GLA adopts alterations to London Plan

Out-Law News | 11 Mar 2015 | 5:05 pm | 1 min. read

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced that alterations to the Greater London Authority's (GLA's) strategic development plan for Greater London have been formally adopted.

The further alterations to the 2011 London Plan (FALP) have allocated housing targets totalling 42,389 homes per year (hpy) to London's boroughs: an increase of 10,000 hpy from the previously adopted targets.

Bromley Town Centre, Canada Water, Harrow and Wealdstone, Old Kent Road and Old Oak Common have been allocated as new opportunity areas (OAs), under the FALP, bringing the total number of OAs in the capital to 38. London's OAs are zones identified by the GLA as being capable of accommodating large scale development and the five new OAs are expected to deliver a total of at least 35,100 new homes, including 24,000 new homes at Old Oak Common.

The FALP introduced an annual target of 3,900 specialist homes for older people until 2025. A further change from existing policy is that London boroughs are encouraged to 'maintain, manage and enhance' valued local pubs to prevent them being lost. The GLA reported that 900 London pubs closed down between 2003 and 2012.

The alterations to the London plan survived a challenge at the London Assembly last month, when Assembly members raised concerns that the 42,389 hpy allocated in the plan fell short of the need for 49,000 hpy identified by the GLA. Nicky Gavron, the UK Labour party's London Assembly planning spokesperson, moved a motion at the meeting to reject the plan, arguing that the housing targets would lock the capital into "a deepening housing crisis". Members voted in favour of rejecting the FALP by 14 votes to eight, meaning that the motion was not carried by the two thirds required to reject a draft strategy.

Johnson said in a statement: "The London Plan is quite literally the capital’s planning Bible – driving development and setting out exactly what is and is not acceptable as we work to build a cleaner, greener, safer city that abounds opportunity, talent and economic activity. As the capital continues to flourish over the next few years, we will need to create hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs and the London Plan will be crucial in allowing us to sustain our position as the best big city in the world."