Cutting Planning Out of the Housing Process in London

The Greater London Authority recently published the “Further Alterations to the London Plan” report, which set aggressive targets for housing in the booming city. Now details are emerging about how Mayor Boris Johnson hopes to incentivize housing.

John Geoghegan reported on the release of the “Further Alterations to the London Plan” (FALP) report at the end of February. According to that article, the most eye-catching of the report’s recommendations were the aggressive housing targets: “31 of the 32 London boroughs are also set to have their individual housing targets raised - one by as much as 83 per cent.”

The need for the plan update comes as a result of London’s quick growth, which far outpaces estimates from a plan approved in 2011. “There are 600,000 more people in London now than was projected in the 2011 plan…(8.4 million compared with the projection of 7.8 million). If current rates continue, this figure will rise to ten million by 2036, making London Europe's first ‘mega-city…’”

In an update on the developing FALP story, Richard Garlick reports that Deputy Mayor for Housing Richard Blakeway told reporters that the plan might rely on a mechanism called local development orders (LDOs) in yet-to-be-announced housing zones. According to Garlick, “[LDOs] allow councils to specify certain kinds of development that do not need planning permission, and up to now have mostly been used to encourage commercial and industrial development on business parks.”

“Other options being considered to help encourage development in the zones include using the mayor's land assembly and compulsory purchase powers, bringing forward of public land and acquiring sites.”

Full Story: Mayor mulls LDO plan for housebuilding

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