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London Plan: view framework and social housing proposals draws fire

Boris Johnson’s draft London View Management Framework (LVMF) has been slammed by local authorities worried it will hinder redevelopment

Elements of the proposals, released for consultation as part of the London Plan this week, have been described as ‘blunt and inflexible’ by Southwark Council and ‘inappropriate’ by the City of London Corporation.

The LVMF sets out safeguards for 26 strategically important views across the capital, many of which are long established. But the addition of new protected silhouettes and river prospects ‘adds uncertainty and inappropriate new constraints,’ according to the City Corporation.

John Prevc of Make Architects, masterplanner for the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle, said: ‘The draft LVMF would disallow any new building here above 63 or 66 metres and it will limit the potential for a local authority and development partner to explore the full potential of the site in the future.’

Meanwhile, the London Plan spells bad news for architects focused on social housing. The Mayor has proposed to cut affordable housing targets from 50,000 homes over three years to 13,200 a year.

Director of FAT, Sean Griffiths said: ‘There is clearly already a shortage of affordable housing, which seems to be driven by forthcoming public sector cuts. One would have hoped that social housing investment would have increased at a time when people’s incomes are decreasing.’

Boroughs will also have agree to provide a set amount of affordable housing every year, depending on local requirements.

Speaking to the AJ, chair of the London Assembly’s Planning and Housing Committee Jenny Jones expressed her dissatisfaction with the proposals: ‘The plan would give power to the boroughs, who would deliver as much affordable housing as they think they need. But it should be spread throughout London, this sounds like it’s edging towards social cleansing.’

Postscript:

A response from the Mayor of London: It is not the case the Mayor had dropped his commitment to delivering 50,000 more affordable homes in the capital.

He remains absolutely committed to this target during his Mayoralty, which would be a record amount for the city. The report confuses the investment target to fund 50,000 affordable homes, which includes non-new build affordable supply and spans the current Mayoral term, and the annual 13,200 affordable homes target in the draft London Plan, which is restricted to new build and is not anticipated to come into effect until the end of the Mayoral term. Indeed, with the inclusion of non-new build, 13,200 new build affordable homes a year may well contribute to over 50,000 affordable completions during an investment round. So far, in spite of the current economic conditions, significantly more affordable homes have been delivered in the first year of the current Mayoralty than during the average year under the previous administration.

It should be noted that as well as this commitment the Mayor is dedicated to delivering both more family homes, and ensuring that all affordable homes are now built to much higher design and space standards.
 

Projects potentially under threat

Beetham Tower, 1 Blackfriars (pictured) Ian Simpson Architects

Oakmayne Plaza, Elephant Road PKS Architects

20 Blackfriars originally Wilkinson Eyre

Eileen House, Newington Causeway Allies & Morrison

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