In publishing "A City for all Londoners" the Mayor of
London has reaffirmed many of his manifesto pledges (https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/cfal_oct_2016_fa_rev1.pdf).
The document, known in GLA circles as "Towards a London
Plan", acts as a prospectus for how to deliver the Mayor's
pro-development vision for meeting London's ever growing
housing, economic and infrastructure needs, while protecting the
things that Londoners value and trying to meet as much of the
city's growth demands within London itself.
Herein lie some inherent tensions that will challenge City Hall
to successfully balance. There are strong commitments to delivering
development at higher densities, but the Mayor recognises the need
for good quality design to overcome potential opposition from
communities that may be resistant to change. He adopts the
principle of "good growth" to avoid mistakes of the
Even though the launch of Towards only received a short column
on page 6 of the Evening Standard, it should be seen as an
opportunity to engage Londoners in what they would like their city
to look like. Away from the conflict of an election, the prospectus
provides the Mayor with a forum to stimulate debate about how to
accommodate the projected growth.
It would be great if the communities that may be affected by
development could get involved in planning at a strategic level,
rather than feeling forced to object when projects reach the
planning application stage. It is difficult for people to
understand how London will look and function with an additional
50,000 new homes per annum until 2041 (a total of 1.25m new homes),
but it would help if there could be agreement about the scale of
the problem and the measures that are needed to address it.
London needs innovative solutions. These might include creating
a dynamic Homes for Londoners organisation; collaborating with
surrounding authorities to absorb part of the growth needs; an
effective Build to Rent sector that can accelerate delivery of
homes; or encouraging employers to take part in assisting their
employees' in finding a home. Deloitte is leading the way in
promoting initiatives that will help the Mayor achieve his vision,
such as assisting its graduates find rental accommodation on the
Olympic Park and supporting the Homes for Londoners programme.
Comments on A City for all Londoners should be made to the Mayor
by 11th December.
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