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London Forum Updates

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'Planning' reports London Forum's policy change alert


Posted on: 14 August 2015 at 21:00:33
The magazine Planning has an article in the issue for 14th August 2015 which reports London Forum's publicity and intervention which resulted in the deferment of proposals by the Government to extend permitted development of offices to residential accommodation. The changes were not announced before Parliament's Summer recess, as expected, and should now be able to be debated by MPs when next proposed. The harm the policy has caused so far has been publicised by London Forum and there is now opportunity for local authorities to introduce some safeguards to protect business from loss of offices, as the article describes.
There is another article here in Planning which describes the lack of information on progress and benefits from the release of public sector land for development.
A problem could be the proposal by Government on page 45 of the publication 'Fixing the Foundations' to make development of brownfield sites permitted development. That would deprive local authorities and communities of the right to determine what is built on such land.
The changes made by the last Government here will need to be monitored for the effect they will have.
 


Unlawful building on Clapham Common must stop - OSS


Posted on: 13 August 2015 at 23:17:15
The Open Spaces Society has issued a statement that ‘Lambeth Council has been unlawfully permitting large structures to be built on Clapham Common and the practice must stop.’  See here.


Hackney Mayor seeks objections to Bishopsgate scheme


Posted on: 12 August 2015 at 12:13:21
Mayor Jules Pipe is warning that amended plans for Bishopsgate Goodsyard still threaten the unique character of Shoreditch and its nearby conservation areas and listed buildings, do nothing to address the borough’s housing needs and could be hugely detrimental to Tech City, leading to the loss of local tech and design jobs.  He urges people to object to the development proposals which include two residential towers standing at 47 and 39 floors with only 10% of homes allocated to 'affordable housing'.
 
Details from the LB Hackney web site are here.
 
People can comment on the application online by the end of October, before it is due to come before the Council’s Planning Committee, via
www.hackney.gov.uk/bgy-planning.asp and clicking ‘Add Comments Here
Note that at present that page shows still the consultation end date of 27th July for the original application but it has been amended.


Government policies risk reducing affordable homes


Posted on: 10 August 2015 at 21:47:21
London will lose half a million social homes under Tories, says Sadiq Khan in The Guardian
http://bit.ly/1Ekl8Tz


Cross-party opposition to Housing Assoc. 'Right to Buy'


Posted on: 8 August 2015 at 20:49:05
The Guardian has reported pressure by local authorities on the Government to think again about the forthcoming Housing Bill, which will contain the new right to buy measures, because it must help London and its councils to generate more homes in the city, including a net increase in truly “affordable” ones, contribute to sustaining its broad social mix and ensure that money raised from the sale of its affordable homes is reinvested in the capital to help it meet its growing housing need, rather than be exported elsewhere.
This expression of cross-party anxiety about extending right to buy and the forced sale of council housing to compensate for its loss is strongly expressed.


Changes to services offered by Historic England


Posted on: 8 August 2015 at 20:35:51
Four Historic England new services will launch on 12th October 2015. The four Enhanced Advisory Services are:

  • Fast-track Listing: providing Listing decisions in a quicker and guaranteed timeframe.

  • Listing Enhancement: providing clarity over the extent of statutory protection in a guaranteed timeframe.

  • Extended Pre-application Advice: providing Historic England engagement in pre-application advice beyond an initial free service.

  • Listing Screening Service: providing assessment of the likelihood of any heritage assets with the degree of interest that would warrant statutory Listing.


To discuss further, or if you have any questions, please email EnhancedAdvisory.Services@HistoricEngland.org.uk  
Michael Bishop, Head of Enhanced Advisory Services, Historic England
Sign up to our enewsletter to keep up to date with our latest news, advice and listings. HistoricEngland.org.uk           Twitter: @HistoricEngland


London Forum's comments on the Airports Commission report


Posted on: 7 August 2015 at 23:37:58
London Forum has made comments on the noise, pollution and traffic implications of expanding Heathrow airport with a third runway, as recommended by the Airports Commission.


Affordable housing restriction lifted


Posted on: 7 August 2015 at 19:06:44
A Court Judgement will now allow affordable housing in small developments.  Government's policy has been found flawed.
See a Planning Resource report here.
Also further comment here.


Councils seek to clarify viability assessments


Posted on: 6 August 2015 at 22:43:06
Viability assessments are used by developers to justify affordable housing contributions that are lower than council targets and are considered by many outside the development industry — and some inside it — to be a smoke-and-mirrors exercise that serves the sole purpose of driving up developers’ profits. Crucially, the reports are not made available to councillors or the public and are instead assessed by an independent consultant who then provides a report to the council. But this could be set to change.
There is growing pressure in the capital for the assessments to be made public and developers’ viability claims to be put to a wider test. Even the pro-development mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has hit out at developers’ use of viability assessments, admitting in a recent meeting of the London Assembly that they are “something of a dark art” and conceding that he would like to see the reports “shared more widely”.
 
See more in a Property Week article.


ATCM on Office to Residential permitted development


Posted on: 23 July 2015 at 21:19:01
The Association of Town Centre Management has added its arguments to those of London Forum against the extension of PDR for conversion of offices.

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