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Urban blueprint for London' the mother of all strategies'


London-wide urban plans will reinvent the capital, be the 'mother of all strategies' and stop petty infighting among planners, experts vowed last week.

Nick Raynsford, the minister for London, said the pan-capital blueprint aimed to put an end to the planning and regeneration quagmire. Last week's launch of the document, published by the Association of London Government, would help pave the way for co-ordination and stop neighbouring boroughs poaching inward investment from each other, he said.

The 75-page Strategic Framework for London is one of the biggest urban development research projects ever to be carried out in Europe. It took 18 months to compile, and calls for a ftse-type index to measure London's progress over the next 20 years. The index would include indicators for housing conditions and business performance to measure the success of sustainable regeneration policies.

The report, to be fine-tuned for a final draft in October, will be used by the capital's new mayor and assembly to guide policy. It aims to help them 'modernise the approach to sustainable growth and aid co-ordination and clear direction. They will have real powers and financial resources to promote regeneration and the mayor will be responsible for the direction of regeneration spending,' said Raynsford.

One of the report's authors, economist and planner Dr Mark Hepworth, said: 'A sustainable strategy would be a mayor's strategy; the mother of all strategies, an umbrella strategy that covers all policies and functions.'

Key planning priorities are:

to work on an audit of derelict sites and seek to recycle derelict land and buildings, particularly for new housing and green space

to ensure a full range of affordable housing is available across London

to ensure all future housing provision is multi-tenure regardless of location

to require all new housing to be subject to minimum green space allocations

to support the development of local integrated land-use strategies

to examine the use of tax and fiscalmeasures to raise the take-up of environmental technologies.

Kiran Curtis has designed two schemes for an unusual warehouse conversion in London's Covent Garden. Planning permission has been granted for a scheme of eight flats and penthouses (shown) and the practice's other design for offices. The contract value is£1 million.

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