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London Forum Updates

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Retrofitting homes and gas boilers

Posted on: 3 March 2022 at 17:31:23
London Forum Insights issue 7 contained an article by Helen Warner on retrofitting homes.
The London Tenants Federation has made available a recording and presentation slides from a webinar it held on replacing gas boilers in homes which you can see here.
The APPG for London’s Planning and Built Environment held an event on retrofitting of London's existing built fabric and a recording is here.

Chief Planner's February 2022 newsletter

Posted on: 12 February 2022 at 13:37:30
The government’s chief planner, Joanna Averley, in her latest newsletter to local authorities gives details on the Levelling Up White Paper, environmental screening of Neighbourhood Plans, permitted development rights for markets and movable structures, the bio-diversity net gain consultation and its implementation, fire safety matters for consideration at the application stage for relevant high-rise residential buildings, plus information about a new organisation called Active Travel England to support local authorities.

London Plan consultations + related topics

Posted on: 7 February 2022 at 10:17:44
There were two consultations in January 2022 by the GLA on issues to be taken into account in the preparation of the next London Plan and on the annual monitoring report (AMR) of key performance indicators for the current London Plan version introduced in March 2021. London Forum's responses to those are in its web site 'What We've Said' section.
Guidance documents to support the implementation of specific policies in the London Plan have been published or draft versions of some of them are being consulted upon in February 2022. London Forum has prepared a briefing document on those to assist engagement and response by civic and community groups. Comments are included on the timescale for preparing a replacement London Plan and on the availability of AMR data for the last version.
A report has been published on the potential problems of industrial land being lost at a greater rate than the London Plan expected. That may be accelerated by the Direction DR4 of the Government in December 2020 to weaken policies in the current London Plan for the retention and enhancement of such land.

Levelling Up White Paper (LUWP)

Posted on: 6 February 2022 at 11:44:30
The Government has published a Levelling Up White PaperThere is a comprehensive briefing on the LUWP by the Local Government Association and the RTPI has produced its comments on it. There is an article with the view of the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Darren Rodwell, that "Michael Gove must recognise that London needs ‘levelling up’ too". Paul Smith, an Associate at Cratus, also published comments on the LUWP.
In addition to those, London Forum has extracted comments made by its President Ben Derbyshire, Clive Betts MP LUHC Committee Chair and the leaders of other organisations here.

Creating successful town centres

Posted on: 5 February 2022 at 19:41:02
The High Streets Task Force has published a report on creating resilient and revitalised high streets. Twenty case studies and recommendations have been published since the start of 2022, as here.

Prior approval for upward extensions

Posted on: 5 February 2022 at 19:02:59
The lawyer Simon Ricketts, Partner at Town Legal LLP, has written an article on this subject, following a clear judgment from The Hon. Mr Justice Holgate of the High Court as to how decision makers should approach applications for prior approval for the upward extension of buildings under the General Permitted Development Order: CAB Housing Limited v Secretary of State (3 February 2022). Civic and amenity societies should consider the conclusions extracted in the article.
Barnet Council has had several successes in refusing upward extensions which they considered would cause harm. One was a dismissed appeal here.

London mansion blocks - a design for now?

Posted on: 5 February 2022 at 11:59:54
The London Society published a report on this subject.

Pathways to Net Zero Carbon by 2030

Posted on: 28 January 2022 at 09:53:35
The Mayor set a target for London to be net zero carbon by 2030 and he commissioned Element Energy which analysed four possible pathways to the target in their report and the Mayor's response is here.

Waltham Forest 15 minute neighbourhoods

Posted on: 12 January 2022 at 19:49:07
Martin Esom, chief executive, Waltham Forest LBC, explains how his borough is shaping localities around the people who live and work there.
Does your borough have those ambitions?

Lords' report on housing supply

Posted on: 12 January 2022 at 17:02:58
A House of Lords' report was published on this subject. It concluded that without reducing the barriers to meeting housing demand — including skills shortages, lack of available land, resources for local planning authorities, the reduced role of SME housebuilders, inadequate support for social housing provision, and the barriers and delays in the planning system — it will not be possible to meet targets for various types of homes.
RTPI has commented on the report in a blog here.
An article in Building magazine covers the Peers' criticism of the track record of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and their suggestion that it should be improved or replaced.

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