The London Plan

The London Plan is a comprehensive strategic planning document that defines an integrated economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of the London metropolitan area until 2031. The plan has been composed by the Mayor of London and serves as a reference guide to all the 33 London boroughs, helping them create local plans and take decisions on planning applications.

Background

The base of the London Plan is the Greater London Authority Act 1999. The plan replaces RPG3, the erstwhile strategic planning document for London prepared by the Secretary of State. The plan was first published on 10 February 2004 and has undergone many amendments since then. In September 2014, an EiP of the Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP) commenced.

The Concept

The London Plan focuses on the sustainable growth and development of the London metropolitan area by:

  • Ensuring strong economic growth to ensure that the city and its population remain prosperous
  • Ensuring urban growth and development while retaining open spaces
  • Promoting social inclusion and equality and ending deprivation and discrimination
  • Improving accessibility to the city

The plan envisages London as an attractive and well-planned city with its residents enjoying a high quality of life.

Scope

The London Plan covers:

  • Positioning London: Review of forces that contribute to London's relevance at a global, European and national level.
  • Sustainable Development: A sustainable development policy for the metropolitan area focusing on the environment, natural resources, quality or life and heritage
  • Thematic policies: Specific policies related to living, economic growth and working, transport, sports and culture
  • Spatial Policy: Dividing the metropolitan areas into sub-regions and having specific sub-regional development frameworks
  • Implementation: Ensuring delivery of plan proposals and monitoring progress
Positioning London

The London plan envisages positioning London in its rightful place as a global city. Transnational forces have always shaped the life and economy of London. In the age of economic globalisation, improved global communications and cross border migration, such a trend will only increase in the coming years.

The plan positions London in its global, European and UK context, and draws up schemes to make it the gateway of Europe. It also expounds on international issues such as global warming, terrorism and other issues that have a special significance for London.

Sustainable Development

An important component of the London plan is ensuring sustainable development. The plan addresses future development while ensuring that such growth remains sustainable. The development activities envisaged in the plan focuses on reducing social deprivation and promoting growth in harmony with the ecology and environment.

The plan places great importance on the environment. For instance, it foresees the implications of flooding, subsidence, overheating, water shortage, heavy winter rainfall, high tidal surges, hot summers, less summer rainfall and many other climatic conditions and the impact of such possibilities on the quality of life of the citizenry. It then conceives collaboration at the international, national and local levels to overcome the threats. It also has detailed plans for the "Blue Ribbon network" or the water bodies in London.

Thematic Policies

The London Plan incorporates sections on living, working, transport, culture and sport. Living: A major part of the London Plan devotes to housing and essential public services. The plan tries to address the needs of London's diverse population and plans to involve all people in their local community life. The also examines the need for additional housing

Economy and Working: Another major component of the London plan is the economy. The plan details the nature of London's economy, the emerging growth sectors, demand versus supply situation of commercial spaces, policies to address potential supply constraints and policies that address issues related to manufacturing and wholesale trade. This section also includes an analysis of job-skills mismatch and employment outlook.

Transport: The London plan aims to make it easy for people to move around the metropolitan area. The plan document covers integration of transport and spatial development, ways to improve international, national and regional links and how to reduce congestion. It also discusses how to improve and streamline public transport and freight transport in detail.

Culture and Sport: The plan envisages creating clusters of sports and culture related activities, which would form an important component in the regeneration of local communities.

Spatial Policy

The London Plan divides the metropolitan area into five sub regions: North London, North East, South East, South West and West. Each sub region is a cluster of boroughs. The purpose of such division is to ensure polycentric development by identifying developmental areas in each region.

The plan identifies opportunity area for developmental activities in sub areas within each sub region. The development activities aim to accommodating about 5,000 jobs or about 2,500 homes in each such sub area.

Implementation

The London Plan Implementation Plan aims to translate the planned proposals into concrete actions:

  • Ensures coordination and cooperation among the various agencies responsible for execution of the plan proposal
  • Informs developers and other partners about the scope and depth of the plan proposals
  • Provides transparent information to communities and other stakeholders, allowing them to contribute towards the success of the plan
  • Help boroughs in implementing plan proposals pertaining to their respective locality. The plan provides each sub region with its own Sub Regional Implementation Framework.