The London Plan is the strategic planning guide for the capital and sets out an economic, environmental, transport and social framework for development across the city.
The new London Plan includes a number of key policies which aims to support London’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, such as:
- space and quality standards for new-build properties to ensure they’re a decent size and have better fire safety
- tackling poor air quality, making sure Londoners have access to open and green spaces
- increasing local community infrastructure, such as schools and medical facilities
- assisting high streets and town centres to thrive across the capital by helping them adapt and include a mix of retail, leisure and workspaces.
The plan contains a number of key commitments the mayor made in his election manifesto, such as getting London’s air back within legal limits; making London a zero-carbon city by 2030; a long-term target for 50% affordable homes in new developments; supporting modal shift so 80% of journeys are by walking, cycling or public transport by 2050; and protecting London’s green belt.
It also includes policies to tackle the climate crisis and increase biodiversity, including supporting a circular economy to reduce the waste of resources and extending zero-carbon standards to non-residential buildings.
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Other manifesto commitments the mayor’s new London Plan includes:
- prioritising development on brownfield sites
- delivering homes that are accessible to all, including wheelchair users
- ensuring provision of cycle parking in new developments
- promoting the provision of space for small businesses
- strengthening planning protections for small industrial and creative workspaces, and for London’s pubs
- protecting London’s live music venues, clubs and pubs by introducing an ’Agent for Change’ rule – so new developments next to existing venues meet soundproofing costs
- supporting councils to enforce clear, new rules to maximise the affordable housing in new developments, with greater transparency around viability assessments
- protecting playing fields
- making sure all new developments meet low carbon, energy efficiency and sustainability standards.
The mayor submitted his ‘Intend to Publish’ version of the London Plan to housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, in December 2019.
The minister imposed a number of changes to the plan last March, some of which the mayor claimed undermined his efforts to tackle air pollution.
Khan said: “Businesses, boroughs, developers and London’s communities desperately need the certainty of the new plan, even more so during the recovery from the enormous impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He called the delay in signing off the plan “completely unnecessary”, claiming that it had done "real harm to confidence in key industries and among Londoners right across the capital", including the work to build more homes.
“Finally, we can now get on with doing everything in our power to increase housing delivery," he stated.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ executive member for housing and planning, said that London councils welcomed the announcement of the plan approval.
“There is still a huge amount of work to do in order to address London’s chronic housing crisis,” he added.
“As we look to the future beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to make sure that London gets the proper investment it needs to address the capital’s housing crisis and improve residents’ life chances.
“Crucially, investment in homes for social rent is fundamental to boosting housing affordability and security for Londoners in future years.”