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Big changes for capital’s architects as LDA faces axe

London mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled plans for a major restructure of the Greater London Authority (GLA), which will see the London Development Agency (LDA) cease to exist and could mean big changes for architects working in the capital

The move to streamline the GLA, subject to government approval and changes in legislation, would see the LDA and the London region of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) devolved to the GLA.

David Birkbeck, chief executive of Design for Homes, said the biggest change for architects would be if a new series of procurement procedures was introduced. ‘Currently the HCA has some of the best, most simplified procurement systems we have ever seen – it would be a shame to lose that,’ he said.

Sources at Design for London, which was itself absorbed by the LDA in 2008, said staff could also be at risk. Fiona Scott, partner at Gort Scott, winner of the DfL-backed Forgotten Spaces competition (AJ 27.05.10), said: ‘Design for London does an indispensable job and if it is squeezed London will suffer; it has a lot of influence in ways that are not always visible.’

An LDA spokesman admitted it is ‘likely’ that redundancies would be made to its 380-strong workforce.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company is set to be reformed as a Mayoral Development Corporation, which would have a planning function and would report directly to Johnson.

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