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Mayor looks at new policies for London Plan

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Mayor of London Ken Livingstone will put forward policies that halt development on back gardens and protect family homes in his next review of the London Plan.

Livingstone said yesterday that he will ‘improve the quality of life for Londoners’ by preventing ‘vital open spaces’ being built on, and bring in new measures to stop ‘attractive single houses’ being demolished to make way for blocks of flats.

The Mayor also outlined plans to limit the ‘inappropriate’ conversion of family homes into flats when he comes to reviewing the London Plan in 2008, which he is required to do by law.

He said: 'I want to see an end to development in back gardens and demolishing attractive houses to make way for soulless flats. This is essential to preserving the character of London's neighbourhoods, especially in the suburbs.

‘Back gardens are a particularly precious resource for Londoners, and once lost are pretty much impossible to get back.’

Livingstone also plans to strengthen support for smaller traders and retailers, ensuring that major commercial developments deliver affordable premises for shops and businesses.

'It’s time to look at amending the planning system to protect small shops and businesses when new development takes place,’ he said.

‘Existing traders should have the assurance that as far as possible new development will find a place for them and for the services they provide, which are often highly valued by local communities as well as providing local employment.'

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