South East councils complain of lack of consultation over London infrastructure plan housing assumptions

Out-Law News | 17 Nov 2014 | 5:10 pm | 1 min. read

A group of South East councils has written to mayor of London Boris Johnson to complain about assumptions made in an infrastructure planning consultation document about the delivery of new housing outside London, according to a report in Planning Magazine.

The mayor of London published a consultation document (93-page / 1.1 MB PDF) on the draft London infrastructure plan (LIP) in July, estimating a need for £1.3 trillion of infrastructure investment in the capital by 2050. The document estimated that the capital's population might reach 11 million by the middle of the century and suggested that improved transport links might allow urban areas with low housing densities in the South East to support a population increase of around one million.

According to Planning Magazine, 51 councils from Berkshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Sussex have written to the mayor to complain about assumptions made in the document without their consultation. The councils raised "very significant concerns" that "quite specific assumptions about locations of growth beyond London" were made in the LIP, "outside the planning process and without the involvement of local authorities beyond the capital", the report said.

The councils suggested that the potential for South East councils to co-operate in the delivery of homes to support the capital's population was a matter for discussion during preparation of the London Plan, not the LIP, the report said.

"In advance of that collaboration, the authorities take the view that all references in the LIP and supporting material that point to specific locations outside London other than in a very generic way should be removed," said the letter.

Consultation on the draft LIP closed on 31 October. A final report is expected to be published early in 2015.