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London Forum Updates

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Safeguard the public voice in planning under Covid-19


Posted on: 29 April 2020 at 12:21:47
A letter by Just Space, CPRE - the countryside charity, London Forum of Civic & Amenity Societies, Friends of the Earth and the Town and Country Planning Association has been sent to Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
It seeks high standards for approving planning applications during the use of on-line systems for Local Authority planning committee meetings and commitment to community engagement in the process.
The Government is requested to ask local authorities to respect six key principles, set out in an appendix to the letter.


Community engagement in online borough planning work


Posted on: 27 April 2020 at 20:31:44
London Forum, CPRE, Just Space and Friends of the Earth have issued a joint Press release on a proposal for the principles that local authorities should adopt in conducting on-line planning and other meetings.
The last page of that document (extracted as here) has been sent with a covering note seeking their support to the key borough Leaders of the London Councils' political committee and its senior officers.
It has been issued by e-bulletin to London Forum's members for them to pass to the Chair of their borough’s Planning Committee, with copies to the Council Leader, CEO/Chief Officer and Director of Planning, asking that the council should operate according to the six principles, and asking to let them know whether the Council will do so.
Other Updates in this and subsequent pages on local authorities using on-line methods for their meetings are relevant and should be noted.


Implications of delegated and virtual decision making


Posted on: 25 April 2020 at 20:08:10
The set of comments here by David Blackman may be useful.


Results of green spaces during Covid-19 lockdown survey


Posted on: 25 April 2020 at 15:44:06
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces has issued here details of the responses it received to the survey on this subject commissioned by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
A link is provided in the announcement to the Government's statement on parks and open spaces being important during the lockdown.


Details of Design Review Panels in boroughs published


Posted on: 22 April 2020 at 18:49:00
A list of Design Review Panels is here.


Tall buildings in London


Posted on: 21 April 2020 at 10:37:36
The latest NLA report on tall buildings proposed, approved and being built is available here.


Resident association's initiative to help NHS staff


Posted on: 17 April 2020 at 15:26:01
A resident association in Hounslow borough is raising funds to provide personal protection equipment to a local hospital. See here.
Several London Forum members reported in a recent ZOOM conference their own local initiatives.


Westminster City Council on-line planning committee


Posted on: 16 April 2020 at 17:23:25
This event on 14th April 2020 was the first by the Council to be held using Microsoft Teams and can be seen by clicking on 'Join Anonymously' here.


Planning Inspectorate announces 'virtual' work methods


Posted on: 16 April 2020 at 10:02:53
Details of the way the Planning Inspectorate will deal with appeals, Local Plan examination and other work during the Covid-19 lockdown is described here.
There is a link to its principles for working using telephone or video conferencing which states "We want to ensure everyone involved including local communities can participate fairly." London Forum awaits further details on that.
However, site visits to appeal sites may not be held if "the proposed written representations appeal can be properly decided on the basis of digital images." That is of concern because such images are usually taken with wide angle (24mm) lens, rather than the way the eye would see a proposed development which is the equivalent of a 50mm focal length lens. Communities should challenge inacurate visual representations.


Historic England Advice Note on Tall Buildings (HEAN 4)


Posted on: 11 April 2020 at 17:02:00
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 governmentadvice@HistoricEngland.org.uk

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