Ben Derbyshire reflects on the London housing shortage at AGM

20 October 2023|

London Forum’s President Ben Derbyshire speaking at the October 2023 AGM, highlighted his newly published book – Home Truths.  He said that after 50 years as an architect, he wanted to pass on what he felt young architects ought to know. Firstly that we need to learn from ‘Loved Housing’. (more…)

Speech to AGM by Patron Professor Tony Travers

18 October 2023|

London Forum’s Patron Professor Tony Travers, Visiting professor in the LSE Dept of Government and Director of LSE London gave a speech at London Forum’s AGM on October 12, 2023 in which he asked us to consider London as it is today and think how it came about.


Biodiversity Net Gain introduction

18 September 2023|

Almost two-thirds of planners cannot confirm they will have resources in place to meet the November 2023 biodiversity net gain (BNG) deadline, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has reported.

Consultation on revising Local Plans

13 September 2023|

The Government wishes to speed up the preparation and inspection of Local Plans and to ensure that all plans of local authorities are updated and completed in a defined timescale from now.
There is a consultation on their proposals to 18th October 2023 here.

September 2023 Chief Planner’s newsletter

13 September 2023|

Joanna Averley, the Chief Planner in DLUHC, has published her September 2023 newsletter to borough leaders and planning officers. It covers ministerial statements for onshore wind and other subjects, a revised NPPF version, Government amendments to LURB for the proposed Infrastructure Levy, an update on biodiversity Net Gain, guidance on grid-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage systems, PDR for EV charge points and a call for evidence on the future of freight.

Proposals for an Infrastructure Levy

19 June 2023|

The Government issued a consultation in March 2023 on its proposals for a new Infrastructure Levy. It was summarised by a ‘Planning’ article here and criticised for its potential to reduce delivery of affordable housing, as here.
London Forum submitted a response to the consultation.

May 2023 Chief Planner’s newsletter

31 May 2023|

Joanna Averley, the Chief Planner in DLUHC, has published her May 2023 newsletter to borough leaders and planning officers. It covers a Responsible Actors Scheme for the purpose of securing and improving the safety and standard of buildings. She wrote “The Environmental Outcomes Reports (EOR) and Infrastructure Levy consultations are still live and I encourage you all to respond using the links provided. There are also consultations underway on short-term lets and high street rental auctions that we hope you’ll engage with. Defra have published the regulations, statutory guidance and consultation response for Local Nature Recovery Strategies and there are new powers to be aware of that address illegal tree-felling in England.

Government SPD and EIP proposals

16 March 2023|

Councils are alarmed at proposals to phase out Supplementary Planning Documents, as here.
There are concerns also expressed about what the Government’s Environment Improvement Plan will mean for councils and developers.
Councils facing additional work by such recent proposed planning changes and by clauses in the Levelling-Up and Planning Bill were hoping for a good financial settlement by Government. London Councils, representing the boroughs, issued a statement on that subject and On London issued a report on the Council Tax increases of the Councils in London.
Localis has issued an asssesment of fiscal devolution and where local government finance will be on 2030.

March 2023 Chief Planner’s newsletter

16 March 2023|

Joanna Averley, the DLUHC Chief Planner has published a March 2023 newsletter to borough planning officers. It covers a consultation to 25th April 2023 on ‘Stronger Performance of Local Planning Authorities supported through an increase in Planning Fees’.  That is descibed by FirstPlan here.
The newsletter includes information on a Competition and Market Authority study on house building with a report scheduled for February 2024, a reminder for LPAs to engage with their local water companies on the forthcoming 2024 Water Resources Management Plans, the launch of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects Action Plan, technical guidance from Defra on new environmental targets for fine particulate matter and a link to the new Natural Capital Guide for the Development Sector launched by the Environment Agency.

January 2023 Chief Planner’s newsletter

22 January 2023|

Joanna Averley, the DLUHC Chief Planner has issued her latest newsletter to borough planning officers. It covers the NPPF consultation that is open until 2nd March 2023. News is given on the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report for air pollution, on a new Active Travel England agency, on the recently launched Trees and Woodland Strategy Toolkit, on the Planning Advisory Service support for Nutrient Neutrality, on the launch of the National Green Infrastructure Framework, on Community Land Auctions and on a consistent approach to sustainable drainage.