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Mayor of London indicates intention to create strategic plan for London and South East

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has proposed the setting up of a commission to consider the management of housing growth across London and the South East, with the potential of introducing a strategic plan covering the whole region, according to a report in Planning Magazine.

The report said Greater London Authority assistant director of planning Stewart Murray announced the plans at a conference last week. Murray was reported to have said that the mayor intended to meet with Home Counties council members in spring 2015 to discuss the possibility of introducing a "plan which embraced the needs of London and the South East and could be taken forward by the new London mayor after the 2016 elections".

Murray said that the mayor hoped to set up a commission to consider regional housing growth, and that both umbrella group South East Councils and the East of England Local Government Association had expressed interest in the potential for co-operation on the issue, the report said.

The announcement comes after 51 councils from Berkshire, Essex Hertfordshire, Surrey and Sussex wrote to the mayor to complain that they had not been consulted on assumptions in the draft London infrastructure plan. A consultation document on the draft infrastructure plan had suggested that housing pressure in London could be eased by increased housing density in the South East region.

According to the report, Kent County Council (KCC) growth, environment and transport director Barbara Cooper told the same conference that KCC might consider in helping London to meet its housing needs but would "want to see local benefits". Cooper said that "trust needed to be built up between London and its surrounding counties ... It's a question of making the first move towards co-operation".

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