/examination-in-public has details and will soon have a complete set of the 300+ responses that have been made. There will be a preliminary meeting about the EiP process at 1100h on 11 July, followed in the afternoon by a Technical Seminar, both in City Hall. The Inspector for the EiP will be Anthony Thickett BA Hons BTP MRTPI Dip RSA and the Secretary will be Ms Carmel Edwards who has been very helpful to Just Space and community groups in past hearings. Info via Robin Brown. More details on the timetable leading up to the EiP are on the events page.

Strong criticism in community responses to plan

Community groups across London are releasing the comments they submitted on 10 April to City Hall on the Mayor’s draft Further Alterations to the London Plan FALP. #FALP14

A common thread in the responses is that the plan will be a waste of paper because it doesn’t begin to meet the housing implications of growth while it welcomes the growth itself. A linked problem is the way the plan fans the flames of land and property speculation which in turn impoverishes the majority of Londoners while enriching a minority and sprinkling skyscrapers along the river and in arbitrary spots elsewhere.

The Mayor has been shifting the emphasis of his housing policy away from those in the greatest need – and indeed from most average Londoners – for years. In his last round of alterations to the London Plan he followed government instructions to scrap ‘social-rented’ housing and use the new concept that rents up to 80% of local market levels shall be deemed – and named – “affordable”. He even took power to forbid Boroughs from setting lower rent levels within their areas.  The London Assembly was so incensed that—quite exceptionally—it voted to reject that Plan. Unfortunately, however, a 2/3 majority would have been needed for the Plan to fall. The changes proposed in this 2014 set of Alterations further shift the emphasis of policy away from London’s real needs.

Other comments on the plan include calls for much more decisive action on air quality and climate change, stronger defence of jobs in industrial zones and suburban centres and much more effective democracy in which local councils meet their people’s needs rather than—as so often—just siding with developers and displacing low- and middle-income communities.

Submissions made to City Hall are available here, as they come in.

New London Plan: responding by April 10th

Just Space held a well-attended Community Conference on Saturday 15 March for community groups to hear about and discuss the Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP) and give their input in eight key areas. The reports from the conference will form the basis of Just Space’s response to the London Plan and are designed to help groups which want to make their own responses. Results from the conference are being published here to assist groups in formulating their own responses.

A final meeting to coordinate final responses was held on Friday afternoon 4 April.

These are some of the key issues.

Do make sure you get your views to City Hall by 5.00pm on Thursday 10th. Advice here

Affordable Workspace in London: Just Space at Bootstrap Co.

Just Space Economy and Planning meeting on Affordable Workspace at Bootstrap Co.On Monday 27 January, Just Space Economy and Planning held their fourth bi-monthly seminar on the important issue of affordable workspace in London. Hosted by Bootstrap Company, we heard from their Chief Executive, Sara Turnbull, and Dr Jessica Ferm from the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL.

Bootstrap’s model of providing affordable workspace to social enterprises and start-ups and generating income to fund projects aimed at alleviating poverty through access to employment and entrepreneurs was of significant interest to Just Space, including for  groups looking to develop alternative plans for former industrial buildings and to protect existing affordable workspace. The lack of affordable workspace more broadly in London was affecting Bootstrap, however, as tenants found it hard to move on as they grew. The story of Bootstrap also highlighted the barriers businesses and social enterprises face in participating in planning policy development processes, due to the time involved in reading technical documents and attending meetings. Continue reading

Just Space meets with Federation of Small Businesses and others to discuss ‘Business Involvement in Planning’

On 5 December, Just Space Economy and Planning group held its 3rd discussion within the year-long series aiming to build capacity to engage in planning on economic issues in London (see Statement of Intent here). The focus was ‘Business Involvement in Planning’, with three rich presentations from Sue Terpilowski (Chairman of the London Policy Unit at the Federation of Small Businesses, Managing Director at Image Line and member of the London Enterprise Panel and London Business Network), Elena Besussi (UCL and Camley Street Neighbourhood Forum) and Michael Ball (Waterloo Community Development Group). Continue reading