This page chronicles the public hearings on the draft New London Plan. It goes step by step through the topics and arguments from the start through to the end in May 2019. The front page of this web site will continue to have news stories; this page is a good page to bookmark and come back to, or to find a topic.
Just Space holds a number of briefing meetings, jointly with the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL, for community organisations, researchers, students and others who want to keep up with events and prepare for the next stage of the hearings (Examination in Public – EiP).
7 November: 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.
26 November and 5 December 2018: 2 briefings before the EiP opens. Both started with a background talk for people new to the process and then heard contributions from community and academic speakers. Slides from both sessions are here and there are notes coming soon. The first session focused on London’s spatial structure, especially on Opportunity Areas, and the second on housing.
Week 1, Tue 15 Jan, Legal and procedural matters
M1. Does the Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) and Addendum Report (NLP/CD/04 & 05) meet legal and national policy requirements relating to sustainability appraisal and strategic environmental assessment? In particular: a) Is it suitably comprehensive and has it sufficiently evaluated reasonable alternatives and does it provide a basis for future monitoring?
b) Have the recommendations made within the IIA been adequately addressed
within the Plan?
Just Space response: equalities and health issues are inadequately treated; the exploration of alternatives is deficient and fails to satisfy the regulations; the analysis fails to make adequate provision for monitoring outcomes. Just Space has tried hard at various stages to influence the IIA process but without any detectable effect. Full Just Space response: M1 JS Sustainability Appraisal 2718 in full
Equality of Opportunity
M2. Does the Integrated Impact Assessment and Addendum Report (NLP/CD/04 & 05) indicate that the Plan will help to advance equality of opportunity between people who share a “protected characteristic” as defined in the Equality Act 2010 and those that do not share it and further the other two aims of the Act? In particular, which policies of the Plan will achieve this? [“Protected characteristics” are age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex and sexual orientation.]
Just Space Response: Were the plan to proceed on the basis of the current IIA it would do so unlawfully. M2 JS equalities response in full
Habitat Regulations Assessment
M3. Does the Habitat Regulations Assessment Update Report (NLP/CD/07) meet the requirements of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and relevant national policy and guidance? In particular:
a) Does it adequately address whether the Plan would adversely affect the integrity of European conservation sites either alone or in combination with other plans or projects?
b) Has it taken sufficient account of relevant case law including People Over Wind and Wealden?
c) Does the Plan incorporate any recommended mitigation measures or alternative solutions?
Week 1 Wed morning 16 January Legal and Procedural Matters: Duty to Cooperate and Consultation [M4-M6]
Duty to Cooperate
M4. Does the duty to cooperate set out in section 33A of the Planning and
Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 apply to the Mayor’s preparation of the Plan?
M5. Irrespective of matter M4, did the Mayor engage constructively, actively and on an on-going basis during the preparation of the Plan:
a) with all relevant local authorities and other prescribed bodies in London;
b) all relevant local authorities and prescribed bodies outside London on strategic and cross boundary matters in the wider South East?
Consultation and Engagement
M6. Was the consultation carried out during the preparation of the Plan in accordance with relevant legislation5, and did it involve early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with the community, local authorities, organisations and businesses?
Week 1 Wed afternoon 16 January Good Growth M9
M9. (a) Are Good Growth policies GG1 to GG6 consistent with national policy and/or justified, and would they help ensure that the Plan provides an effective strategic framework to achieve sustainable development? (b) Are the policies in chapters 2 to 12 of the Plan appropriately informed by and consistent with Good Growth policies GG1 to GG6?
Just Space response: even with the welcome addition of ‘good=inclusive’, the good growth concept is too imprecise to guide the Plan; the sentiments in the chapter are not carried through into the substance and policies and additional indicators are needed so that the plan’s achievements can be measured. M9 JS Good Growth response in full
Week 1 Friday 18 January Format, Scope and Content of the Plan
M7. Does the Plan set out a spatial development strategy in accordance with relevant legislation and national policy? In particular:
a) Does the Plan deal only with matters which are of strategic importance to Greater London?
b) Would the policies in the Plan provide an effective strategic framework for the preparation of local plans and neighbourhood plans in London?
c) Does the Plan address detailed issues that would be more appropriately addressed in local plans and neighbourhood plans?
d) Is the approach to planning in London described in paragraphs 0.0.21 and 0.0.22, particularly with regard to the relationship between the spatial development strategy and local plans, neighbourhood plans and the Boroughs’ development management responsibilities, justified and consistent with national policy and legislation?
Just Space response: the draft new Plan compares unfavourably with the existing (previous) plan in some respects and it seriously underplays the role of Neighbourhood Planning. M7 JS Format, Scope and Content response in full
M8. Given the legal requirement for the Mayor to have regard to the need to ensure that the Plan is consistent with national policies, is it justified for certain policies to deviate from national policy and guidance?
Just Space response: the Plan could and should have gone much further in showing where London’s needs cannot be served by the direct application of national policy, especially on housing issues, land values and high streets. M8 JS national policy and guidance response in full
Week 2 Tuesday 22 January Overall spatial development strategy [M10-M13]
M10. Should the vast majority of London’s development needs be met within London?a) Is the approach of seeking to accommodate the vast majority of identified development requirements between 2019 and 2041 within London justified and would so doing contribute to the objective of achieving sustainable development?
b) Alternatively, would accommodating more of London’s development needs in the wider South East and beyond better contribute to the objective of achieving sustainable development?
c) If so, is there a realistic prospect that such an approach in London and the wider South East could be delivered in the context of national policy and legislation?
Just Space response: the draft Plan has to pretend that almost all growth needs can be met within the GLA boundary but can only do so by extending the catch-up of housing need backlogs over an unacceptable 25 years, diverting land from other uses and intensifying land use to a seriously damaging degree. The imperative generated by this aspiration would impose unacceptable costs on Londoners, especially low- and middle-income Londoners, and would increase the backlog of unmet need for low-rent homes. Pushing unmet needs to areas outside the boundary —either through just letting it happen, as before, or through bilateral deals with local authorities— would probably increase the amount of travel and have adverse social and environmental effects. Just Space full response: M10 JS contain growth within GL
a) Is the focus on the Central Activities Zone, Town Centres, Opportunity Areas and through the intensification of existing built-up areas in inner and outer London whilst protecting the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land justified and would it be effective in meeting identified needs and achieving sustainable development?b) Alternatively, should some of London’s development needs be met throughreviewing Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land in London?
Just Space response: London is growing in ways which impact especially badly on low- and moderate-income people and vulnerable equality groups. Alternative and more egalitarian spatial strategies have not been explored and the mechanisms proposed in the plan are not based on evidence. M11 JS strategic development response in full
M12. Is the broad spatial distribution of housing and employment development proposed in the Plan, including between inner and outer London10, justified and would it contribute to the objective of achieving sustainable development particularly in terms of minimising the need to travel and maximising the use of sustainable transport modes; building a strong, competitive economy; creating healthy, inclusive communities; and respecting the character and appearance of different parts of London?
Just Space response: in a dense and careful response JS explains why London is becoming over-centralised with damaging economic, social and environmental consequences; the community alternative spatial strategy should have been evaluated within the IIA. The distinction between inner and outer London is obsolete and the policies of intensification (including incremental intensification) need careful evaluation in both areas before they are adopted on the proposed blanket scale. The malign effect of viability considerations is to make lower-price land in the suburbs seem least attractive for low cost rental housing development and this reinforces segregation. M12 JS spatial development response in full
M13. Would the Plan be effective in ensuring that adequate physical, environmental and social infrastructure is in place in a timely manner to support the amount and type of development proposed? In particular:
a) Is the development proposed in the Plan dependent on the provision of the infrastructure identified in the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 [NLP/EC/020]?
b) If so, is the strategy justified and would it be effective, bearing in mind that the delivery of some of the infrastructure projects is not certain and that there is an identified infrastructure funding gap of at least £3.1billion per year?
c) What, if any, strategic infrastructure other than that identified in the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 is likely to be needed to support the development proposed in the Plan?
Just Space response: The Infrastructure Plan 2050, although 4 years old, has never been subjected to EiP. As we argued in a detailed critique at the time, it is a highly unsatisfactory document, lacking in even the most basic evaluation of alternatives and weak on social infrastructure. The draft Plan is heavily dependent on infrastructure (both elements in the IP 2050 and others) but funding for much of this is insecure or could only be secured through over-development. M13 JS infrastructure response in full.
Week 2 Wed 23 January morning: Opportunity Areas
M14. Are the Opportunity Areas identified on the Key Diagram and Figures 2.4 to 2.12 likely to deliver the indicative number of additional homes and jobs assumed in the Plan in a way that is justified and consistent with national policy? In particular:
a) Are sites likely to be available in the Opportunity Areas with sufficient capacity to accommodate the expected scale of development?
b) Have the Opportunity Areas been chosen having due regard to flood risk in accordance with national policy?
c) To be effective in preventing unacceptable risk from pollution and land instability and ensuring that development only takes place on sites that are suitable for the use proposed, is it necessary for the Plan to set out a strategic approach to dealing with despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated and unstable land in Opportunity Areas?
d) How would the development proposed be likely to affect the character and appearance of existing places within and around the Opportunity Areas including with regard to heritage assets and their settings?
e) Is the necessary transport and other physical, environmental and social infrastructure likely to be in place in each of the Opportunity Areas in a timely manner?
f) Would the development proposed in the Opportunity Areas support policyGG1 “building strong and inclusive communities” and Policy SD10 “strategic and local regeneration”?
g) Would Policy SD1 provide an effective strategic context for the preparation of local plans and neighbourhood plans?
h) Is the approach to development management set out in SD1 consistent with national policy and would it be effective particularly in terms of therole of “planning frameworks”?
Just Space response: This element of the plan is fundamentally unsound and not evidence based. Furthermore, the process of delimiting, determining targets and preparing OAPFs for Opportunity Areas is not in conformity with the national planning framework. The panel’s main question cannot be answered because the targets are set without transparency or criteria. OAs commonly damage communities and pre-existing local economies. JS calls for a review of OA experience to date and a moratorium on further designations until that review is complete. In short the Plan’s main implementation mechanism is deeply deficient. M14 JS Opportunity Areas in full
Week 2 Wed 23 January afternoon: Strategic and Local Regeneration
M15. Would the Plan be effective in ensuring that development contributes positively to regeneration where it is needed and the building of strong and inclusive communities in accordance with Policy GG1? In particular:
a) Would Figure 2.19 provide an effective and justified strategic framework for the identification of regeneration areas in local plans and neighbourhood plans?
b) Would Policy SD10 provide an effective and justified strategic framework for the preparation of (i) policies in local plans and neighbourhood plans and (ii) regeneration strategies and programmes?
Just Space response: Draft policies exclude all references to the creative, pro-active, role of communities in bringing forward regeneration plans and in subsequent implementation. Material in the supporting text should be re-phrased and incorporated in policy. M15 JS strategic and local regeneration response in full
Week 2 Friday 25 January morning only? The Wider South East and Beyond
M16. (a) How, if at all, should the Plan address the matter of development and growth in the wider South East? (b) Are policies SD2 and SD3 necessary, and would they be effective in assisting in implementation of the Plan and/or informing a future review of the Plan?
Just Space response: The Mayor should press successive governments to facilitate the development of alternative strategies for the wider South East and other regions and nations to be prepared with full public participation, genuine Impact Assessment of environmental, social and economic effects and transparent governance arrangements, led by elected local or regional governments. Ad- hoc bilateral deals with self-selected local authorities are anti-democratic and unlikely to lead to ‘good growth’ or sustainable development. This approach would be consistent with the Mayor’s obligations to pursue the sustainable development of the UK and would take some of the pressure off London. M16 JS Wider South East response in full.