Tower Bridge seen from River

London Forum Updates

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SoS criticises Mayor and his 'Intend to Publish' Plan

Posted on: 15 March 2020 at 21:28:28
The Rt Hon Robert Jenkins, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has issued a strongly worded letter to Sadiq Khan about his achievements and the content of his 'Intend to Publish' version of the New London Plan.
An appendix to the letter provides changes to the Plan which the Minister is directing the Mayor to make.
London Forum will report on the implications in the March 2020 Newsforum and in future updates.

Good Quality Homes for all Londoners SPG

Posted on: 14 March 2020 at 18:15:28
The Mayor has made available details of a pre-consultation draft on this subject.
London Forum's members should consider the planning guidance and provide comments on it to to assist with London Forum's response when the consultation draft is published.

Historic England consults on Tall Buildings advice note

Posted on: 12 March 2020 at 21:03:09
Historic England is updating its 2015 advice note on tall buildings.
The consultation on a revised version is here.
Since the update of 12th March advising members of this, the closing date for comments has been extended to 28th May 2020.
Societies are asked to consider the draft revised advice note and to send comments to

Summary of housing parts of Government's 2020 Budget

Posted on: 12 March 2020 at 19:13:15
The Planning Portal has issued a March 2020 Budget summary of the Chancellor's investments in the supply of housing and the delivery of more affordable homes.
It will not be clear yet how London will benefit from the investments in the Budget and the interpretation of the Budget by the Mayor and other organisations is awaited.
Apart from the local authority lending rate reduction for building social housing, it is not clear what the Government funding to the Mayor for low cost rent homes will be and what conditions will be applied.

TCPA 'blog' items of interest to communities

Posted on: 11 March 2020 at 20:02:40
The blog section of the TCPA web site here has some useful articles for civic and community groups, covering support for planners, capturing land value uplift, the forthcoming Planning White Paper, genuinely affordable homes, housing space standards and the problems with permitted development rights.
There are also TCPA publications on the advantages of green roofs and on place making and green infrastructure.

Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report

Posted on: 11 March 2020 at 18:25:30
A report 'Living with Beauty' has been published by the commission set up by the Government to examine beauty as a policy objective.
Their recommendations are most welcome on how local authorities should plan for acceptable design of buildings in their report section 6 and how communities should be engaged by effective collaboration in planning and decision making in section 7. This provides another basis on which civic and community groups in London can insist that their Council plans and liaises properly.
The Commission's policy proposition 14 to "permit intensification with consent" is applicable to the planned densification of land use in outer London.
The Commission has warmly endorsed the recently published National Design Guide which was covered in the update below of 4th March and which also proposes better community participation.
London Forum will expect the Commission's proposals to be included in the forthcoming Government proposals for changes to the planning system.

News from Historic England

Posted on: 8 March 2020 at 21:07:53
There are several useful reports and recommendations by Historic England here.
An important one for civic and community groups to use is the report on 'Carbon in the Built Historic Environment' which has general applicability for embedded energy in buildings when repair or replacement is considered.

A map and a list of Neighbourhood Plans in London

Posted on: 8 March 2020 at 17:43:22
The location and status of Neighbourhood Plans in London can be seen here.
Whether it is for the next revision by their borough of the Local Plan or in preparation for proposing a Neighbourhood Forum, it is important for communities to clearly document and update proposals for the kind of development they want to see in their area and the issues that need to be resolved.

Community engagement in design and decision making

Posted on: 4 March 2020 at 12:03:31
London Forum informed its members in October 2019 about new National Design Guidance
Civic societies and residents' groups should familiarise themselves with the supporting information that was published here.
The section on 'Effective community engagement on design' is important and societies should check that their local Council is following the guidance and making available the opportunities for community engagement that are described.

Issue of New London Plan delayed by Secretary of State

Posted on: 22 February 2020 at 19:47:08
The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State (SoS) for housing, communities and local government, has announced a second delay in delivering his comments on Sadiq Khan's response to the Inspectors' report on their examination of the New London Plan (NLP). The Minister was to have informed the Mayor of his views and recommendation in January 2020 but has now set a date of Monday 16th March for his comments on the Mayor's 'Intend to Publish' version of the NLP.
Changes to that version as a result of any SoS' recommendations are likely to be few and London Forum members should familiarise themselves with its contents and ensure their Council has the local policies in place to support its implementation and to take advantage of NLP policies which give local authorities control over what is built and where.
That will require context and character analyses of the borough and comprehensive Site Allocations in the Local Plan with design codes and assessment of infrastructure requirements.
Several pieces of best practice and supplementary planning guidance are expected to support the NLP.
London Forum had published an assessment of the NLP Inspectors' recommendations and comments on the Mayor's response.
Subsequently, London Forum issued comments on the directions the Secretary of State issued for changes to the London Plan.
An open meeting held in December 2019 explored the implications of the NLP and the ways in which densification of the suburbs could be achieved in a sustainable way.

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