Tower Bridge seen from River

London Forum Updates

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Why Invest in Landscape?

Posted on: 5 November 2014 at 22:39:29
Further to the speech by Communities Minister Stephen Williams below, the Landscape Institute has published a report on investing in landscape here for:-

  • Creating spaces that users can connect with both physically and emotionally – leading to benefits for local businesses such as increased footfall and time spent.

  • Focussing attention on the value of the built and natural environment in the regeneration process.

  • Delivering reduced development costs through the intelligent use of existing landscape features and the imaginative disposal/incorporation of construction waste.

  • Realising increased saleability and rentability of both private housing and commercial property.

  • Optimising the full development potential of a given location.

CIL may be harming progress on developments

Posted on: 31 October 2014 at 20:44:26
Local authorities with a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule in place have seen a 49 per cent drop in the number of new residential planning consents granted in the 12 months following the introduction of the development tarfiff, according to a report by Savills.

Updated CABE-EH Guidance on Tall Buildings

Posted on: 31 October 2014 at 17:19:31
The latest version of the guidance for decision making about tall buildings can be seen here.

City Growth Commission calls for more powers for London

Posted on: 29 October 2014 at 22:02:08
London Councils Chair Mayor Jules Pipe has welcomed the findings of the RSA City Growth Commission that devolution away from Whitehall is an essential condition for strengthening national economic growth. The Commission’s report, launched last week and in full here calls for London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire to be given Devolved Status with a package of powers to be agreed between these city-regions with the government by January 2015. Urging the government to respond positively, Mayor Pipe said: "The report supports the call of London local government – the boroughs  and the Mayor – for devolution of services such as skills and employment support."

Ensuring inclusive design in our public spaces

Posted on: 23 October 2014 at 22:20:22
Communities Minister Stephen Williams urged developers in a speech to get communities involved from the very beginning of a project to make buildings, streets and public space more inclusive.

Housing for Vulnerable and Older People by HCA

Posted on: 23 October 2014 at 22:10:03
The Homes and Cmmunities Agency says it is committed to working with providers to deliver housing that meets local priorities and the housing needs of all sections of our communities, including meeting the needs of vulnerable and older people in mainstream, supported and specialised housing.
See here.

Labour's proposed Mansion Tax

Posted on: 22 October 2014 at 20:15:39
Simon Jenkins has written on this subject in the Evening Standard here and suggests that the tax may provide £180M for the Government, not the £1.7 billion which is the target for investment in the NHS.  There are letters to the Evening Standard about it here.
Meanwhile, Diane Abbott MP, who wants to be a candidate for London Mayor, suggests here that the money from Mansion Tax should be diverted from the NHS into more affordable homes for Londoners.
No doubt all political parties and candidates will clarify their polices before the 2016 GLA elections. 

Adverse effects of permitted development of offices

Posted on: 19 October 2014 at 18:50:34
The Local Government Association conducted a survey of the effects of the Government's imposition of permitted development for office to residential conversion.
Their conclusions are here.
The harm in London has been very serious and the GLA is seeking to stop the proposed Government extension of the 'freedoms'.
Mary Portas is reported in the FT here to have objected to the way office conversion is harming creative industries.

LGA proposals for first 100 days of 2015 new Government

Posted on: 19 October 2014 at 18:22:19
The Local Government Association has listed here the actions the next Government needs to take in its first 100 days to tackle the housing crisis, unemployment and obesity.
They say that:-
"If a radical and devolved model for public services is put in place, local government will be able to commit, over the course of the next Parliament, to build half a million more homes so people can find a place they can afford, offer every child a place at a good school close to home, to give them the best possible start in life and halve the number of unemployed young people, giving them the best chance to succeed.
By implementing the range of policies outlined in this document, we will save £11 billion on the cost of the public sector and empower local communities to have a real say in their own future."

Response to Cycle Segregated Superhighways consultation

Posted on: 19 October 2014 at 11:13:36
London Forum has responded to the Mayor's consultation on north-south and east-west new cycle superhighways with segregated lanes.
Transport for London has been asked to employ methods to minimise adverse impact on bus and commercial vehicle journey times, goods deliveries and air pollution.
That response and others can be seen here.

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