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London Forum Updates

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London needs more low-cost rent homes


Posted on: 4 September 2021 at 12:33:31
A report by London Councils, supporting boroughs, and the G15 group on housing associations points out that forecasts for 2021/25 highlight that London’s demand for affordable housing is almost eight times greater than the number of homes forecast to be delivered (compared to the average of 2.6 in England).


Chief Planner's August 2021 newsletter


Posted on: 30 August 2021 at 13:00:16
Joanna Averley provided an update on Government planning activities to local authorities. It covers the following:-

  • Local authorities are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in the National Model Design Code Phase 2 pilot

  • Temporary Pavement Licence Provisions first introduced in 2020 are to be in place for a further 12 months until 30 September 2022

  • DEFRA is seeking opportunities to create new woodland

  • Natural England proposes the Biodiversity Metric 3 for biodiversity net gain outcomes should be put to formal consultation in 2022, as required under the Environment Bill, to improve its definitions

  • MHCLG will be carrying out user research to support its planning reform programme and organisations can sign up here


Rescuing Hammersmith Bridge


Posted on: 18 August 2021 at 10:22:51
A proposal for repairing Hammersmith Bridge has been published.


Assessing proposals for building upwards


Posted on: 8 August 2021 at 12:30:02
LB Barnet applied a reason for refusal of extra floors on a house, which the Government made permitted development (PDR), which is here.
See more on PDR in updates below dated 12th July, 23rd June and 8th April.


New NPPF and final NMDC


Posted on: 23 July 2021 at 10:44:42
Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) made the following statement on 20th July 2021.
"We have today published the response to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Model Design Code consultation. The updated NPPF has been published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-planning-policy-framework and the response to the consultation is available at: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/national-planning-policy-framework-and-national-model-design-code-consultation-proposals."
There is a document showing NPPF changes from the 2019 to the 2021 version.
The UK Green Building Council has criticised the NPPF as here and here.
The lawyer Zack Simons has written on five important things that he thinks are missing from the July 2021 NPPF version. London Forum has proposed to MHCLG that a national policy on tall buildings is needed also.
The latest version of the NMDC and associated guidance is available here.
The Government has launched an Office for Place to support local planning authorities in developing design codes and delivering good design.
Robert Jenrick's speech on all the above emphasised the importance of beauty.
The Place Alliance has carried out research into the design skills, resources and design governance approaches in local authorities. There are other useful reports on their web site in the 'Place Quality Research' pages.


Chief Planner's July 2021 newsletter


Posted on: 16 July 2021 at 11:20:38
Joanna Averley provided an update on Government planning activities to local authorities. It includes new fire safety rules for development.


More details on high street PDR


Posted on: 12 July 2021 at 19:47:51

The Mayor has published a strategic evidence report supporting boroughs wanting Article 4 Directions to control commercial to residential permitted development conversions (Use Class E to C3). Details are here and here.
The GLA report relates to the 2021 London Plan and new government policy on Article 4s and supports geographically targeted Article 4s for the whole of the Central Activities Zone and Northern Isle of Dogs; for strategically significant office locations beyond the CAZ; for town centres and high streets and for industrial areas, including creative production space.
Meanwhile, despite the permitted development right (PDR) for change of uses in town centres, the Government has published proposals for the future of high streets, in 'Build Back Better High Streets'.
In July 2021 the House of Commons HCLG Committee's critical report on PDR was published. Extracts can be read here.
Further to the update below of 23 June 2021 on this freedom for almost any conversion, there are warnings about potential loss of local infrastructure and an article on that subject by RTPIThere was an article in PropertyWeek that the new Class MA PDR "could meet the housing crisis head on".
However, the Arts Council has reported on how arts and culture could bring people and pride back to our high streets.


Latest Healthy Streets Scorecard published


Posted on: 6 July 2021 at 13:12:07
The Healthy Streets Scorecard shows the health of each borough’s streets. Councils and communities should work together to make improvements.


Historic England's planning bulletins


Posted on: 3 July 2021 at 23:11:01
The June 2021 planning update by Historic England (HE) is published here.
London Forum members can request to subscribe for HE's planning bulletins by emailing governmentadvice@HistoricEngland.org.uk


Statements of Community Involvement


Posted on: 28 June 2021 at 10:25:30
Civic Voice has published an interim report by the University of Reading on a scrutiny of the quality of local authorities' Statements of Community Involvement. SCIs in LB Southwark and LB Brent are to be examined further. 

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