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London Forum Updates

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Taxi Drivers Assoc wants facilities for electric cabs

Posted on: 4 February 2015 at 11:55:21
Clean Air for London and the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association have called on the Mayor to provide facilities and to change rules to enable electric taxis.

Response to Flood Risk Management consultation

Posted on: 3 February 2015 at 20:14:24
The London Forum's response to the Environment Agency's consultation on this subject is here.
The fact that only 40 of the measures listed by the EA (12%) are described as ‘protecting from risk’ suggests this approach may not be receiving enough emphasis.  But there also needs to be much more emphasis on prevention and we have proposed that there should be the following additional objective:
Reduce the speed of storm water run off in London by minimising the loss of green areas, (including paving over gardens), promoting the use of green roofs, installing permeable surfaces in paved areas, especially roads and car parks, and ensuring all new developments have sustainable drainage.
We expressed concern about the continued number of burst water mains and the disruption they cause.

Create Thames City-Region urges Assembly Tories

Posted on: 2 February 2015 at 18:52:49
Conservative Assembly Member Andrew Boff has published a report which calls for devolution to London and the areas surrounding it as a 'Thames City-Region' with increased powers including creation of new Garden Suburbs.
Also, the combination of seven Local Enterprise Partnerships for strategic co-ordination of economic development in the new region.

London Forum response on an additional airport runway

Posted on: 2 February 2015 at 16:46:36
London Forum has commented here to the Davies Commission on their consultation for an additional airport runway.  Our response includes claims that the Commission has failed to take into consideration several aspects that we summarise.
London Forum would like to see the operation and management of Heathrow fully examined for its key purpose of serving international destinations important for businesses in London and the south-east of England. That may include freeing up take off and landing slots there by moving short haul flights to other airports.

Councils must issue brownfield development orders

Posted on: 31 January 2015 at 11:53:16
In June 2014 the Treasury announced that 30 ‘housing zones’ would be created across the country, including 20 in London, in which "all unnecessary planning restrictions" are removed to boost house-building. Five sites in London were announced - Meridian Water in Enfield, Tottenham Hale in Haringey, Southall in Ealing, South Poplar in Tower Hamlets and Winstanley and York Road in Wandsworth
George Osborne said Councils would be "required to put local development orders on over 90 per cent of brownfield sites that are suitable for housing". Councils can grant local development orders (LDOs), which grant automatic planning permission to specific types of development in a defined area, to encourage developers to build without going through the formal planning application process.
Funds were made available for local authorities which prepared development orders.
A new consultation has been issued by the Planning Minister with a closing date of 11th March 2015. It defines brownfield land as being suitable for new housing if it is deliverable, free of constraint, capable of development and capable of supporting five or more dwellings. It proposes that local planning authorities (LPAs) will be designated as under-performing where they do not meet the objective for bringing forward sufficient coverage of local development orders on brownfield land suitable for new housing, or where authorities have failed to provide sufficient evidence that this objective is being met. Where an authority is designated, applicants would then have a choice of applying directly to the Secretary of State for planning permission.
To encourage more Councils to prepare NDOs, DCLG is making more funding available to local authorities.
Prior to this consultation a report commissioned by the Treasury was published on the role local authorities could play in increasing housing supply with a range of new measures aimed at kick-starting a wave of new housebuilding by councils.
Lloyds Bank also commissioned a study by Mark Frisk and Nick Raynsford on how more homes could be built and it has a dozen recommendations, including affordable homes, delivery of the required infrastructure, availbility of suffient planning resources and a new professional landlord sector.
Many large brownfield sites in London will be covered as Opportunity Area and Area of Intensification processes by planning frameworks.
London Forum's members are advised to check how well those 'masterplans' meet the requirements as development orders to determine what will be built and where. They should liaise with their borough on the preparation of development orders for other brownfeld sites.  Without approved specifications in place of what is to be developed, the lead will be taken by planning applications or, in the case of any boroughs designated as under-performing, by the Secretary of State to whom an developer can appeal for determination.
Please send any comments on the consultation and other points above to

Former housing ministers: Ways to build more homes

Posted on: 30 January 2015 at 18:02:04
Lloyds Bank commissioned a report on how delivery of new housing could be improved.

GLA report on part time working in London

Posted on: 28 January 2015 at 20:55:08
The GLA's Economics Unit has published a report here on this subject.

Assembly 'Out of Stock' report on social housing loss

Posted on: 28 January 2015 at 16:10:40
A report, which you can see here, has been published by Assembly Member Tom Copley giving details of the effect of 'Right to Buy' as a contining decline in London's council housing stock, less funding available for new social housing and insufficient investment in affordable homes.

'My Community Rights' web site

Posted on: 22 January 2015 at 12:14:53
Some useful guidance is available at the web site here on the rights of communities.
The opportunity to have buildings registered as Assets of Community Value, as here, should be considered by community groups and civic societies.
Local Listing is also a useful process to assist in conservation.
See advice on it by Civic Voice.

Update from London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network

Posted on: 20 January 2015 at 21:26:15
See the LGSFGN update here.
Their next meeting is at City Hall on Monday 23rd March 2015 6pm to 8pm.

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