The Draft London Plan was published for 3-month consultation on 29th November 2017 while the final new London Plan is expected to be published in Autumn 2019.
The Draft Plan sets out the Mayor’s vision for London and the strategic policies for future development and ‘Good Growth’ of the capital. Although the policies are not finalised yet, they are an indicator of the new approaches which influence planners, developers and decision makers.
Policy H1 proposes a target for housing of 64,935 new homes per annum over the next 10 years for London boroughs. This a significant increase from the current housing target which is 42,389 new homes per annum. Of note is also the ambition to provide more homes within Outer London in contrast to Inner London where the target remains similar to current or even decreased in some boroughs such as Islington, Hackney and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
In order to assist the boroughs to achieve their 10 years target the policy H1 sets out a number of measures including:
-promotion of the available brownfield sites for the delivery of housing
-re-evaluation of the appropriateness of land around new sustainable transport infrastructure
-promotion of mixed-use developments within industrial sites
Policy H2 states that greater importance should be placed on small sites as a means to meet housing targets. In order to encourage these small housing developments (up to 25 homes or up to 0.25ha), to assist small and medium sized builders and to increase housing in “accessible parts of London” the Draft Plan set out measures such as:
-schemes of 10 homes of fewer do not require on-site delivery of affordable housing but allow off-site contribution as an alternative.
-promotion of infill development on vacant or underused sites
-density increases on existing residential homes within areas with PTAL scores between 3 and 6
-introduction of area-wide design codes to avoid unacceptable level of harm to the surrounding area.
As expected the Draft Plan emphasises on the delivery of ‘genuinely’ affordable housing across London outlining a strategic target for 50% of all new homes constructed in London to be affordable (H5). To achieve this target the affordable housing providers, public sector landowners and strategic partners are proposed to enter into agreement with the Mayor.
The Draft Plan continues the ‘threshold approach’ introduced by the Affordable Housing and Viability SPG earlier this year. Policy H6 sets the initial thresholds at a minimum of 35% of affordable housing on all sites and 50% on public sector land or relevant industrial sites. However, the Draft Plan allows a localised affordable housing threshold in opportunity areas that could be less than 35%.
Opportunity areas are linked to existing or potential improvements in public transport connectivity and capacity and are located across the whole of London. Some of the ongoing Western and Northern opportunity areas include Heathrow, Hayes, Southall, White City, Earls Court and West Kensington, Great West Corridor, Kensal Canalside, Old Oak and Park Royal, Harrow and Wealdstone, Wembley, Colindale / Burnt Oak, Brent Cross / Cricklewood. Central opportunity areas are identified as well: Paddington, Victoria,Tottenham Court Road, Euston, King’s Cross,City Fringe / Tech City, Vauxhall Nine Elms.
Authored by Michaela Kekeri