British Queen celebrates


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has hailed the delivery of his new London Plan – the planning framework for the capital – more than a year after it was submitted to

the Government for approval.

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.


Formally adopting the new Plan will give much-needed certainty to businesses, the public sector and Londoners – not least in helping the construction industry deliver the affordable homes Londoners need, amid the huge disruption caused by Covid-19.


Since the Mayor took office in 2016, London has seen the highest number of affordable homes started since City Hall took over funding – including thousands at social rent levels – and is on track to deliver the ambitious target of starting 116,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2023, even in the most challenging times the construction industry has faced in the last decade.


Sadiq’s new London Plan includes a number of key policies which will support London’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, including space and quality standards for new-build properties to ensure they’re a decent size and have better fire safety, tackling poor air quality, ensuring Londoners have access to open and green spaces, increasing local community infrastructure such as schools and medical facilities, and helping high streets and town centres 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, including: getting London’s air back within legal limits; making London a zero-carbon city by 2030; a long-term target for 50 per cent affordable homes in new developments; supporting modal shift so 80 per cent of journeys are by walking, cycling or public transport by 2041; and protecting London’s green belt.


It also includes innovative 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.


The Mayor submitted his ‘Intend to Publish’ version of the London Plan to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, in December 2019.


The Minister then imposed a number of unwelcome changes to the London Plan last March to which the Mayor strongly objects but was forced to adopt. These include loosening protection for land designated for industrial and business use, and increasing the maximum number of parking spaces included in new developments – undermining the Mayor’s efforts to tackle air pollution.


Productive discussions between City Hall planners and their counterparts in Government were concluded last spring, but the Minister has only now signalled his approval of the Plan.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that I’m finally able to confirm my London Plan – the framework to help build a city which works for all Londoners.


“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.


“The completely unnecessary delay in signing off my Plan – which I sent to the Secretary of State more than a year ago – has 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 and addressing the appalling legacy of the previous administration.


“My London Plan was developed through many months of engaging with people of all backgrounds, right across the capital. As we work to recover from Covid-19, it’s more vital than ever that planning powers are held locally, not centralised in Whitehall.”


London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing and Planning, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said: “London Councils welcomes the announcement of the approval of the London Plan which seeks to boost the number of affordable homes being built across the capital.


“There is still a huge amount of work to do in order to address London’s chronic housing crisis, currently London accounts for two thirds of England’s total of homeless households placed in temporary accommodation. 


“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.”

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