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London Forum Updates

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More work to be done on housing formula


Posted on: 25 October 2020 at 11:11:10
In an interview Planning Resource published, Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP was asked by former Chief Planner, Steve Quartermain, if the government has got its proposed changes to the standard method for calculating housing requirement right. Jenrick said: “There is more work to be done. It’s a genuine consultation and we’re listening to people’s views”.
An article in the Sunday Telegraph 15th November 2020 revealed the concerns of Conservative MPs about the likely effect of the housing requirements formula and it is being considered for amendment. It is unlikely to deliver the low-cost rent homes that London needs until the Government recognises that requirement.
On the Planning White Paper, Jenrick said "Next year we will be able to publish proposals in detail and to begin the legislative process, but there is a lot of work to do before then." Once legislation is in place, "we will then look to take it in stages, to bring some local authorities with us as the pilots, and give them the support they need to do the first plan-making process."


GLA Guidance published for comment


Posted on: 21 October 2020 at 13:29:27
London Plan Guidance expands on some policies in the London Plan and several documents are now out for consultation until January 2021. Find out more, get involved and please share. https://consult.london.gov.uk
Events are being offered to give more information about each guidance document and can be booked here.


Government refuses MPs social housing call


Posted on: 8 October 2020 at 11:35:44
The Government has failed to commit to a number of recommendations put forward by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee of cross-party MPs regarding the delivery of social housing. See an article here.
That is very serious for London where 47% of all new homes should be for social and low-cost rent.
That does not seem to be understood by Ministers in MHCLG who are proposing instead that boroughs should deliver a minimum of 25% of onsite affordable housing as 'First Homes' for discounted sale and a minimum of 25% of offsite contributions for affordable housing should go towards First Homes, even though they would be affordable by only 2% of Londoners, as the GLA has demonstrated.


Access to Mayor's planning cases


Posted on: 8 October 2020 at 10:14:50
Peter Kemp, Head of Change and Delivery, Planning at the GLA has relaunched the websearch for referred applications, enabling you to track, comment on and monitor decisions on applications referred to the Mayor.
Comments can be made on live applications and the facility covers also the GLA responses to Local Plan consultations.


'Changes to the Current Planning System'


Posted on: 1 October 2020 at 21:34:03
London Forum has submitted its response to this consultation, as notified in the update of 6th August below.


Better office conversion standards


Posted on: 1 October 2020 at 21:19:33
New homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights will have to meet new space standards as well as all new homes delivered through permitted development needing to provide adequate natural light.
See Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick's announcement on 30th September 2020 here.


GPDO & UCO Amendments: Guidance and Scrutiny


Posted on: 19 September 2020 at 15:08:28
The planning lawyer Simon Ricketts, a partner of Town Legal LLP, produces some helpful briefings on changes to the planning system. In a recent blog he has drawn attention to guidance published by the Government for new rules on permitted development and on high street use classes. Details of those were given in earlier updates below of 27th July and 5th August.
Simon's latest blog on them is here.
The links in it to guidance published on these subjects should help civic societies in liaison with their Council(s) on the approach being taken in managing the effect locally of the new rules.


London Councils demand funding for low cost rent homes


Posted on: 9 September 2020 at 15:58:44
The capital is facing the most severe homelessness crisis in the country. London Councils, representing London's boroughs, has issued a statement on the urgent need for Government funding of the types of affordable homes London needs.
The government instead says it will rebalance grant funding in favour of affordable homeownership tenures such as shared equity and it is demanding the provision by boroughs of 'First Homes' for sale. Neither of those are affordable by most Londoners.


Post Pandemic Economic Growth


Posted on: 29 August 2020 at 15:35:45
The Economy committee of the London Assembly has published its response to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s inquiry on post pandemic economic growth.
The committee interviewed guests on this subject at a meeting on 4th August 2020 and published a transcript.
On Tuesday 8th September 2020 at 10.00am the committee will hold a formal meeting principally to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on London's high streets. The agenda and reports are available here. This meeting will be held virtually and members of the public are welcome to watch online here.


'Planning for the Future' new consultations


Posted on: 6 August 2020 at 09:59:12
Further to the earlier update on 4th July 2020 on planning changes, much of which is still relevant, the Government published a consultation on reform of the planning system in England with a closing date of 29th October 2020. It introduces three new categories of land for development and applies different decision criteria for each of them on planning applications.
Another consultation to 1st October covers changes to the Standard Method for assessing local housing need, securing of 'First Homes' through developer contributions in the short term until the transition to a new system, supporting small and medium-sized builders by temporarily lifting the small sites threshold below which developers do not need to contribute to affordable housing and extending the current Permission in Principle to major development.
The alarming implications for London's boroughs of the proposed new Standard Method for assessing housing need numbers has been covered in a report by Litchfields.
A third consultation to 30th October 2020 is a call for evidence on the Government’s proposals to improve the transparency of contractual mechanisms, such as land options, to exercise control over land.
Civic and community groups are asked to study the documents and let London Forum have comments for use in its responses.

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