Strategic and local regeneration Matter 15
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Questions raised by the Panel were: 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?
The afternoon session focused on Strategic and Local Regeneration. The Examiner opened up to the floor by asking groups to give some concrete examples of past experiences of regeneration (Hackney, Redbridge, Peckham). Eileen Conn from Peckham Vision suggested that from her experience, there is no account of what already exists on regeneration sites. She proposes that every area designated for regeneration should be the object of an audit highlighting already existing buildings, communities and uses and to clearly stress what the potential is to build on and preserve such assets. This proposition was echoed by other community organizations, which further stressed that what is meant by regeneration and what regeneration can bring to local communities would need to be defined almost on a site-by-site basis, understanding and building upon on what already exists. Architects from Footwork recognized that in their current form, consultation mechanisms are not adequate to assess such needs, partly because of the short timeframes over which these are carried out and the lack of effective collaboration with community organisations. More engagement is needed to create evidence and information that can effectively inform regeneration strategies based on local needs. Information on local demographics is far from sufficient to achieve this.
As pointed out by London Forum, there have been examples of successful regeneration in the past but these have been based on an active involvement of community groups in the design and implementation of regeneration strategies: it has to be community-led.
The London Assembly Planning Committee stressed the fact that many regeneration areas fall within OA boundaries and the relationship between planning frameworks used to deal with regeneration and OAs needs to be clarified, including considerations of the role of London Boroughs and community organizations. This was echoed by a number of community organizations. The Examiner recognized that this was an important message, highlighting that important principles and objectives for regeneration could be better addressed. The GLA recognised it would need to bring more clarity into the text, but also referred to other policies already existing in the NLP as places where some of the issues are already addressed. GLA representatives also reassessed the need for local plans to bring more clarity on these matters, specifically for private developers, as they stressed that “delivering market housing is not stopping affordable housing being built, often it is enabling it.” The Examiner concluded that there are clear issues around empowerment and collaboration and that the key objectives of regeneration including its impact on inequalities should be further discussed.
Edited by Enora Robin from notes by Cecilia Colombo, Gabi Abadi, Sam Colchester, Alice Devenyns and Emma Woodward. We may expand this very short summary of what was a dense discussion.