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London Forum Updates

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Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16

Posted on: 30 October 2015 at 23:40:52
A briefing paper on this Bill was prepared by London Forum to identify the problems that it would introduce in its current form for the economy of London and for the delivery of affordable homes in the capital.
Following the second reading of the Bill on 2nd November 2015, London Forum issued an update. 
London Forum's member societies are urged to speak with their MP about the identified issues and ask them to object to them during the debates in the House of Commons and the work of the Bill Committee, for which the timetable is here.

Housing density

Posted on: 22 August 2015 at 13:33:24
London Forum has objected to the way the London Plan's housing density standards are being weakened by words in the Mayor's draft SPG on Housing.
The points made are here.
London Forum's members are asked to report developments with housing densities above the range appropriate for a site as determined by the London Plan's density matrix here.

Wifi in Public Libraries in England

Posted on: 17 August 2015 at 15:08:27
Funds are available to achieve wifi in libraries.
   see here.

Briefing on the 'Right to Participate'

Posted on: 16 August 2015 at 20:08:41
A paper on this subject has been published by Friends of the Earth.

'Planning' reports London Forum's policy change alert

Posted on: 14 August 2015 at 21:00:33
The magazine Planning has an article in the issue for 14th August 2015 which reports London Forum's publicity and intervention which resulted in the deferment of proposals by the Government to extend permitted development of offices to residential accommodation. The changes were not announced before Parliament's Summer recess, as expected, and should now be able to be debated by MPs when next proposed. The harm the policy has caused so far has been publicised by London Forum and there is now opportunity for local authorities to introduce some safeguards to protect business from loss of offices, as the article describes.
There is another article here in Planning which describes the lack of information on progress and benefits from the release of public sector land for development.
A problem could be the proposal by Government on page 45 of the publication 'Fixing the Foundations' to make development of brownfield sites permitted development. That would deprive local authorities and communities of the right to determine what is built on such land.
The changes made by the last Government here will need to be monitored for the effect they will have.

Unlawful building on Clapham Common must stop - OSS

Posted on: 13 August 2015 at 23:17:15
The Open Spaces Society has issued a statement that ‘Lambeth Council has been unlawfully permitting large structures to be built on Clapham Common and the practice must stop.’  See here.

Hackney Mayor seeks objections to Bishopsgate scheme

Posted on: 12 August 2015 at 12:13:21
Mayor Jules Pipe is warning that amended plans for Bishopsgate Goodsyard still threaten the unique character of Shoreditch and its nearby conservation areas and listed buildings, do nothing to address the borough’s housing needs and could be hugely detrimental to Tech City, leading to the loss of local tech and design jobs.  He urges people to object to the development proposals which include two residential towers standing at 47 and 39 floors with only 10% of homes allocated to 'affordable housing'.
Details from the LB Hackney web site are here.
People can comment on the application online by the end of October, before it is due to come before the Council’s Planning Committee, via and clicking ‘Add Comments Here
Note that at present that page shows still the consultation end date of 27th July for the original application but it has been amended.

Government policies risk reducing affordable homes

Posted on: 10 August 2015 at 21:47:21
London will lose half a million social homes under Tories, says Sadiq Khan in The Guardian

Cross-party opposition to Housing Assoc. 'Right to Buy'

Posted on: 8 August 2015 at 20:49:05
The Guardian has reported pressure by local authorities on the Government to think again about the forthcoming Housing Bill, which will contain the new right to buy measures, because it must help London and its councils to generate more homes in the city, including a net increase in truly “affordable” ones, contribute to sustaining its broad social mix and ensure that money raised from the sale of its affordable homes is reinvested in the capital to help it meet its growing housing need, rather than be exported elsewhere.
This expression of cross-party anxiety about extending right to buy and the forced sale of council housing to compensate for its loss is strongly expressed.

Changes to services offered by Historic England

Posted on: 8 August 2015 at 20:35:51
Four Historic England new services will launch on 12th October 2015. The four Enhanced Advisory Services are:

  • Fast-track Listing: providing Listing decisions in a quicker and guaranteed timeframe.

  • Listing Enhancement: providing clarity over the extent of statutory protection in a guaranteed timeframe.

  • Extended Pre-application Advice: providing Historic England engagement in pre-application advice beyond an initial free service.

  • Listing Screening Service: providing assessment of the likelihood of any heritage assets with the degree of interest that would warrant statutory Listing.

To discuss further, or if you have any questions, please email  
Michael Bishop, Head of Enhanced Advisory Services, Historic England
Sign up to our enewsletter to keep up to date with our latest news, advice and listings.           Twitter: @HistoricEngland

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