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Johnson reviews London Plan

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced a review of the London Plan

It is understood Johnson wants to simplify the four-year old spatial development strategy - the brainchild of previous mayor Ken Livingston - and remove a raft of supplementary planning guidance. The revised plan will also include the scrapping of the 50 per cent affordable housing target and also addressing the need for new quality standards in house building.

Johnson said: ‘It is essential that we get the London Plan right now so that it is ready to help London grow and strengthen its status as a world-beating city when the economic upturn arrives. The new policies will form the capital’s planning framework for the next decade and beyond.’

Speaking to the AJ, the chair of the RIBA Planning Group Peter Stewart said he welcomed the move and hoped it would end ‘the nightmarish overlap between the LA and GLA for planning applicants’.

However he admitted he had some concerns over the possibility of an affordable workspace policy saying: ‘While this is a good idea, I am worried that, like the affordable housing policy, it will burden the planning system.’ He went on to question whether the pledge for quality might ‘be undermined by less demanding standards which may emerge as a consequence of the current economic climate.’

The review of the London Plan, which replaced RPG3 strategic planning guidance and was contributed to by Richard Rogers, follows the publication in July of ‘Planning for a Better London’, which set out Johnson’s intensions for dealing with planning issues in the capital.

The subsequent consultation, which closed on 10 November, supported a full review of the London Plan in favour of making successive alterations to the existing one. Any changes that are made will have to go through a statutory consultation process and then examination in public.

Terry Farrell added: ‘It makes perfect sense to conduct a review of the London Plan. The Plan, like the capital, is not and should not be static, and the planning and property world is a very different place now to how it was when the first London Plan was introduced. I expect to work closely with William McKee and my colleagues on the Outer London Commission on how best we can contribute to the revision of the London Plan. Development in London is now in an extremely different set of circumstances and I hope we can all work together to produce the best possible plan for London’s future.’

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