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For a print quality edition [very large file!] go to:

A few FREE places are available to PiL readers for this breakfast talk on Tuesday 18th October. Just book as a student for a free ticket! It's all about numbers: the Government Estate Strategy Sherin Aminossehe, Chief Operating Officer, Head of Government Property Profession, Government Property Unit Panel: Simon Allan, real estate partner BLP; Adam Dakin, joint managing director, Telereal Trillium DETAILS on page 2

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PLANNING CONDITIONS – Andy Rogers page 40 and Roger Wilson page 58 TRANSPORT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT Laura Mazzeo of Farrells page 69 LONDON 2024 Lars Christian page 55



HOW THE MAYOR CAN DELIVER HOMES Katie Scuoler and Stephen Ashworth of Dentons p.50

AUTOMATION NATION: THE RISING IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON THE OFFICE – Deloitte’s Will Matthews, page 9; HOUSING: leader page 5, space standards pp10 & 16; viability analysis pp 12 & 14; planning performance page 20; rooftop development page 39; price trends revealed page 52; the human cost of the housing crisis: Helen Hayes MP page 11. THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT IN THE CAPITAL

Please subscribe: page 68

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It's all about numbers: the Government Estate Strategy Sherin Aminossehe, Chief Operating Officer, Head of Government Property Profession, Government Property Unit

Tuesday 18th October 2016 Kindly hosted and sponsored by Berwin Leighton Paisner at Adelaide House, London Bridge, EC4R 9HA

Panel: Simon Allan, real estate partner BLP; Adam Dakin, joint managing director, Telereal Trillium; Geoff Robson, director asset strategy & portfolio, Ministry of Defence

Registration and refreshments from 8.00 am; the talk will begin at 8.30 am. This breakfast talk and discussion is organised by the Architecture, Planning, Engineering and Construction Forum of the Cambridge University Land Society. PROGRAMME 8.00 Registration 8.30 Introduction: Brian Waters Chairman CULS APEC Forum 8.35 Sherin Aminossehe 9.10 Panel: Simon Allan, Geoff Robson and Adam Dakin, comments and questions from the floor 9.45 Close and networking with refreshments

CULS members £42 – Non-members £50 – Concessions £21 – Students FREE Book online at: or The Cambridge University Land Society actively supports the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. Surplus proceeds are used to support research, travel grants and teaching fellowships. The Society also supports students with prizes, mentoring and discounted tickets. This event has been arranged by the APEC Forum of the Society which provides support for teaching and students at the School of Architecture, with funds raised being shared with the Department of Land Economy.


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page 5 LEADERS Housing: let’s start with what we’ve got, PiL 100!, Ditch the ‘master’ and just plan 7 TALL BUILDINGS Is Londoners’ enthusiasm for tall buildings over? – Michael Bach/ The Londonist 9 ANALYSIS: AUTOMATION NATION the rising impact of technology on the office: Will Matthews of Deloitte LLP Brian Waters

TALL BUILDINGS Is Londoners’ enthusiasm for tall buildings over? page 7

10 OPINIONS: Relax space standards to solve the housing shortage: Martin Skinner of Inspired Homes 11 HUMAN COST OF THE HOUSING CRISIS Dulwich MP highlights the human cost of the housing crisis: Helen Hayes 12 VIABILITY ANALYSIS Viability analysis needs fixing: Cllr Andrew Wood, London Borough of Tower Hamlets; 14 Why viability appraisals don’t add up: Julia Park of Levitt Bernstein 16 SPACE STANDARDS The problem with space standards: Adam Challis of JLL 19 PAUL FINCH Why Sadiq Khan should make time to listen to architects 20 PLANNING PERFORMANCE

Applications, decisions and residential permissions all well up on a year ago 25 BRIEFING 29 ¡PILLO! VIABILITY ANALYSIS needs fixing page 12

30 LONDON PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT FORUM Londoners’ own plan for London and the success of Pocket Living 40 ANDY ROGERS Conditions 39 ROOFTOP DEVELOPMENT Room for lots more homes over London: Dr Riëtte Oosthuizen and Natalya Palit of HTA Design LLP 44 GREEN BELT A modernised green belt: Merrick Denton-Thompson, president elect of the Landscape Institute

PLANNING PERFORMANCE Applications, decisions and residential permissions all well up on a year ago page 20

Continues next page >>>



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47 HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENTS: Six steps to success with health impact assessments: >>> Mark Teasdale of Indigo Planning 50 HOUSING How the Mayor can deliver homes London needs: Katie Scuoler and Stephen Ashworth of Dentons 52 LONDON PROPERTY Price trends revealed: Dan Lewis of the Economic Policy Centre 55 LONDON 2024 Holistic Priorities for Prosperity and Inclusion: Lars Christian, Urban Pilot 58 PLANNING CONDITIONS Conditioning or sectioning – the jury’s still out: Roger Wilson, Architect and former Planning Inspector/Reporter

ROOFTOP DEVELOPMENT Room for lots more homes over London page 39

61 BOOKS: London’s Boroughs at 50: Jonathan Manns reviews Tony Travers’ book; Classical tunes for progressive planners: Lee Mallett reviews ‘The Radical and Socialist Tradition in British Planning – From Puritan colonies to garden cities’ by Duncan Bowie 65 PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT REFERENCE GUIDE Contacts in all London boroughs – sponsored by Colliers International 68 SUBSCRIPTION FORM 69 SHAPING LONDON – Sir Terry Farrell Transport oriented development – the key to sustainable urbanism: Laura Mazzeo of Farrells TRANSPORT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT the key to sustainable urbanism: Laura Mazzeo of Farrells p69

71 ADVICE Consultants and services


Publishing Editors: Brian Waters, Paul Finch and Lee Mallett, Editorial, subscriptions and advertising: Tel: 020 8948 2387 Email: Contents ©Land Research Unit Ltd or as stated. Available only on subscription: £99 pa

Provides a licence for five copies by email See subscription form or buy online at Planning in London is published quarterly in association with The London Planning & Development Forum by Land Research Unit Ltd Studio Petersham, Gorshott, 181 Petersham Road TW10 7AW Contributors write in a personal capacity. Their

views are not necessarily those of The London Development & Planning Forum or of their organisations. Correspondence and contributions are invited for consideration. The editors reserve the right to edit material and letters supplied.

Design Council CABE City of London Law Society Confederation for British Industry DCLG Design for London/Urban Design London Historic England Environment Agency Greater London Authority Home Builders Federation Landscape Architecture SE London Chambers of Commerce & Industry London Forum of Amenity Societies London Housing Federation National Planning Forum ICE, RIBA, RICS, RTPI, UDAL, TCPA Transport for London London University (The Bartlett, UCL) University of Westminster

Affiliated members: Planning Aid for London London Metropolitan University

 Made on a Mac The London Planning and Development Forum (LPDF) The LPDF was formed in 1980 following an all-party inquiry into the development control system. It selects topics to debate at its quarterly meetings and these views are reported to constituent bodies. It is a sounding board for the development of planning policy in the capital, used by both the public and private sector. Agendas and minutes are at To attend please contact secretary Drummond Robson: The LPDF is administered by: Chairman: Brian Waters MA DipArch (Cantab) DipTP RIBA MRTPI ACArch PPACA FRSA


Planning in London

Principal: The Boisot Waters Cohen Partnership Honorary Secretary: Drummond Robson MRTPI, 41 Fitzjohn Avenue, Barnet, Herts EN5 2HN Tel: 0208 449 3113 Fax: 0208 440 2015: Honorary Treasurer: Alastair Gaskin Member bodies Association of Consultant Architects Association of London Borough Planning Officers/Planning Officers’ Society London Councils British Property Federation


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Housing: let’s start with what we’ve got Incentivise down-sizing by discounting stamp duty

The need for more homes is dominating the planning agenda and giving us new planning acts every year. In this issue contributors discuss the human cost of the housing crisis (Helen Hayes MP p11), limitations of viability appraisals (Cllr Andrew Wood of LB Tower Hamlets and Julia Park of Levitt Bernstein p12), the problem with space standards (Martin Skinner of Inspired Homes p10 and Adam Challis of JLL p16) the benefits of off-site construction Marc Vlessing p30), the capacity of London’s rooftops (Riëtte Oosthuizen and Natalya Palit of HTA Design p39), price trends (Dan Lewis p52) and what the Mayor can do to increase delivery (Katie Scuoler and Stephen Ashworth of Dentons p50). Figures just released by the British Property Federation show that in the past year the amount of build-to-rent units with planning permission, under construction or completed in the UK has surged by over 200 per cent to 67,000 units. They stress that although this is encouraging, this sector could be delivering far more homes. But making better use of existing accommodation may yield quicker results than new development. Recent huge increases in stamp duty on sales of large London homes has inhibited moves and reduced the ease of ‘down-sizing’ (and driven the urge to dig basements!). Ironically the tax régime offers an opportunity to introduce incentives to encourage down-sizing by discounting the tax on such moves. Worth considering along with all the rest as a less confrontational way of meeting the need for housing more >>> people, especially in London..

PiL 100! Planning in London has been published and edited by Brian Waters, Lee Mallett and Paul Finch since 1992

Our next issue is our one hundredth – that covers 25 years of change for London. Readers and contributors are invited to contribute to the special feature we plan to publish on how London and its development and planning has evolved over 25 years. An anecdote, a sketch, a joke or an (interesting) diatribe; or a photograph even. Email what you like [to be used subject to the editor’s discretion of course] to: by 5th December please. Issue 99 OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2016


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Ditch the ‘master’ and just plan Anything that needs ‘master’ in front of it is profoundly dodgy. It’s just planning


Planning in London

A debate organised by the venerable Architecture Club at the even more venerable Atheneum posed the question ‘Do masterplans make better places?’. It was organised by the almost venerable neo-classical architect Robert Adam. Bob Allies of the UK’s undoubted market leaders in masterplanning, Allies and Morrison, and Marcus Adams of John Thompson and Partners spoke in favour, writer Owen Hatherley and Planning in London’s Lee Mallett spoke against. We draw a veil over who said what. And there was no suggestion that masterplans should be abandoned – but that’s the problem, they often are. It is also, as Jane Austen might have said, ‘a truth universally acknowledged’ that masterplans have become the dominant orthodoxy in pre-planning major regeneration schemes. “And where there is an orthodoxy, it needs challenging,” said Robert Adam.  We need to be more specific about what a masterplan is for a start. It can be anything from a simple site layout to a fully researched spatial, economic, sociological proposition. One term doesn’t suffice. We need to be clearer. They are predictions of the future based on recent history. We assume our assumptions will be valid for decades – unlikely. We are driving using the rear view mirror of capitalism in order to contain risk. That sounds very risky. The reality is ‘radical uncertainty’, as Mervyn King once said. Outcomes and delivery may be decades hence, so why plan detail now? Wouldn’t we be better spending a lot more money on imagining the future rather than recycling old trends?  On the other hand, some will argue that ‘visioning’ the future caused all the problems last time round in the Utopian era of Modernism, when we still believed in planning, and the Tories had not gutted it with cuts and deregulation. And where is the real hard evidence that masterplanning works? We prefer organic places to synthetic ones. We do not flock to Milton Keynes to admire its town planning, nor to Abercrombie’s Plymouth.  Plans can be skin deep and don’t get to grips with the reality of place. Like Domestos, as Hugh Pearman once remarked, urban regeneration masterplans kill all known germs and we end up with a kind of cultural Year Zero. Neither do masterplans really do anything. It is people that make things happen, and many don’t hang about to actually implement what they’ve commissioned or designed. Yet we’re in an age of ubiquitous site-based masterplanning, in a vacuum of wider placebased planning. Yes the GLA has set out a helicopter vision for the City in the East, but on the ground vast starship schemes are landing among two storey houses and single storey industrial sheds, waiting to dock in a landscape to which they are entirely alien. No problem with growth – but it is risky without more context. It is the domination of the masterplanning process by the market in the absence of more detailed communal consideration that is encouraging a dangerous tick-box, client-driven, design uniformity about current masterplans. The missing link is the lack of public sector resources to shape the wider area and its lack of skill and confidence in doing this. We need a better understanding of what masterplanning should be because the absence of planning at the right levels locally is failing to produce masterplans that will make better, longer lasting places. So for the time being, readers, we suggest you vote against the motion and seek better masterplans.  Also anything that needs ‘master’ in front of it is profoundly dodgy. It’s just planning. n

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Is Londoners’ enthusiasm for tall buildings over?

Michael Bach responds to the Londonist opinion by M@ which worries about the crowding out of The Gherkin from the City skyline.

Once upon a time you could see it – now you don’t! The same is happening at Vauxhall – John Prescott’s “wow factor” 50storey tower is also due to disappear, ganged-up upon by the former Deputy Mayor’s enthusiasm for tall buildings it is slowly disappearing and we are being left with a massive pile of tall buildings at least 50m taller than the original guidelines. How much more is in the pipeline? What have we got to look forward to? Is it time to call a halt and take a tougher line on renewals? Sadiq Khan, Jules Pipe and James Murray need to get a grip on this – this is not how most Londoners see their city and certainly not their local community. This is not where the additional housing that Londoners need – if we produce 50,000 units a year, of which at least 35 per cent must be social-rented/aka affordable housing – tall buildings are not where it will come from. We need to meet London’s objectively-assessed need for homes for people who want and need to live here, not

as second-homes or investment property. They need a rethink of the direction of travel, not business as usual as if Ed Lister’s ghost was still steering the ship. Somebody needs to account for the last 10 years’ track record – we need to get a commitment that the legacy of the next ten years will be different! Sadiq Khan needs to consider what kind of London do Londoners want – they will agree with more housing, higher densities if done sensitively, but tall buildings is an ask too far. What do you want your community to look and feel like? Now think about other communities? Some say that tall buildings have their place – what does that mean? Office buildings and hotels in Central London and some town centres such as Croydon, but there really is no appetite for all these residential towers in local communities. Is that such a difficult thing to understand? We need to tell the development industry that their “winning streak” with Boris Johnson and Ed Lister is over? Do not expect “business as usual”? Sadiq Khan and his team need start presenting a new vision for London and stop making incremental decisions that get London into a bigger hole – it’s time to stop digging. And here is what Michael is responding to from – a website all about London

The Gherkin Is Disappearing From London's Skyline What's missing from this view (LEFT) from St Paul’s? asks M@. It's the Gherkin. The iconic skyscraper, once so dominant on the skyline, is in danger of disappearing forever. The image overleaf is an artist's impression of how the City of London will look in a couple of years. It's hard to believe that, only a few years ago, skyline views were dominated by the Gherkin (TOP) – image by Foster and Partners, architects of the Gherkin. When it opened in 2004, the curvy skyscraper was the sec- >>>



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ABOVE: The wall in the north: Bishopsgate Goodsyard BELOW LEFT: The City Centre model BELOW RIGHT: 40 Leadenhall.


Planning in London

ond tallest building in the Square Mile. Only Tower 42 overshadowed it, and only by three metres. Since then, several lofty neighbours have moved in. The Heron Tower and the Cheesegrater are both around 50 metres taller, blocking views from the southwest and northwest. Towers under construction such as the Scalpel and 100 Bishopsgate will further obfuscate. But the real Gherkin-killer is the towering 22 Bishopsgate, the blocky edifice that will replace the failed Pinnacle scheme. It's the tallest structure in the photo of  City Centre's model (BELOW). The view on the previous page shows mostly buildings that are currently under construction. Also on the cards (though not yet approved) is the mighty 1 Undershaft, which would almost compare in height with the Shard. Taken together these new towers will block most views of the Gherkin from the west. But its place on the skyline is also troubled by developments to the south and the north. Views from London Bridge, for example, are already obscured by the so-called Walkie Talkie building. The completion of the bulky 40 Leadenhall skyscraper (pictured BELOW RIGHT) as well as the Scalpel will further get in the way. And to the north, the unstoppable march of the City into Shoreditch also threatens to conceal the Gherkin. Developments like the  Principal Tower,  the Stage and Bishopsgate Goodsyard will add a new wall of glass when viewed from this direction. (TOP). It's only really to the east that clear, unobstructed views of the Gherkin will remain common. But even here, the massive ongoing redevelopment of Aldgate, coupled with midrise plans for Whitechapel will further restrict sightlines. By 2025, the Gherkin may only be visible from a handful of locations.  Should we care?  We think so. The Gherkin holds a special place in London's architectural history. It was the Square Mile's first tall building for 20 years. Whether you love or loathe skyscrapers, it was the Gherkin that led the way for the countless towers that now threaten its roofline. 

But it wasn't just the first of a new breed; it was also the best. Despite initial opposition and comparisons to a sex toy, the shapely tower soon won the affections of Londoners like no skyscraper before or since. The Gherkin joined the London Eye and Tate Modern as a 21st century icon for London. It also has impeccable environmental credentials, including a unique system of natural ventilation. 100 years from now, when someone is writing a book on the history of green architecture, the Gherkin will figure prominently. The dome of St Paul's Cathedral — itself the tallest building in London for much of its history — can still be picked out from the crowd thanks to protected sightlines or viewing corridors along which tall intruders are forbidden. The Cheesegrater and Scalpel towers lean backwards to avoid one of these sightlines. Is it time to consider similar restrictions to safeguard views of the Gherkin? If not, one of London's most distinctive buildings will soon become all but invisible. n

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Automation nation: the rising impact of technology on the office Autonomous vehicles could profoundly alter the way people and things get from A to B – and raise important questions over where A or B should be located says Will Matthews According to the futurism of the 1960s, technology should by now have provided flying cars, friendly robot housekeepers, and have rendered the office obsolete by automating all of our jobs. But perhapsit’s the distinct lack of walking, talking cyborgs, or simply the coffee machine’s aversion to pouring your beverage inside the cup – that future doesn’t feel particularly close. Technology has failed to provide the abundance of leisure time once promised, and people continue to toil in repetitive, dangerous jobs that are crying out to be automated – a term that still conjures up images of grey, dystopian worlds in which man is sidelined by machine. But the reality is far less bleak.Automation of various kinds has in fact already changed employment in the UK significantly: our research shows that the past 15 years have seen a technology-driven shift from low-skill, routine jobs, to higherskilled, non-routine occupations, and while this process has caused the loss of over 800,000 jobs, nearly 3.5 million new ones have been created. In a more subtle way, myriad strands of new technologies and robotic processes have infiltrated virtually every remaining role too, taking on a growing share of our most tedious tasks, from lifting to writing.

Technology’s impact is therefore not just about the loss or addition of jobs, it is changing the nature of work itself. Routine elements of roles are diminishing, and employees are spending more of their time using skills that technology does not yet have a good grasp of: tactful human interaction, negotiation, creativity, empathy. Although the pace is gradual, this evolution will eventually represent a major change to the type of work undertaken almost all levels of an organisation. What’s more, our research suggests the jobs at greatest risk of being automated over the next 10 years are not only those that involve standardised, manual tasks, but also administrative, clerical and sales roles that have traditionally taken place in offices. With all this going on, it makes sense to question whether the environment in which this activity takes place is optimal. Existing offices may have suited the working style of their times, but a future office that accounts for the rise of automation would be functionally different. For example, its design would recognise that the share of routine, desk-based work has shrunk, and substitute some of the traditional banks of desks for a greater variety of working environments, suitable for different types of collaboration, interaction and creativity. It would probably also incorporate more flexible spaces, recognising firms’ growing propensity to use contingent workforces, and would utilise smart building technologies so that the building itself becomes more autonomous and adaptable to the needs of its users. Yet the impact of automation on work doesn’t stop at the office walls, but extends to the geographic location in which work takes place. This is partly because the past five years have seen such major advances in autonomous vehicle technology that wide-

Will Matthews is head of real estate insight at Deloitte LLP

spread use of driverless transport has become a very real possibility. Our research into the future of mobility identifies four different scenarios for the speed of adoption, but whatever the rate of take-up, autonomous vehicles could profoundly alter the way that people and things get from A to B – and raise important questions over where A or B should be located. One argument is that autonomous vehicles will lead to the decentralisation of employees, as it becomes easier to work remotely, visiting the headquarters only when necessary. But similar forecasts were proffered at the birth of video conferencing and email, and yet employment has in fact become more city-centric during the lifetime of these technologies. While automation of all types will undoubtedly add to the flexibility over how and where people work, it is difficult to see it fundamentally reversing this shift. Indeed, autonomous transport systems will allow cities to be used even more intensively, for example by increasing the efficiency of existing transport arteries. By happy coincidence, this intensification is likely to be exactly what future employees and their employers will seek, as the automation of work continues to shift the emphasis of roles towards face-to-face interaction and collaboration, cementing the hegemony of the leading office hubs. The irony perhaps, is that the outcomes of these automation-enabled shifts are unlikely to be binary: whether it’s the impact on employment or the workplace, new technology is rarely a zerosum game, and the biggest impact will arguably be on skills and working environments, not absolute employee numbers or square feet of offices. n



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Relax space standards to solve the housing shortage Permitted Development is a good start, but relaxing space standards is the only real solution to solving London’s housing crisis argues Martin Skinner The issue of permitted development rights (PDR) resurfaces every time the London housing crisis is brought up in conversation. What has been obvious for some time is that the need for new homes in our capital hinges on the lack of supply. PDR allows for a quick transformation of buildings, such as office-to-resi conversions, and is a policy aimed at making it easier for developers to provide residential property and tackle the ongoing housing crisis in the capital. The Mayor has recently voiced concerns about protecting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and businesses by potentially reducing PDR in London - but this seems like a backwards move. To sacrifice much needed developments in the capital for vacant and tired commercial space defies logic; especially as traditional offices are no longer the foundation of small businesses. With technology now filling almost every aspect of business life, workers are using these advances as an opportunity to function more efficiently and flexibly. SMEs especially are more flexible than ever and this has reduced the need for traditional, large-scale office space.  The explosion of smartphones and laptops has brought an end to the office as the foundation of modern business. PDR allows for faster development of these old office buildings – the government should be looking at decreasing not increasing regulation which would be penalising landlords that have already delivered millions of much needed homes. PDR offers a chance for local councils to attract investment, provide an economic boost to the

area and accelerate new homes development. Not only do new developments attract jobs, but often lead to increased investment in the wider area as well as a ‘feel good’ factor in the community. Take Croydon as a prime example, this area was one of the capital’s leading town centres until the 1980s, but over the last 30 years its prominence has declined. However, the Mayor has now identified what is called the ‘Croydon Opportunity Area’; one of 33 areas with significant capacity for new housing, commercial and other types of development. Croydon town centre is expected to see 10,000 new homes and transport infrastructure improvements, which will create over 7,500 jobs. Inspired Homes is very much a part of this south London hub’s comeback with our flagship development Green Dragon House launching here at the beginning of September, joining completed developments Surrey House and Canius House as well as future developments Coombe Cross and Impact House which will complete next year. Residential development has been a key part of Croydon’s resurgence and this would have been unfeasible without PDR. It is clear PDR contributes to housing delivery, but there is no complete data to show this at present. It has been announced that planning authorities will now be required to record approvals for PDR on the planning register, but this has come far too late for us to truly realise how effective the rule has been in unlocking homes since its inception. PDR is a quick fix solution to build new homes

Interior of an Inspired development, Green Dragon House


Planning in London

Martin Skinner is CEO of Inspired Asset Management and Inspired Homes

in old buildings, but it is limited by the amount of properties that are available – and these are running out quickly. What has been lacking in recent years and what London needs is a ‘game changer’. Developers such as Inspired Homes want to help tackle the crisis but we need assistance from policy makers to do so. What we need is a new model, someone to rip up the rule book and target the housing crisis once and for all – developers can provide a solution. A relaxation of space standards is what we need to permanently solve the crisis and revolutionise the London property landscape. If space standards were reduced, developers could substantially increase the housing supply – even double their output. Inspired Homes is designing apartments in a clever way to maximise space, removing hallways which can take up to a third of a property’s floor space, using light and design elements and providing extra communal space, to create low square footage apartments that function better than larger ones. We sell to a domestic audience and by building smaller homes we are unlocking access to housing for young Londoners in up and coming areas such as Croydon. These are graduates who are shut out of the market, but with our micro-apartment model, we can provide an answer to the issues around supply and demand in the capital. Not only does our unique business model allow for affordable living in London for those who currently cannot afford it, but we also help create thriving communities, improving the neighbourhoods we operate in. London needs to become more attractive and competitive for developers and more accessible and affordable for younger buyers – until space standards are relaxed, we will not see any real progress in tackling the housing crisis in this city. n

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Dulwich MP highlights the human cost of the housing crisis Helen Hayes told BDonline of her priorities for the new housing minister

Planner-turned-politician Helen Hayes has urged Gavin Barwell, the new housing minister, to monitor the consequences of the Government’s housing policies and change them if they are not working well. The former Allies & Morrison partner, who became Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood at the last election, said it was critical that the minister understands the human cost of the housing crisis. In an interview Hayes laid out what she believes Barwell’s priorities should be as he settles into his new job. He was appointed by Theresa May last month. Above all, he must focus on two things, she said: delivering genuinely affordable housing for social rent; and reform of the private rented sector. “As a south London MP, the housing crisis in London is far and away the biggest issue for my constituents,” she said. “I see a huge number of local residents who are not housed appropriately, either because they are waiting for a council house on a very long waiting list or increasingly because they are stuck in an unregulated private rented sector.” Giving private tenants security from eviction and unreasonable rent rises is essential at a time when the housing shortage means there is no alternative to renting for many people, said Hayes who also sits on the DCLG select committee. The fact that Barwell is a London MP gives her hope that he will have a better understanding of the housing pressure faced by ordinary people than his predecessor Brandon Lewis, she said. “While I am not optimistic there will be any significant change of direction in government policy, I hope he will bring to that role an understanding of the intensity of the need,” she said. Lewis showed no interest in the need to strengthen the rights of private tenants, she said. “I questioned him extensively through the passage of the Housing & Planning Act through Parliament. He wasn’t interested in the issues around reform of the private rented sector and there isn’t anything meaningful in the legislation. In fact the act makes it harder for new genuinely affordable housing to be built,” she said.

“Some measures in the act will make it harder for councils and housing associations to deliver new housing. There’s a double whammy – the government extended right-to-buy to housing association tenants and subsidised it by forcing councils to sell their highest-value properties. “The real priority for the minister is to monitor the impact of that significant change in legislation very closely and if, as is expected by very many experts in housing, we start to see a decline in the number of genuinely affordable homes and the replacement of right-to-buy homes, then the government needs to urgently review that policy and whether it’s doing the best thing for those in housing need.” Success would be measured by like-for-like, one-for-one replacement of sold-off council and housing association homes, said Hayes. “There’s almost no evidence that that’s an achievable objective especially with the way government structures housing finance,” she said. “I am very concerned this policy is not the best use of constrained housing resources when we have so many people in significant and urgent housing need in London.” The act was finally passed in May but, three

Helen Hayes is MP for Dulwich and an exAllies & Morrison partner months on, almost none of the detailed regulations needed before it can be implemented have been published. “One of the frustrations as the bill went through Parliament was the amount of detail the government kept back for the regulations,” said Hayes. “I have written to the minister to ask for the timetable.” Other issues that should be priorities for Barwell include addressing the housing shortage by finding ways of opening up the market for smaller developers and house builders, she said. This is one of the issues that the cross-party National Housing Taskforce she chairs is getting to grips with. Hayes repeated her invitation to architects to submit evidence to this inquiry. n By Elizabeth Hopkirk for BDonline © with kind consent

The Dulwich and West Norwood constituency



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Viability analysis needs fixing Financial viability analysis does not work. Andrew Wood suggests what should replace it For the last year as the Councillor for Canary Wharf ward in Tower Hamlets I have been allowed to read the financial viability reports submitted by developers in my ward. I also get to read the independent reports commissioned by Tower Hamlets Council which review each viability report. As a qualified accountant who has built a fair number of financial models in my professional life I read them with interest although given how detailed & thick the reports are I cannot to pretend to have read them all, they are impressively complex documents. I am not allowed to repeat the detail contained in the reports but the most common phrase in the Council’s independent analysis is


Planning in London

‘the assumptions are not unreasonable’, developer’s assumptions while not perfect, are not unreasonable and therefore are hard to dispute. This is as much an art as a science despite the detailed numbers in each report. But they are also largely pointless documents. They are trying to do something which is almost impossible to do, to calculate a schemes profitability years in advance of work starting and even before permission to build is granted, sometimes even when the developer has no intention of actually building anything. The only point of the viability report is to calculate the percentage of affordable housing to be offered by each scheme plus

Andrew Wood is councillor for Canary Wharf Ward, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

any other S106 commitments. This is why developers profit is normally set at 20 per cent in the model, not because this real profit but as a risk reserve. The 20 per cent number is effectively the fudge factor that makes the whole model work. I have read reports where the developer is clearly trying to downplay the potential profitability of a scheme by emphasising how far away they are from Canary Wharf but it might surprise you to learn that some schemes I have read appear overly ambitious in the affordable housing they are offering given the risks they are taking on. By comparison the calculation of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) has been more successful, it is a much simpler calculation, in my ward £200 * per square meter of development for Tower Hamlets CIL + £35 for the Mayor of London CIL. It is a simple mathematical calculation fixed in advance. After Tower Hamlets adopted it last year, one development went from a £10 million S106 negotiated contribution to a £16m CIL contribution. I think it is time we also greatly simplified the affordable housing percentage calculation along the lines of CIL. We should set a fixed percentage to be delivered for each geographic area like we do with CIL. The breakdown by type of unit and between different tenures can be subject to negotiation but anyway will be influenced by the London Plan & national legislation. But the local authority can set some rules on the mix within its Local Plan for different areas. The local authority can also set guidance over whether that affordable percentage should be provided onsite or offsite. Most sites should have the affordable housing on site but there should be exceptions. For example, a 75 storey tower on

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LEFT BELOW: Landmark Pinnacle RIGHT: Foster + Partners’ South Quay Plaza

South Quay may not be the ideal place for large family sized social rent home. This can all be set in advance by the Local Authority, it can be examined in the same way that CIL is. Once adopted developers know exactly what they have to deliver. National government should not be averse to this change as it simply extends the logic of CIL into a new area. It also reduces risk and complexity which should simplify the process, surely the holy grail of recent reforms. There is however a difficulty, what percentage should we set the affordable housing number at? Too high and we discourage building, too low and we miss out on the provision of affordable housing. Perhaps the answer is to have a two stage process. Set a percentage perhaps based on a slight stretch of today’s actual numbers as we know this is deliverable even before the reduction in cost and risk that this change introduces, as we know this change will reduce costs and risks for developers but not too high as we do not know how the London property market will perform over the next few years. But then on completion, when the developer has sold the majority of units, has collected the cash & actually knows whether the scheme has made a real profit or not we can set a review mechanism. If the development generates ‘excess’ profit, then a profit-sharing mechanism should operate whereby the developer pays the Council cash to build more affordable housing. It also incentivises the Council to support the developer, the sooner the development is delivered the sooner it can share in the profits. In effect we will be setting the actual allowable profit percentage for each development, this may encourage the delivery of more new homes as the only way developers can increase profits is by delivering larger schemes. This profit percentage probably should be set by the GLA across London, it should be set so as to ‘provide competitive returns to a willing land owner and willing developer to enable the development to be deliverable’ as the NPPF requires. While the developer may not like sharing excess profits, they will benefit from the reduction

of risk, they know this profit share only operates if they have indeed made a profit and they can increase profits by delivering more homes. We can also set different profit percentages if we want to encourage different forms of development, if a developer for example provided new homes within a set price limit by using new forms of construction we may incentivise that through a higher allowable profit percentage. It probably makes sense therefore for each development to be set up as limited trading company whose accounts are then easily audited. There will have to be some rules about overhead cost allocation but a simple template can be set up based on audited accounts defining how the profit calculation should be done, but all on real and final numbers not guesses years in advance. For smaller sites & schemes we may simply set the percentage to be delivered up front and skip the profit share at the end. Tower Hamlets Council unofficially already operates such a scheme. Developers know that anything under 25 per cent in my ward is likely to get rejected so in effect there is a fixed minimum percentage in place and it also operates a review mechanism as well. But it lacks clarity. The impact of the scheme is that it is likely that the price of land will be affected by the percentage set. The landowner may end up taking a financial

hit but it has been fascinating for me to read in the viability reports how different the prices are for plots of land next to each other all with similar development potential so perhaps this may help set a more uniform and predictable price for land. As long as the profit percentage is not set too low, landowners can still benefit as the NPPF requires. Hopefully such a process would take some of the political heat out of the process as it balances building more new homes (which is the only long term solution to the affordability crisis) with delivering more affordable homes. Publicising viability reports on their own will provide little help as they are so complex and make little sense in isolation. This is why as an interim step the GLA should focus on setting up a database of submitted viability reports from across London. On the Isle of Dogs, we are building a lot of very similar schemes, sales prices and cost of construction should also be very similar. Such a database means we can more quickly spot outliers in the assumptions submitted by individual developers. Information on current sales prices is easily available as is the cost of construction of different types of developments and can be used as a benchmark against new schemes. Such a database would then provide the background information to then set the affordable housing percentage in each area. n




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Why viability appraisals don’t add up Exploring a number of options to find the best urban design solution and the most appropriate housing mix for a given site is a rewarding and necessary part of the early design process. Increasingly though, and all in the name of viability testing, designers are required to produce options that specifically seek to minimise the quantity and cost of affordable housing. For most architects, this is not rewarding, and nor, we believe, is it necessary. Conceived by a new government in the wake of the 2007-8 recession, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) set the viability hare running. In theory, it allows local authorities to set policies to ensure that they get the type, tenure and quality of housing that their communities need. But the need to ensure that development returns a reasonable profit is given higher priority. This open invitation to barter is a classic example of a policy that inevitably brings out the worst in a developer, rather than the best. The reaction of some authorities has been to ask for twice as much affordable housing as they can reasonably expect in the hope they will come away with half. This is understandable but unhelpful. It makes aggressive negotiation a self-fulfilling prophecy. Under-resourced and under pressure to meet top-down targets, few planners have the courage, tenacity or time to win the war of attri-

Ocean Estate by architects Levitt Bernstein


Planning in London

tion. Meanwhile, designers are expected to progress multiple solutions; often juggling options for many months until a deal is struck. Sadiq Khan’s newly announced plan to appoint an expert panel to scrutinise viability appraisals is therefore a welcome step. It’s somewhat more timid than the promise he made in a Commons debate in July 2015, to make appraisals public, should he be elected - but possibly more useful. Viability appraisals are not intended to be userfriendly so a published summary of what was asked for, what was promised, what was delivered, and what accounted for the difference, is likely to mean more than the spreadsheet itself. If everyone behaved sensibly, neither approach would be necessary. The majority of housebuilders have little faith in the viability process and little desire to negotiate. Both eat up valuable time and delay the planning process. Developers admit that it’s possible to ‘prove’ almost any preconceived outcome, and would prefer a clear set of reasonable, non-negotiable requirements. Tony Pidgely, one of the few prepared to speak up in public, called for a flat rate of around 30 per cent affordable housing at Ecobuild last year. We’d like a little more than that, but the principle makes perfect sense. Within reason, the cost of any fixed policy requirement comes out of land

Julia Park is head of housing research at Levitt Bernstein

value. The price you can afford to pay is the residual sum that remains when cost and profit have been deducted. Developers are caught because land is sold to the highest bidder based on moving targets, not fixed ones. As soon as one negotiates, the rest have to follow. Affordable housing isn’t the only thing to suffer. Developers can also chip away at CIL charges, standards and quality. Before adopting the new Nationally Described Space Standard and/or the ‘optional requirements’ for water efficiency and accessibility, every local authority must demonstrate need and viability. This is proving just as time-consuming and complicated as many feared and, at the end of that process, hard-won plan policies can still be lost or watered down through negotiation. The Housing Standards Review revealed that developers are more willing to build to higher standards than they appear. Their priority is to know where they stand and compete on equal terms. Across the sector, the preference was for regulation, not optional standards, because once land prices adjust, regulation has no net cost. The analysis of consultation responses revealed that 83 per cent of respondents agreed. Committed to a deregulatory agenda, only the politicians seemed unable, or perhaps unwilling, to believe what they were hearing. As a result, current policy incentivises poor quality, expensive housing. By anyone’s standards this is the worst combination. Many of our housing problems will be difficult to solve, but this is one we could easily turn around. Better quality, more affordable housing is perfectly possible and doesn’t need to mean fewer homes or higher cost. Given a few years, it would undoubtedly prove to be a more efficient and satisfying way to house people, reduce local opposition, speed up planning and achieve better value. Changing the way we approach viability is one way to bring out the best in developers, rather than the worst. n

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The problem with space standards The space standards review should be looking holistically at the benefits as well as the shortcomings they bring says Adam Challis In my first proper job, I had the opportunity to help organise a sales conference for a carpet manufacturer. We called it the 'Wall to Wall Conference'. Thankfully my stint as a marketeer was short lived. I came across the same company many years later when analysing the purpose-built private rented sector in the United States. One investor/ landlord talked to me about the bedroom sizes, which were a specific width to fit a standard roll of carpet. Fewer cuts meant less wastage, faster turnaround between tenancies, and bluntly, contributed to more profitable buildings. The investor had thousands more homes planned, chock full of tiny tweaks to standard building practices that drove better returns. I like this little anecdote in the context of Space Standards, because it reminds me of how far away they are from serving any commercial purpose. On a good day they represent a planning simplification of what would otherwise be quite complex issues of design quality. On a bad day, they represent a lazy proxy for design standards. In conjunction with Pocket Living, JLL ran a research survey in 2015 to better understand what first-time buyers want. It turns out that space matters, but not that much. Out in front, by some margin, was location. Prospective purchasers knew where they wanted to be and would make concessions on other attributes of their wish list to get there. Turns out, Pocket interiors


Planning in London

unit size is less important than we think. It should be said here that Pocket Living delivers to minimum space standards, but by designing very clever and ergonomic homes, they are able to squeeze more value out of the space for future occupiers. That's good economy for the developer, but smaller units cost less, meaning they are affordable to a higher proportion of the population. By our calculations, in London that meant an extra 200,000 households. The point is worth repeating; smaller units are more affordable to more people. And in the right location, that's what they want. Said a different way, bigger most certainly isn't always better. I am also not convinced that a simplistic approach to space standards is relevant to the modern city dweller. Demographic changes are creating smaller household sizes. Later family formation, family breakup, and living longer (often alone) together mean that space requirements are changing. Let alone the housing affordability challenge, which is set only to worsen. We are also seeing a shift towards shared spaces. Who needs a private dining room if one can be made available for all residents in a building on request. Business centres over a study, rooftop garden over a balcony; all provided at higher quality under a collective principle. Increasingly, shared spaces can replicate the same needs but do it better - and cheaper for occupiers. Returning to purpose-built rental blocks (what

Adam Challis is head of residential research at JLL

JLL in the UK calls Private Rented Communities, or PRCs), cumbersome design standards can get in the way of greater building densities that improve the economics of this new asset class. There is all kinds of innovation in this space - pun intended but space standards are undermining the economics of delivery in higher value locations. Quite simply, we will see fewer PRC buildings delivered in exactly the places where people want them to be. To be clear, many investors in this new asset class will not engage with the space standards debate, fearing that a potential stigma of 'substandard' units would cast a long shadow over the sector as a whole. I get that, but at the same time this stance will undermine the huge opportunity that the sector offers to build more homes that people can afford to occupy in places and where our cities need them to be. The space standards review should be looking holistically at the benefits as well as the shortcomings they bring, with due consideration for the economics of delivery and what the market really wants. A 'Wall to Wall' review - if you like. n

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LONDON’S NEW POLITICS OF PLANNING EVENT 19th October 2016 Come and join the debate Organised by London Planning Analyst, with Planning in London Magazine, hosted by Colliers International, 50 George Street, London W1U 7GA. London has a new mayor. Brexit is looming. Two factors that have an enormous impact on politics and policies in the capital. London Planning Analyst’s inaugral conference will focus on the strategic opportunities new Mayor Sadiq Khan should seize, and our speakers will argue for policy changes to deliver the homes and work spaces we need. The conference has been programmed by Lee Mallett, urban regeneration consultant, journalist and chartered surveyor. Senior people already attending: Advisor to No.19, Former Deputy Mayor for Housing, N10 Managing Director, Andrew Sissons Consulting; Partner, Ben Adams Architects; Founder at Argent Group Assistant Director, British Property Federation; Chief Executive, Colliers International; Director, Colliers International; Chief Executive, Croydon Council Partner and Head of Planning Team, Deloitte; Chief Executive, Dolphin Living; Chief Executive, First Base; Associate, Fletcher Priest; Associate Director, GL Hearn; Councillor, Chair of GLA Planning Committee, GLA;

Strategic Planning Manager, GLA; Director, Hepher Grincell Planning and Development; Associate Director, JLL; Director of Regeneration & Housing, London Borough of Ealing; Director of Housing Services, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham; Consulting Editor, London Planning Analyst; Director of Development, Urban Design and Masterplanning, Publica Associates, Member of MDAG; Planner, PRP; Director, Ramidus Consulting; Associate Director, Sheppard Robson; Founder, Stokes Duncan; Chief Executive, The Office Group; Principal of Architects and Planning Consultants, The Boisot Waters Cohen Partnership (BWCP); Editorial Director, AJ and AR and Director, World Architecture Festival, Co-Editor, Planning in London;

Buy your ticket for £245 + VAT on the website Not for profit organisation £195 + VAT? Email to gain the discount. Companies attending: Andrew Sissons Consulting; Argent Group; Ben Adams Architects; British Property Federation; Church of England; Croydon Council; Colliers International; Deloitte; Dolphin Living; First Base; Fletcher Priest Architects, GLA; GL Hearn; Hepher Grincell; JLL; London Borough of Ealing; London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham; Planning in London; Planning & Development; Publica Associates; PRP Architects; Ramidus Consulting; TFL; The Office Group; Sheppard Robson; Stokes Duncan; Urbik Limited; The Boisot Waters Cohen Partnership (BWCP).

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Why Sadiq Khan should make time to listen to architects London Mayor Sadiq Khan reportedly has not been able to find time in his diary to meet various architects, including Richard Rogers and RIBA president Jane Duncan. Since he is my constituency MP, and someone I supported in these columns as the better of the mayoral election candidates, perhaps I can gently offer some reasons why he should not only go through the political routine of meeting people who want to help, but also exploit the talents and commitment of London architects to help create the built environment he would certainly like to see. Mr Mayor: 1. Architects are on your side. Whatever their personal politics, London architects want their city to work well, and in particular to have a sufficiency of housing to help reduce the current grotesque inequalities generated by decades of provision failure. 2. With the exception of individuals like Richard Rogers and Terry Farrell, architects deal in ideas rather than the broad brush of environmental politics. Rather than seeing this as a weakness (note the silly criticism of the excellent New London Architecture exhibition on housing ideas as not being ‘political’), examine the ideas from the perspective of a mayor who has land, finance, planning and compulsory purchase powers way beyond what Ken Livingstone possessed. 3. Now that you have abandoned your minimum 50 per cent affordable requirement (just like Ken), why don’t you engage with talented architects who can approach the problem of housing, land, construction and delivery from a design perspective, ie think about the problem in the round rather than as a series of silos? For example, is housing a production problem or a distribution problem? 4. Why don’t you seek the advice of architects who have designed successful housing estates across the capital in recent years? There are countless examples of useful research based on real-life experience produced by major practices. They find it incredibly frustrating that each new mayor appears to want to re-invent the wheel on policy, when the only thing that matters in the short term is providing on the basis of prediction. 5. Consult architects with specialist experience

about the growing requirement for ‘silver-hair’ housing. The double benefit of downsizing for both individuals and the market is not to be underestimated, but to be implemented will require a sophisticated approach which again requires synthetic thinking – which is what architects are good at. 6. Whatever happens, don’t fall for the line (which will be peddled to you by policy advisers, contractors, housebuilders etc) that quality is an enemy of quantity. It is no such thing; the need is to combine both – well expressed in this magazine’s ‘More homes, better homes’ campaign. 7. Stick to your predecessor’s guns in respect of space standards, albeit with some margin for much-needed smaller units – but don’t let bad money drive out good. Why don’t you re-introduce the old GLC mortgage scheme for first-time buyers? 8. Why don’t you re-introduce the old GLC mortgage scheme for first-time buyers, possibly in relation to developments on public land, commissioned by your own authority and/or the Homes Why not talk to architects like Levitt Bernstein, PRP, Pollard Thomas Edwards, HTA, Terry Farrell and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners about all this stuff? They have forgotten more about housing than the rest of the GLA put together knows. BELOW: HTA’s Hanham Hall for Barratt, UK’s first zero carbon housing

Paul Finch is editorial director of the Architects’ Journal and Architectural Review and joint publishing editor of PiL

and Communities Agency? 9. And while we’re at it, why don’t you make difficult sites available to architect-led, one-off housing associations, with sites made available cheaply in return for social housing provision? 10. If you haven’t already done so, why not talk to architects like Levitt Bernstein, PRP, Pollard Thomas Edwards, HTA, Terry Farrell and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners about all this stuff? They have forgotten more about housing than the rest of the GLA put together knows. 11. Pay attention to architectural analysis in respect of airport expansion. Terry Farrell has made by far the most convincing case for the expansion of Gatwick rather than Heathrow as a short-term answer to aviation capacity, infinitely more sophisticated than the foolish Cameronsponsored report, designed to delay a decision. Since you don’t like Heathrow expansion, this should not be difficult. 12. In the longer term, adopt Foster + Partners’ estuary airport proposition. Whatever Jonathan Meades may think, this idea is not that of Boris Johnson, but derives from your own predecessor body, the GLC, which secured planning permission for such an airport in the 1970s. The long-term benefits are as great now as they were considered then. Finally, it is a mistake to think about architects as simply lobbying in respect of their own economic interest. Don’t forget that London’s first modern leader, Mayor Livingstone, explicitly based his vision for the capital on the urban design ideas of Richard Rogers. So Mr Mayor, please make the time, not for a courtesy call, but for a serious conversation about how imagination and experience can be called on as London increasingly expands as the New York of Europe – in or out of the EU. n First published in AJ 8 September 2016 with kind consent



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Applications, decisions and residential permissions all well up on a year ago Latest planning performance by English districts and London boroughs: Planning Applications in England: April to June 2016 OVERVIEW Between April and June 2016, district level planning authorities in England: • received 132,000 applications for planning permission, up seven per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2015; • granted 100,900 decisions, up six per cent from the same quarter in 2015; this is equivalent to 88 per cent of decisions, unchanged from the same quarter of 2015; • decided 83 per cent of major applications within 13 weeks or the agreed time, up from 79 per cent a year earlier; and • granted 12,200 residential applications, up eight per cent on a year earlier. 11,900 applications for prior approval for permitted development rights were received during


Planning in London

April to June 2016, up seven per cent from the same quarter of 2015; and 9,700 of those applications were approved without having to go through the full planning process, up eight per cent on a year earlier. In the year ending June 2016, district level planning authorities: • granted 378,200 decisions, up four per cent from the figure for the year ending June 2015; and • granted 47,600 decisions on residential developments: 6,000 for major developments and 41,600 for minors, both up six per cent on the year ending June 2015.

Planning applications During April to June 2016, authorities undertaking district level planning in England received 132,000 applications for planning permission, up seven per cent on the corresponding quarter in 2015. In the year ending June 2016, authorities received 482,700 planning applications, up two per cent from 474,400 in the year ending June 2015. Planning decisions Authorities reported 114,500 decisions on planning applications in April to June 2016, an increase of six per cent on the 108,100 decisions in the same quarter of the previous year. In the year ending June 2016, authorities decided 431,000 planning applications, an increase of four per cent compared to the year ending June 2015.

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RIGHT: Number of planning applications received, decided and granted by district level planning authorities

Applications granted During April to June 2016, authorities granted 100,900 decisions, up six per cent from the same quarter in 2015. Authorities granted 88 per cent of all decisions, unchanged from the June quarter 2015. Overall, 83 per cent of major and minor decisions were granted. The percentage of decisions granted varied widely between local planning authorities, ranging from 25 to 100 per cent for major developments, 51 to 100 per cent for minor developments and 58 to 100 per cent for other developments. Over the 12 months to June 2016, 378,200 decisions were granted, up four per cent from the year to June 2015 Speed of decisions In April to June 2016, 83 per cent of major appli-

Planning decisions by development type, speed of decision and local planning authority: January to March 2016, Table 131 can be found with all tables and figures here: Source: DCLG/ONS >>>




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>>> cations were decided within 13 weeks or within the agreed time for Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs), Extensions of Time (EoTs) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), compared with 79 per cent in the June quarter 2015. In the June quarter of 2016, 79 per cent of minor applications and 88 per cent of other applications were decided within 8 weeks or the agreed time. These figures show increases, compared with 73 per cent and 83 per cent a year earlier respectively. The percentage of decisions made in time varied widely between local planning authorities, ranging from 17 to 100 per cent for major developments, 32 to 100 per cent for minor developments and 18 to 100 per cent for other developments. Legislation allows planning applications to be submitted directly to the Secretary of State if a local planning authority has been designated on the basis of under-performance. One of the two criteria set out in Improving planning performance: criteria for designation (revised 2015) relates to the speed of decision-making. Because deciding an application on time can include the use of a performance agreement, the calculation of the proportion of decisions made within the agreed time was changed to include PPAs from April 2008 for major and some ‘other’ developments, and to also include agreed EoTs and EIAs from April 2013. Applications since April 2014 for minor developments and for changes of use,


Planning in London

householder developments and advertisements can now also be recorded as having included a performance agreement. Because the most consistent reporting of agreements is for major applications, numbers of decisions on major developments made involving a performance agreement, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of all decisions on major developments. Notwithstanding these definitional changes, there has been a marked increase in the use of agreements since early 2013, although the increases have slowed down in recent quarters. In reality, this has been driven by both the additional scope for recording them and their additional use. The proportion of major decisions subject to an agreement was 54 per cent during April to June 2016, up from six per cent in the April to June quarter of 2013. Householder developments Householder developments are those developments to a house which require planning permission such as extensions, loft conversions and conservatories (more details are in the Definitions section). The number of decisions on householder developments increased by nine per cent, from 54,900 decisions in the June quarter of 2015 to 59,700 decisions in the corresponding quarter in 2016, when they accounted for 52 per cent of all decisions. Authorities granted 90 per cent of these applications and decided 89 per cent within 8

weeks or the agreed time. Prior approvals for permitted developments Following the creation in May 2013 of some additional permitted development right categories and consultation with local authorities, the department increased the level of detailed information on prior approvals for permitted developments collected on the PS1 return with effect from 1 April 2014. The results for the ninth quarter for which they have been collected (April to June 2016) are included in Tables PDR1 (local authority level figures) and PDR2 (England totals). Of the 11,900 applications reported in the April to June quarter of 2016, prior approval was not required for 6,900, and permission was granted for 2,900 and refused for 2,100. This resulted in an overall acceptance rate6 of 82 per cent. 75 per cent of applications (8,900) related to larger householder extensions, with seven per cent relating to office to residential changes and six per cent relating to agricultural to residential changes. The total number of applications reported during April to June 2016 (11,900) was seven per cent greater than in April to June 2015. Within this total, the number of granted applications increased by ten per cent, the number of refusals went up by three per cent and the number of cases where prior approval was not required increased by seven per cent. Taking i) granted applications and ii) those for which prior approval

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was not required together, 9,700 applications were approved without having to go through the full planning process, up eight per cent on a year earlier Within the overall increase of seven percent in the reported number of applications between April to June 2015 and April to June 2016: • larger householder extensions increased by eight per cent • office to residential changes dropped by 14 per cent • agricultural to residential changes dropped by 26 per cent; and • there was a 59 per cent increase in the ‘All others’ category, partly due to the creation of several new categories with effect from 15 April 2015, part-way through the April to June 2015 quarter. These include storage and distribution centres to residential, and amusement arcades/centres and casinos to residential.7 The overall acceptance rate for the nine quarters between the collection of detailed data started in April 2014 and the end of June 2016 was 82 per cent. The rate initially dropped from 85 per cent in the first quarter to 79 per cent in the third quarter, but has since stabilised at 82 per cent in the latest four quarters (Table PDR2). Overall during the nine quarters ending June 2016, district

planning authorities reported 89,400 applications for prior approvals for permitted developments. For 51,800 (58 per cent) of them prior approval was not required, 21,200 (24 per cent) were granted and 16,300 (18 per cent) were refused (Figure 4). 6 The acceptance rate is defined as the number

of applications for which prior approval was not required, or for which permission was granted, as a percentage of the total number of applications. 7 Further details are given in the explanatory memorandum at morandum/contents. n


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New DCLG team announced • Sajid Javid becomes new Communities Secretary • Brandon Lewis moved to Home Office as Gavin Barwell becomes new Housing and Planning Minister • Northern Powerhouse Minister, James Wharton, moved on • DCLG has a new Minister in the Lords Who are the new appointments, and where do they stand on housing? Sajid Javid - New Communities Secretary As part of her dramatic reshuffle, Mrs May appointed former Business Secretary Sajid Javid to the role of Secretary for Communities and Local Government, replacing Greg Clark who, in turn, has been put in charge of the newly formed Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department. Prior to being Business Secretrary, Mr Javid served in the Treasury, during which time he helped launch a number of initiatives to increase home ownership including the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme. Mr Javid's move to DCLG was welcomed by the National Housing Federation, hoping a constructive relationship can be formed in a bid to tackle the UK’s housing crisis.  Following his appointment Mr Javid said: “My priorities are to build more homes and increase homeownership, devolve powers to local areas and help communities deliver excellent public services.” During his time as Business Secretary Mr Javid announced a number of initiatives to reduce planning and housebuilding regulations. In July 2015 he launched the Government’s productivity plan ‘Fixing the foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’ which contained a number of new announcements on changes to the planning system. This included proposals to grant automatic planning permission in principle on brownfield sites identified on registers of brownfield land; a policy subsequently included in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, and proposals to remove the need in London for planning permission for upwards extensions to homes. In December 2015 Mr Javid and then Housing

Minister Brandon Lewis launched a cutting red tape review for the construction sector, as part of a wider government deregulation drive. In March 2016 Mr Javid launched a consultation on setting out proposals to privatise the Land Registry. Time will tell whether this Cabinet change will represent a significant change in direction for DCLG. Gavin Barwell - From Whip to Planning Minister Mr Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, has become the new minister for planning and housing after being moved from the whips’ office. He replaces Brandon Lewis. This move could be seen as quite a test for Mr Barwell, given that his only prior experience of planning was as Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Mowat between 2011-12 when he was Minister of State for decentralisation and planning policy. He is well-renowned within the Conservative Party and was one of five first-time MPs to be appointed to the 1922 Committee. Not bad considering his majority is just 165. Prior to Parliament, Mr Barwell worked at the Conservative Research Department (CRD) from 1993 to 1995 as a desk officer in the home affairs section responsible for housing, local government, the environment and inner cities. The CRD boasts high flying alumni within the Conservative Party, not least David Cameron. It would be no surprise to see Mr Barwell get to grips with DCLG quickly, ensuring that the Housing and Planning Act is fully implemented, as well as finding new ways to mitigate the housing crisis. From 1995 to 1997 he was Special Adviser to then-Secretary of State for the Environment, John Gummer MP, and was the Head of Local Government for the party from 1998 to 2003. He served as the Chief Operating Officer in the Campaigns Headquarters between 2003 and 2006 before being employed as a "consultant" until 2010, where he worked with Deputy Party Chairman Lord Ashcroft's target seat scheme, and significantly contributed to the Conservatives' 2010 General Election plan. A local councillor for nearly 12 years, he was a Conservative councillor in the Coulsdon West ward of the London Borough of Croydon, the Cabinet

Member for Resources & Customer Services and then the Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Cohesion. Marcus Jones - Reappointed Local Government Minister Mr Jones has been reappointed Local Government Minister, within which role he has responsibility for local government policy and finance, combatting homelessness, community rights, including community pubs, high streets, town centres and markets and planning casework. As Mr Jones has been reappointed in this role, it would be unlikely that he would be the cause of any significant changes occurring in the direction of local government policy, which would in fact be designed by Mr Javid. On planning, last year he publically told councils to ‘go for growth’ with their new devolved powers and deliver more prosperous areas and more houses. However he seldom becomes involved with controversial applications nationally, only commenting on local planning matters in his role as MP for Nuneaton, Warwickshire. He called for an ‘urgent review’ of housing in his constituency in wake of ‘massive development’ and little infrastructure support. Andrew Percy - In charge of the Northern Powerhouse One of the more interesting announcements, Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, has been appointed the new Minister for the Northern Powerhouse. He has replaced James Wharton, MP for Stockton. Over the coming time, Mr Percy will help oversee a number of key areas for the North, notably the devolution of further powers to combined authorities and Manchester. There has however been some talk since George Osborne's departure that the Northern Powerhouse will slowly fade away from being at the political forefront. The continued appointment of a Northern Powerhouse minister however does suggest there is commitment to continue the policy; although only time will tell.  Outside of his departmental role, Mr Percy claims to support the Countryside Alliance and National Trust. He has also in the past expressed public concern over housing developments in his >>>



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RIGHT: Essential Living’s Vantage Point scheme in Archway, north London

constituency, most prominently the 6,000 homes Lincolnshire Lakes development. Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth - The Lords' DCLG Minister A former Welsh Assembly Member, Conservative peer Lord Bourne’s political interests include the economy, deregulation, energy and climate change. Lord Bourne has now become DCLG’s minister in the Lords; hitherto he was an energy minister. He is seen as a knowledgeable Whitehall insider and a safe pair of hands with extensive experience. During his time as energy minister he was responsible for driving forward through Parliament the controversial Energy Act last year. He has given little away in terms of his housing and planning views, although it would be of little surprise that he would want to see more energy efficient and climate friendly homes built. However expect him to be hostile to controversial developments in some instances; in the past he has led campaigns to oppose onshore wind turbines in part due to the aesthetic impact of the schemes. Source: Political Pigeon:

Multi-billion pound funding package to boost housing In the upcoming Autumn Statement it is expected that the government will announce a multi-billion pound funding package to help tackle the housing crisis in a move that sees the Government taking on more financial risk than ever before. This package will be the combination of several existing schemes but will also include new Government funding consisting of loans to developers across the residential sector. Prime Minister Theresa May, at the start of her premiership, made a commitment to building cheap affordable housing and helping young people onto the ladder. However, a report from Capital Economics, commissioned by Shelter, suggests that the government may be 266,000 homes short of its 1 million homes target by 2020. The Government realise they need to find a way to increase the supply of housing to meet their targets This new fund is to be administered through


Planning in London

the Homes and Communities Agency and is designed to for small and medium housebuilders and, whilst large housebuilders will have access to the loans, they are less likely to receive the funds. The fund will allow housebuilders to receive cheap loans and reduce red tape enabling them to take on larger developments. Troy Homes CEO, Richard Worth, suggested it was important the Government should not try to impose the same obstacles to developers as banks currently do. More information on the funds and how they will work will be provided in the Autumn Statement, expected 23rd November. – Report from

Is Land Hoarding the problem? Civitas have produced a report looking at the issue of Land Hoarding as an obstacle to tackling the housing shortfall. It suggests that the rate at which planning permission is being granted is significantly exceeding the rate at which homes are built, and this gap is continuing to expand. The analysis provided in the report suggests that over the last two years, planning permission has been granted for enough units to meet the 250,000 a year target, with developers seemingly “hoarding” land and choosing the optimum time to develop. For Civitas, this clearly demonstrates that the key to solving the “housing deficit” does not lie solely with the granting of more planning permissions, but rather lies at the hand of the developers and the rate at which they build out permitted sites. The government have reiterated the target to build 1 million new homes by 2020 and with prominent housing economists claiming that at least 250,000 new homes a year are required to meet the ever growing demand, research on how to tackle the shortfall is evidentially necessary.

Inquiry into foreign ownership The mayor says he wants clarity over the roles overseas money plays in London’s housing market. He is to launch a comprehensive inquiry into the impact of foreign investment flooding London’s housing market, amid growing fears about the

scale of gentrification and rising housing costs in the capital. Khan said there are “real concerns” about the surge in the number of homes being bought by overseas investors, adding that the inquiry would map the scale of the problem for the first time. “It’s clear we need to better understand the different roles that overseas money plays in London’s housing market, the scale of what’s going on, and what action we can take to support development and help Londoners find a home,” Khan told the Guardian. “That’s why we are commissioning the most thorough research on this matter ever undertaken in Britain – the biggest look of its kind at this issue – so we can figure out exactly what can be done.” It is widely acknowledged that many pre-sales to overseas investors provide much of the funding for new flats , funding which might not otherwise be available but that a promotion, especially at the ‘top end’, are for ‘second homes’ which are not always occupied.

Housing minister backs build to rent The housing and planning minister has backed the build to rent sector. Speaking at Property Week's RESI 2016 conference in last month, Gavin Barwell said the country’s housing ambitions would “never be achieved” without a significant boost for institutional investment in the private rented sector. “We need to build more homes of every single type and not focus on one single tenure” said the MP for Croydon Central, so we need “to make sure we have a good, thriving private rented sector.” Barwell, also minister for London, singled out Essential Living’s Vantage Point scheme in Archway, north London (pictured) for praise. The

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118-home project, which sits immediately above Archway Tube station has opened for lettings this month. The minister said this “must be the start.” Also commended was Pocket Living’s development in Lambeth, south London for its innovative use of modular construction. Barwell mentioned the fact that a growing number of people and families are now choosing to rent, so the build to rent sector will “prove so important” in providing for changing attitudes. This indicates a change of policy given the heavy emphasis on home ownership coming from the previous Cabinet.

Permission punishment proposals ‘unworkable’ Proposals from housing minister Gavin Barwell that house builders could be denied planning permission if they have prior schemes that have not been implemented have been dismissed as unworkable and damaging. Barwell, who was speaking at the annual RESI conference, said that his department was investigating making developers’ past records “a material consideration” in planning application decisions where there was “no record of [developers] building schemes out” where they had permission before. The main objection from the property industry to “use it or lose it” proposals is that there are many reasons for developers delaying or cancelling implementation of schemes where they have planning permission. Delays can often be caused by funding falling through or projects no longer being viable, with circumstances that cause this often being outside the control of developers. Brendan Hodges, senior associate partner at consultants Daniel Watney LLP, said it was “difficult to see how these proposals would work.. and could end up with fewer homes built”. The firm has proposed focusing on improving the efficiency of the planning process – which is partly addressed in the government’s new Neighbourhood Planning Bill – as an alternate way of delivering more homes. The firm has also called for better resourcing for planning departments and a reduction in postdecision delays.

Broadgate tower approved The City Corporation earlier this month granted approval for the development at 2-3 Finsbury Avenue Square, backed by developer British Land. Submitted for planning in March, the scheme was amended during the summer after the Greater London Authority raised concerns about the effect of the new Arup Associates-designed skyscraper development on a consented residential development on a neighbouring site. The new scheme will create four new buildings, ranging from eight to 32 storeys in height. It will provide 61,867m² of office space plus conference and events facilities and shops. A roof terrace on

the 13th floor will be open to the public. The future timescale for the project depends on when current occupier UBS fully decants from the existing 1980s buildings by architect Peter Foggo. Campaign group The Twentieth Century Society objected to the planning application, saying that the demolition of the existing buildings would chip away at the architectural uniformity of the wider Broadgate development. A report by corporation planners concluded that ‘the design approach, materials and detailing are of high quality, refined and accomplished. ‘The strong vertical rhythm and the vertical emphasis of the eastern tower would create a visual counterpoint to the horizontal massing of 5 Broadgate.’ >>>



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Challenger scheme submitted for Mount Pleasant Rival plans by traditionalist architect Francis Terry and a group of local residents have been submitted for the redevelopment of the Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant sorting office in Clerkenwell, central London. They aim to counter already consented plans by AHMM, Allies & Morrison, Feilden Clegg Bradley and Wilkinson Eyre for nearly 700 homes at the site with buildings rising up to 15 storeys which they argue are too dense for the area. The application by the Mount Pleasant Association (MPA) has been submitted to Camden Council under “community right to build” powers; thought to be the largest application of its kind. Their initial application is for 125 homes up to half of which would be ‘affordable’. The homes would be built in five linked buildings ranging from four storeys to eight storeys with 1,200 m² of commercial space. A large open space would also be created, as well as communal roof terraces for residents. If successful the MPA plans to submit further plans for the 3.5 ha wider site. n

London Stirling Prize winner...

Protection for London’s night-life

is the Newport Street Gallery by Caruso St John, a familiar sight for SW Trains travellers into Waterloo. ABOVE: photo by Helene Binet

Mayor Khan has promised to beef up the London Plan so that developers would have to make sure any new residential schemes do not threaten the future of existing leisure venues. He says he will introduce an ‘agent of change’ rule to the London Plan that would make developers of housing near existing leisure venues responsible for noise management. "Developers would be responsible for ensuring their new developments don't threaten the future of existing venues. That would mean developers building flats near existing venues will need to ensure that residents are not unduly affected by sound from the venue, and that may include paying for soundproofing. A report last year commissioned by previous London mayor Boris Johnson on the decline of live music venues in London said noise complaints from the residents of new homes next to such venues were a major factor. It recommended the mayor adopt the ‘agent of change’ principle in the next version of the London Plan and issue supplementary planning guidance in the interim. n

Next meeting of the London Planning & Development Forum NEXT MEETING is on 6th December 2016 at Colliers International, 50 George Street W1U 7GA Our host is Jonathan Manns Please advise Hon Sec Drummond Robson if you would like to attend: Visitors are welcome.


Planning in London

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¡PILLO! Floating students A Copenhagen housing startup suggests building affordable student housing on the water. Urban Rigger has just completed its first floating modular dorm in Copenhagen’s harbor, and more are in the works. Designed by architect Bjarke Ingels’ firm BIG, each Urban Rigger unit houses 12 students and is composed of modular shipping containers. A photovoltaic array provides power; a heat-exchange system draws upon the thermal mass of water to warm and cool the interiors, and NASA-developed aerogel insulates the interiors. The floating dorms cost about $700 to $800 per square foot to build, and rent for $600 a month. – From Photo RIGHT: Urban Rigger.

Planning inspector orders developer to rebuild pub 'brick by brick' In January 2015, Westminster City Council refused an application by developer CLTX Ltd to demolish the Carlton Tavern pub, in Kilburn, north London, and replace it with ten flats and a ground floor commercial unit. Regardless, the applicant went ahead and demolished the building, which was built in 1921.

In May 2015, the council decided to issue an enforcement notice against the developer to rebuild the pub within 18 months, ”brick by brick", as close to the original as possible. The developer appealed against both the enforcement notice and the refusal of permission at a public inquiry but the inspector backed the council, dismissing both appeals. He described the building as a ‘rare public house’ and said the Department for Culture, Media

and Sport had told him it was ‘highly likely’ that the pub would have been listed. He said there would be "substantial benefit in the [pub’s] reconstruction on historical grounds", adding that he saw "no reason … why a detailed and accurate reconstruction could not be undertaken” and gave CLTX two years to rebuild the pub. Robert Davis, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for the built environment, said: "This sends a clear message to developers across the country that they cannot ride roughshod over the views of local communities.”

Self driving car parks Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, calls the time cars spend parked ‘a huge tax on land’, and says driverless cars would result in a more efficient use of land by removing people’s need to own vehicles. Instead, cars will be permanently on call, he says, shuttling people from place to place, and when not in use they could be stored in ‘designated parking areas’. Whilst it is clear that parking policies should be speedily adjusted in anticipation of reduced levels of future car ownership, and that a lot of urban land will be released, ¡Pillo! things the proper name for ‘a designated parking area’ is... a car park. n



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Londoners’ own plan for London and the success of Pocket living Hon. Sec. Drummond Robson minuted the Forum on 14th September at UCL. Our Host was Michael Edwards. Full minutes at > LP&DF The Chairman thanked Michael Edwards and Jessica Ferm for arranging the venue, and Michael, Richard Lee of Just Space, Marc Vlessing of Pocket Living, Duncan Bowie and Riette Oosthuizen for introducing topics for discussion. DISCUSSION TOPICS A] Londoners’ own plan for London, Just Space network of community organisations The topic was introduced by Michael Edwards of UCL and Richard Lee, Co-ordinator of Just Space. See tabled document Michael Edwards explained the need for a Community Plan saying there was a democratic deficit in London’s plan making which resulted in less than fairness for alK] Divergences of wealth and poverty, falling real incomes, overcrowding and increased homelessness, declining housing stock through right to buy, high costs of transport, more concentrated job activity in the centre with resultant long journeys to work and increasingly expensive measures to overcome this (Crossrails 1, 2 and 3). He criticised the processes of consultation in plan making as being weighted to suit the plan makers rather than the populations being serveD] ME explained that JustSpace, formed 10 years ago is not a political party, or Campaign, Think Tank or NGO. It relies on mutual self support and technical support engaging with the Planning System. It has prepared a set of policies based on consensus of those involved and is multi scale. It seeks to seize the initiative rather than commenting on or trying to fix the current plan, but rather aimed at what the plan should be. ME cited his experience in the King’s Cross Railway Lands development. It has been suggested that London has been recovering since 2007 but this assessment needs to be reconsidered if housing costs are taken into account. Lee Thomas added to MEs assessment to cover density and density control, workplace versus housing land, lifetime suburbs and implementation. He emphasised the inappropriate tall build-


Planning in London

ings strategy, lifetime suburbs where over crowding solutions are unwelcome, and mixed development opportunities. Jessica Fermaner spoke of the undue emphasis on the lack of economic diversity in the CAZ and underplanning of the worth of High Streets and rapid recent declines in safeguarded available industrial lanD] The key policies set out extensively in the Community Led Plan itself are as follows: Policy Proposals A Green and Localised Economy A] Encourage changes in consumption and production to achieve a circular economy, setting targets to reduce all types of waste, supporting reuse, repairing and recycling activities (for example through networks connecting surplus food, building materials, furniture, IT equipment etc with people in need). Ensure support and funding schemes are easily accessible to SMEs, social enterprises and local community groups for education and training programmes (for example, waste management, resource-efficiency, accessing local supply chains). B] Raise the environmental performance of the building stock (see Housing chapter) and re-configure settlement and urban patterns to reduce the need for travel (see Transport chapter) and the reliance on non-renewable energy sources (see Environment chapter). C] Protect London’s poly-centric economy by supporting development which does not compromise the economy and diversity of local high streets, town centres of all scales, local shopping parades, markets and shopping centres, particularly outside the CAZ. D] Support development which fosters Lifetime Neighbourhood principles, as defined in the Implementation chapter, with a focus on creating well-paid and secure local jobs and access to local amenities and services affordable to everyone. E] Planning applications for major new development will take into account the need for new workspace to accommodate a mix of economic activities in all sectors, including community and voluntary organisations, social enterprises, education, play, religious, health and care facilities.

F] Recognise and protect street and covered markets as a) a source of healthy and cheap food and other goods b) a social benefit c) a source of independent business and local supply d) providing local employment e) an opportunity for start-up businesses. Local authorities should seek to retain control of management and rent-setting and must consult with traders and customers on future proposals. The London Plan should include a database of protected markets. Diverse Economies A] Recognise and promote the diversity of London’s economic activities and the contribution they make across all sectors and scales. Evidence, case studies and a collaborative approach should form part of the Economic Evidence Base, Economic Development Strategy, Town Centre, Retail and Employment Land Reviews. B] Planning decisions should recognise and take account of existing local economies and require detailed evidence of the reality on the ground, including for example business audits, mapping supply chains and business connections, interviews with business owners, as well as assessments of local labour markets. C] The London Plan should no longer set targets for managed release of industrial lanD] There should instead be a presumption against further loss unless a case can be made to the Mayor demonstrating genuine long-term vacancy on specific sites. D] Address the cumulative loss of workspace by working to increase capacity suitable for a diverse range of economic activities, including but not limited to: workshops, studios, small retail units, industrial units, yards, sheds, warehouses and wharves. E] Foster innovations in the design, finance and management of development schemes so industrial and residential uses can co-exist, for example when single storey commercial buildings are replaced with multi-storey residential and workspace buildings. F] Plan for the long-term infrastructure needs of industry. The London Infrastructure Plan 2050, London Energy Plan, Transport Strategy and other-

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related strategies will assess and address the infrastructure needs of businesses in all economic sectors. G] Protect clusters of small and independent businesses and ethnic and migrant traders which have a unique and irreplaceable character and assist communities to be resilient in the face of rapid change, particularly in areas undergoing regeneration and growth H] Support capacity building in London’s diverse business communities (industrial businesses, Small and Medium Enterprises, Ethnic and Migrant Businesses, market traders) to encourage businessled solutions to redevelopment and change, such as in Opportunity Areas, regeneration areas and business-led neighbourhood forums. Caring for Existing Homes A] The Mayor and the boroughs will support maintenance and enhancement of the condition and quality of London’s existing homes to ensure that new homes delivered are additional to existing stock rather than replacements. This will include designating energy efficiency as an infrastructure priority and using infrastructure funds to deliver stable, long term investment to implement a locally-led programme for the upgrade of all existing London homes to B and C on an Energy Performance Certificate. B] Boroughs should develop policies and proposals to reduce environmental impact, particularly lifetime and embodied carbon emissions, through the sustainable retrofitting of existing homes. In particular they should: – Prioritise adaptations to the homes of older residents. – Prioritise fuel-poor and vulnerable households .

– Identify synergies between new developments and existing homes. – Though retrofitting of energy and water efficiency measures, decentralised energy and renewable energy options. – Make the link with public health programmes (for example, a boiler on prescription programme for those most vulnerable). – Include minimum energy efficiency standards as a condition of licensing in the private rented sector. – Encourage energy rights initiatives and community based energy projects. C] Refurbishment options for existing council or housing association estates should include proposals to retain, enhance or deliver green and garden spaces, play and youth provision and community space and buildings. D] Any replacement of not-for-profit rented home should be carried out on the basis of like for like in terms of tenure, rental cost and size. E] Proposed regeneration of council or housing association estates should require comprehensive, independent analysis of social, environmental (including embodied carbon) and economic benefits of all proposed options and a ballot of tenants and leaseholders. Options should always include refurbishment. F] Social, health and wellbeing indicators of existing residents should be incorporated into decisionmaking around regeneration schemes. These should be routinely monitored post-regeneration, with tracking of those displaced. A model for this should be prepared or commissioned by the Mayor in collaboration with community, tenant and voluntary sector groups. To inform this, the Mayor should commission analysis of the impact

of housing displacement on health and wellbeing.] G] The Mayor should commission analysis and monitoring of the relationship between income, poor housing, health and wellbeing. H] There should be ongoing monitoring of poor health and wellbeing as a result of overcrowding. Quality of New Homes A] New homes should be built to last a minimum of 125 years. The design and construction should ensure adaptability so that retrofitting and rearrangement of internal spaces can occur. B] New homes should be energy positive. C] All homes should be built to lifetime homes standards. D] Communal meeting spaces and green and play space with good natural light should be integral to the design of new housing blocks and estates. E] A new more sophisticated density matrix that combines housing, social and community infrastructure should be developed. This will take into account household income, financial accessibility to transport, proximity of accessible (both in a physical and financial sense) sport and leisure, community, youth and safe play facilities, levels of overcrowding and preservation of local character. F] The Mayor’s design team should review all major schemes from the point of view of good design and their advice should steer the GLA officers’ response. Not-for-Profit Rented Homes: Policy on Housing Types and Definitions A] The London Plan should make clear to what extent, through reference to housing costs and incomes, the housing needs of households with less than median income levels will be addressed. >>>

Minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 14th September at UCL. Our Host was Michael Edwards. Brian Waters (Chairman) Andrew Rogers: Association of Consultant Architects Dan Lewis: CE Future Energy Strategies Duncan Bowie: University of Westminster Jessica Ferm: UCL Judith Ryser: Isocarp/Ugb/Cityscope Europe Leigh Thomas: Colliers International Marc Vlessing: CEO Pocket Living Michael Edwards: UCL Owen Wainhouse: RIBA Peter Eversden: London Forum

Richard Lee: Co-ordinator of Just Space Riëtte Oosthuizen: HTA Design LLP Ron Heath: Living Architects Stephanie Pollitt: BPF Tom Ball: London Forum Drummond Robson: Honorary Secretary and Robson Planning

Apologies were received from Lisa Fermaner: City of Westminster LB, Michael Bach: London Forum, Michael Coupe: London Society, Tim Wacher and Jonathan Manns, Colliers International



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B] As most of the current London Plan ‘affordable housing’ products are not affordable to the majority of households in London, the term should be removed in any Mayoral or borough planning documents. C] Assessments of the requirement for not-forprofit rented homes should be carried out and included in the London Plan. D] Not-for-profit rented homes are defined as including community-led housing, which takes many forms, as well as social rented housing for which rents are ring fenced to cover the running costs of existing homes (management, maintenance and repairs). Participation in London Wide Housing Policy A] The Mayor will convene a Housing Forum (and a supporting community engagement sub-group of the Forum) that will ensure tenant engagement and input is at the heart of the housing strategy for London, its remit including policy, delivery and monitoring functions and with a full representation of council tenants, housing association tenants, community-led housing tenants, private renters and voluntary and community sector groups representing those with particular housing needs. B] Given the Mayor’s powers over housing in London, the Mayor should provide a grant funding programme to support the activity of tenants groups, renters groups and other community groups at local, Borough and London-wide levels. This could include the resourcing of a London


Planning in London

Private Renters Forum, the existing London Tenants Federation and a London making at the GLA. C] The Mayor will encourage Boroughs to work closely with Tenants and Residents Associations and borough-wide Tenants Federations or tenants organisations to work in collaboration with Housing Associations around engagement of their tenants to recognise renters groups and to put in place consultative forums for private renters at Borough level] Community-Led Housing Policy A] The Mayor will maintain a London wide register of available land for community-led forms of housing and ensure: – The register is fully accessible to community builders, neighbourhood forums and other community interests – The register includes data on interest and demand for community-led housing, and how the sites on the register are allocateD] B] The Mayor will make available a package of support for community forms of housing that includes: – Promote supportive financial institutions, such as Unity Trust, offering low cost loans. – Local Authorities to identify land and do the appropriate checks (not placing the onus for this on the community groups). – No requirement to tender to be the developer (EU regulations exemption). – Community builders to be exempt from CIL and

S106 they will provide community amenities/ community benefit as a matter of course. – GLA fund for a mentors programme, capacity building of community builders, expertise for feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, partnering with smaller housing associations. – A knowledge bank to develop Borough understanding and retain the expertise of communityled housing groups. Private Rented Sector A] The Mayor to provide support for Borough-run social letting agencies and landlord licensing schemes which should encourage landlords to offer longer term tenancies for private tenants in homes that are both energy efficient and meet decent home standards. B] The Mayor should develop rent stabilisation methods for regulating changes in rents at the end of assured shorthold tenancies. C] The Mayor to simplify and improve the policy on Empty Dwelling Management Orders. This policy permits Boroughs to municipalise the management of empty properties for compulsory private rental] D] The Mayor to commission research into large scale PRS development and produce detailed planning guidance. E] The Mayor to support a Private Renters’ Knowledge Bank which would develop Borough and voluntary sector understanding and retain the expertise of private renter advice and support groups

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Rail and Housing Zones. Policies Dependent on New Legal Powers A] The Mayor to seek devolved powers to introduce city wide rent control, based on a range of rent control methods on which research and development should now begin. B] Repeal of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction should be urgently sought by the Mayor in his negotiations with government over devolved powers. C] The Mayor to seek powers so that landlord licensing can be made mandatory across London with a commitment to ethical lettings, regulation of informal housing, minimum energy efficiency and anti-discrimination standards. D] The Mayor to devise measures to regulate institutional ownership of housing for private rent (build-to-rent or existing buildings). Policy on Housing Targets A] To meet existing need and to address London’s backlog of need over a five year period a target of 30,000 not-for-profit rented homes per annum would need to be set. B] Targets should be set for three, four and five bedroom homes. C] Targets should be set for reducing overcrowded homes. D] Public land should be held for not-for-profit rented homes (this includes community forms of housing), with the land provided for free as a community asset transfer or long lease. This applies to all public bodies, including Local Authorities, NHS, Transport for London, Network

Transport Objective A Transport Policy A1. Lifetime Suburbs Introduce lifetime suburbs in Outer London, scaling up lifetime neighbourhoods, to reduce the need to travel by greater share of jobs, services and homes. Transport Policy A2. Planning and Making the Transport System Work Better A suite of measures, mostly small-scale, but targeted to achieve in an incremental way a denser coherent and convenient travel network. Mayoral Transport Strategy should have expression not only London wide but also at sub-regional level ensuring that sub-regional plans are open to public scrutiny. Transport Objective B Transport Policy B1. Promote Active, Affordable, Integrated and Accessible Travel Support and improve throughout London opportunities and facilities for walking, cycling, public transport, including their affordability, integration and accessibility. Implement road space reallocation including reducing or eliminating car travel lanes in specific areas to create additional space for walking, cycling and the public realm. MiniHollands to be brought in for all 32 Boroughs, the City and Mayoral Development Corporations. Transport Policy B2. Outer London Greater emphasis on maintaining, enhancing and extending Outer London’s public transport services, particularly bus services and Orbital Rail, and

on integrating with transport for the wider South East region. Transport Objective C Transport Policy C1. Improve the Environment Strengthened Low Emission requirements, strong road traffic reduction targets and avoiding traffic generating transport schemes. Transport Policy C2. Tackle Congestion and Pollution Road Traffic Reduction Target Setting and Road User Charging (that is equitable and proportionate) for all of London to tackle congestion and pollution and create a fairer share of space for cyclists and buses, with revenue used to support sufficient, reliable, safe, affordable and accessible public transport. Transport Policy D1. Promote an Integrated Approach to Freight Promote an integrated approach to freight with a network of consolidation hubs and managed distribution for the final leg of delivery. Shift road freight to rivers and canals by implementing the Blue Ribbon NetworK] Protect and enhance water transport opportunities, facilities and services. Implementation Objectives – A comprehensive review of the existing delivery models of Mayoral Development Corporations, Opportunity Areas, Intensification Areas and Housing Zones. – Promotion of lifetime neighbourhoods which build on, rather than eradicate, the existing qualities and diversity of London’s neighbourhoods. >>>



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– Recognition of the importance of Community Assets / Spaces for the well-being of Londoners and for achieving lifetime neighbourhoods. – Tools that are open and transparent such as the Social Impact Assessment, that assess existing uses in an area, allow the consideration of alternative proposals and give a high value to social sustainability. – Comprehensive and inclusive monitoring indicators (Key Performance Indicators or KPIs) to provide a robust evaluation of the strategic aims of the GLA Act and the London Plan. For example, a KPI to monitor effective community participation in the preparation and implementation of the London Plan. – Governance arrangements at the GLA that provide for the representation and participation of all Londoners, such as through a Mayoral Social Compact with Londoners, detailed in chapter 2. Opportunity Areas Policy Proposals A] There must be a full review, documentation and assessment of Opportunity Areas to date. B] Until this takes place, there must be a moratorium on the declaration of any further Opportunity Areas and no more approvals of Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks. C] Already designated Opportunity Areas must function more democratically and adhere to strict public participation principles.


Planning in London

Lifetime Neighbourhoods and Community Infrastructure Policy Proposals Strategic A] London will demonstrate its commitment to developing an inclusive and sustainable city through the achievement of lifetime neighbourhoods that support empowered communities in which local employment, social and community facilities, shops, streets, parks and open spaces, local services, decent homes and public transport bring people together and are affordable and accessible to everyone, now and for future generations. B] In Outer London, lifetime neighbourhoods will be an important tool in achieving a more balanced economic development. ‘Lifetime Suburbs’ will provide a real mixed development strategy for Outer London, reducing the need to travel, travel times and the over-dependence on the centre of London. Planning Decisions A] To measure and evaluate the impact of development proposals on existing residents and businesses in a neighbourhood, Social Impact Assessments will be undertaken. This involves the Boroughs, supported by the GLA, carrying out detailed analysis of what an area already contains: its housing, jobs, community facilities, locally appreciated buildings, and so on. A report should be prepared for public consul-

tation and made a part of evaluating the viability of any new plans. B] Social Impact Assessments will: – Be informed by impact assessment criteria that are prepared by the Boroughs together with the voluntary and community sector. – Acknowledge the social and health costs (alongside the economic and environmental costs) of relocation or displacement – Be recognised as an important tool in planning decisions, alongside the Equality Impact Assessments required by the Equality Act 2010. – Be conducted and published independently of the developer to ensure impartiality and transparency in the decision making process. – If mitigation strategies to offset the negative impact of development proposals are proposed, they will be scrutinised and the effectiveness of their delivery investigated – If the mitigation strategies are considered inadequate, the communities affected (whether residents, traders or community assets users) will be balloted] Local Plans The Mayor places a high importance on the protection of existing community infrastructure provision and will encourage initiatives that promote the resilience of community assets. Boroughs should have policy requirements: A] With the presumption to protect and enhance existing community assets that meet the needs of

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particular communities. B] On the affordability of community floor space and security of tenure (lease agreements). C] Valuing the ‘irreplaceability’ and uniqueness of some community assets. Planning applications that do not enhance this ‘uniqueness’ of place will not be supported] D] Empowering local community networks, in alliance with research organisations, to evaluate the socio-economic value of community assets, gathering information from members and users. Where re-provision of community infrastructure is required, this will include conditions enabling the existing users of the space to resume their use of the space on equivalent terms. Neighbourhood Plans Neighbourhood Plans are an important mechanism for the implementation of lifetime neighbourhoods. They are a platform for communication and participation, with the potential to engage all groups in the design and delivery of planning policy and implementation. The Mayor will work with the Boroughs and Voluntary and Community Sector to: A] Provide programmes of capacity building for public officers, including cultural awareness and community development. B] Implement measures to support under-represented and excluded groups to take advantage of the Localism Act 2011 and especially the community right to bid and asset transfer schemes, com-

munity economic development, community right to build and community right to neighbourhood planning] C] Publicise the Boroughs’ corporate asset management strategy and lists of assets available for transfer to community groups. Monitoring Policy Proposals New indicators for measuring London’s economic success should include those developed by the New Economics Foundation. A] Good jobs: per cent of the labour force that has a secure job that pays at least the living wage (using ONS Labour Force Survey Data). B] Wellbeing: average life satisfaction on scale of 0–10 (using ONS Measuring National Wellbeing survey). C] Environment: Carbon emissions in relation to the minimum limit set to avoid dangerous climate change (using defra data); similarly for air quality. D] Fairness: ratio between after-tax incomes of top 10 per cent and bottom 10 per cent of households (using ONS data on The Effects of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income); this should be computed both before and after housing costs. e. Health: per cent of deaths avoidable through good quality health care / public health interventions (using ONS Avoidable Mortality statistics). Other additional indicators should cover: F] Financial success of households, after meeting housing costs.

G] Diversity of business sectors (for example in terms of size, number of employees and required floorspace; social and cultural, number of ethnic and migrant businesses etc). H] Strength of local supply chains (for example interlinkages between firms, delivery distance, time and cost etc). I] Sustainability of resource use (for example capacity of renewable energy equipment installed; amount of waste generated that is not recycled). J] Environmentally-damaging travel and transport generated by economic activity (for example number, distance and cost of work-trips, deliveries, air-travel). K] Gender disparities in terms of wages and access to the labour market (for example a Gender-sensitive Regional Development Index). K] How much of the profits generated by businesses based in London are: – Paid in tax (and of that, how much is returned through central allocation to the GLA and the boroughs). – Re-invested into business (as opposed to paid out as dividends and interest). – Spent on wages (and whether this is rising over time, as growth goes up, or not). – Distributed through dividends or profits to local community members who own or have invested in local businesses. – Distributed across socio-economic classes within the population. >>>



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DISCUSSION In the ensuing brief discussion Peter Eversden was concerned that the Boroughs had not delivered on London Plan proposals and what should be in the London Plan compared with what should be left to the Boroughs. Boroughs had been very slow in updating their local plans with the risk that cases are lost as being no longer justifiable. Duncan Bowie considered the Just Space material to be very valuable in strategic discussions notably in establishing suitable residential quality. There are recent research reports available to The Mayor on diversification and change to the density matrix to increase ranges which are likely to result in more hyperdensity schemes He was concerened that we have lost sight of who we are building for. The 2003 density zones were not implemented as intended] Emphasis on the compact city has meant that suburban options are not being considered] He also thought that Estate regeneration options were tricky to achieve. He suggested that schemes should be considered on a case by case basis to see if there was adequate transport to support intended densities. PE concurred by saying that the 2015 Infrastructure Plan had been “blown out of the water”. Riëtte Oosthuizen invited consideration of social infrastructure which was proving difficult with a high cost CIL regime which takes away


Planning in London

from delivery options, often without using the CIL monies collecteD] In practice there has been extensive growth of rooftop space, notably in Inner and Outer London. She was concerned that developers needed to be incentivised if they were to deliver new developments. The requirement for 20 per cent starter homes is proving unrealistiC] Tom Ball considered that the lack of new housing was becoming overwhelming in its significance and there needs to be a national Plan to tackle it. Judith Ryser though impressed with the Just Space investigation was concerned that the proposals lacked pragmatism, saying they seem to be largely symbolic responses rather than amounting to the right strategy to tackle current planning problems. A shorter document may also have more impact. Dan Lewis suggested the involvement of other Think Tanks eg IPPR, Centre for Social Justice etc] Mar Vlessing added London Chamber of Commerce as potential contributor in view of the need for employment retention as well as Housing] DISCUSSION ITEM b: Productive Planning Marc Vlessing, CEO of Pocket Living introduced the topic Members are familiar with Pocket’s approach but a few slides [reproduced on these pages]

introduced the item and then gave his views as to how policies look to him, how they support/impede the Pocket approach of providing one bedroom apartments for London's city makers. They are compact, 38 sq metre properties and priced at least 20 per cent lower than the open market. Corporate Finance for £26.4m is working to produce 750 homes per year. The largest scheme to date has been for 45 new homes. Planning permission has been granted for 120 on bigger sites with 50-60 per cent 2 bed and family housinG] However minimal levels of social housing are in fact being realised currently in London. At present only 23 per cent is being achieved compared with a necessary target of 30 per cent which compares with 45-50 per cent in the Netherlands. MV expressed some concerned about the lack of money to realise schemes at GLA given the size of the task needed. Ron Heath wondered about the cost of housing to buy and invited consideration of more housing association development but with the requirement that occupiers should live there much longer and not sublet. MV said the average sale equity on Pocket units was £65K] He thought the design life of buildings should be 80 years. Stephanie Pollitt: BPF suggested that a Field Trip would be worthwhile to look at Pocket Homes. The average cost psf seemed higher than

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that for volume house builders, which may query their usefulness. MV said the numbers were growing and that there were sites in 13-14 London local authorities. DISCUSSION DR asked about neighbour reactions to Pocket schemes. MV said that people welcomed the fact that most of the occupants were at work all day resulting in quiet environments, and that shops had seen increased income from higher footfalK] There is a waiting list of 35,000. Planning Policy in London • Great opportunity with Gavin Barwell MP (as Minister for Planning and for London) and James Murray • 50 per cent affordable housing target • Too rigid and site focused • Viability expert team • Improves transparency to address market failure • Homes for Londoners • Opportunity for pan-London strategy How can the lessons learnt from Pocket’s public/private partnerships be used to deliver more housing across London? • Encourage a full range of housing options • protect social housing sector (33 per cent market) • Speed up the designation of public land

• Role of Modular • London housing regime • Starter Homes for London? • Triangulation between GLA, London Local Government and DCLG Duncan Bowie said that Gavin Barwell has an opportunity to modify the detailed arrangements on starter homes but Brxit has meant there is no time for the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to starter home aspirations. This and the shortage of numbers with adequate competence to frame the necessary legislation suggest that starter homes are unlikely to be realised quickly. Revised supplementary guidance for the GLA was issued in May 2016 which set out higher requirements than hitherto. It is important to work out what is actually needed, rather than continue to provide for the compact city. Social rent criteria were clearly defined together with a social rent target, but this has been lost sight oF] Policy and planning bear

little relation to what is needed for different social groups. Funding is critical to housing realisation. Also there needs to be greater flexibility on the investment programme. It is doubtful however whether the government will give GLA the necessary flexibility in the housing investment programme. Private sector higher density schemes will be dependent on delivering some of the key infrastructure schemes such as Crossrail, HS2 etc. A new policy paper is in preparation as the result of the abolition of the Outer London Commission exploring where housing should go. CPRE remains protective of the Green Belt but this is now being questioned more widely. It is clearly a topic for future discussion by the Forum, perhaps in December. DB has written a recent TCPA paper which the Forum thought would be worthwhile to distribute. In a footnote we learned that Stewart Murray , the mayor’s chief planner, had now joined GL Hearn and Partners. n

NEXT MEETING on 6th December 2016 at Colliers International 50 George Street W1U 7GA Our host is Jonathan Manns

© Pocket Living, all images




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Conditions (THINGS THAT MUST EXIST IF SOMETHING ELSE IS TO EXIST OR OCCUR - OED) Andy Rogers offers his top ten conditions Those of you working at the coal face of planning have probably noticed that (a) local planning authorities have gradually become more and more onerous when granting permission in the conditions that they attach and less and less efficient in discharging them properly; while (b) Government ministers have tried to get to grips with this problem, first with legislation that allows for automatic approval if an application to discharge a condition is not decided in the correct time, and second with a consultation that proposes restrictions on the use of (particularly pre-commencement) conditions along with an obligation for these to be agreed up-front. In the spirit of these trends I offer the following Top Ten conditions attached to approvals that I have received. They are all real (no, honestly, they are) and were all issued by one or more London boroughs (who will remain unidentified). It’s up to you to determine which ones - if any - comply with the Government’s NPPF requirement for every condition to be necessary, relevant to planning, proportionate, precise, enforceable, reasonable, and properly related to the approval being given. 1. : Erection of 4no. three-storey semidetached houses Condition: The proposed development would, by reason of its size, height, siting and design, be a visually obtrusive form of development…. [etc] Comment: There were two more conditions with the same thrust: it was obviously an error and should have been a refusal. The barrister we consulted said that it was so clearly a mistake that we could not implement the permission. 2. : Retention of existing single storey rear extension and loft conversion Condition: The development to which this permission relates must be begun not later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date of this permission Comment: The development already existed: there were no other conditions.


Planning in London

3. : Redevelopment of vacant workshop as 5no. live/work units Condition: Each unit shall be used for mixed residential and/or business and not less than 40 per cent of the accommodation shall be used for business purposes; with one occupier (i.e. the business user and his or her co-habitants) per unit Comment: It was not clear how a unit with three equal floor area storeys could be divided so that 40 per cent of the floor area was in business use, nor how the LPA would monitor/enforce this requirement and the single user condition. As a result one unit remained empty for nearly ten years while the owner and subsequent potential purchasers made four planning applications and an appeal in attempting to vary the condition and change the restrictive use. 4. : Construction of a rear garage area with a self-contained one-bedroom unit a b o v e linked to the rear of a high street shop Condition: The development hereby permitted shall not be commenced until details of secure cycle parking facilities for the occupants of, and visitors to, the development hereby approved have been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority Comment: It is not clear why the cycle store shown on the approved drawings wasn't seen to be satisfactory or why a start should be held up as a result. 5. : Retrospective approval for replacement sash windows (granted on appeal) Condition: The development shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans and documents… Comment: The LPA requested this condition, even though the windows were existing: there was no request for a time limit condition (see 2, above). 6. : Construction of a basement with two small lightwells Condition: All of the basement hereby approved shall only be used as ancillary space to the existing house and no independent dwelling unit shall be formed Comment: The condition was effectively

It is the stars, The stars above us, govern our conditions. – King Lear, act4, sc.3 redundant as there was an earlier (standard) condition that required the development to be carried out in accordance with the approved plans, making alterations to form a separate dwelling without further permission impossible. 7. : Ground and first floor side and rear extension Condition: The roof of the building shall not be used for any purpose other than as a means of escape in emergency or for maintenance of the building Comment: Redundant restriction because all the roofs (existing and proposed) were pitched. 8. : Ground and first floor side and rear extension Condition: The proposed two ground floor window(s) in the rear elevation(s) serving the larder and laundry rooms of the building(s) hereby approved shall at no time be openable or glazed, otherwise than in obscured glass, below a minimum height of 1.75 metres (5’7”) above the relevant floor level Comment: Redundant condition - both windows face a 2m high neighbour’s fence. 9. : Conversion of the building into one family house Condition: The development shall not be carried out other than in accordance with detailed drawings to a scale of not less than ... which shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, such details to show... Comment: Advice on how this condition should be discharged will be welcomed. 10. : Conversion of property from three flats to a single family dwelling Condition: [None - not even a time limit] Comment: If only all permissions were so simple! n ….let us our lives, our souls, Our debts, our careful wives, Our children, and our sins lay on… We must bear all. O hard condition! – Henry V, act 4, sc.1

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Room for lots more homes over London London’s rooftops are an untapped source of new homes, a study by Riëtte Oosthuizen and Natalya Palit demonstrates

Work is in progress for reformulating the London Plan, setting a new policy context for accommodating London's projected growth. Exploring the Green Belt as an option for new development appears to have been parked for now, shifting the focus to London's insides. London’s skyline is changing with a staggering amount of new and proposed tall buildings, and more estates are in line to be regenerated, but yet the demand for more homes grows. Latest predictions for housing need in London range from between 50,000 to 80,000 homes per annum, depending on the source. However, in reality housing delivery amounts to approximately half of this, reaching 31,984 homes in 2014/15 in London. The undersupply of new homes, twinned with the increasing challenge of affordability provides a real challenge for all involved, in determining the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of new housing supply. The redevelopment of brownfield land alone will not deliver the required level of growth. As professionals working in the housing industry, it is evident to us that every potential source of land needs to be explored. Policy measures need to be adopted to facilitate the delivery of housing by a much wider range of players, including small and medium-sized businesses

who are often priced out in bids for land across London. There is huge potential within the existing fabric of London, with a large volume of research illustrating this. This includes HTA Design 's work on 'Supurbia' - our model for intensifying London's suburbs by building on their inherent qualities, using a resident-led development approach combined with a design framework. London First and Savills study 'Redefining Density' (September 2015)1 also demonstrated that many of London's well located areas with good PTAL ratings are at densities below the appropriate level set out in the density matrix of the London Plan. Following new research we have undertaken, we believe that there is further untapped potential within existing buildings that are suitable for upward extension. The idea of 'rooftop development’ is not a new concept. People have been extending their homes and properties by building on roofs through the conventional planning process for years. However, this type of development currently delivers less than two per cent of new homes per year, illustrating there are still barriers that make the process less than straightforward. The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Greater London Authority consulted on permitted develop- >>>

RIGHT: Twelve simultaneous rooftop extensions in the Primrose Hill Conservation Area (HTA Design & Planning and BWCP Architects)

Dr Riëtte Oosthuizen is planning partner and Natalya Palit assistant planner at HTA Design LLP



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>>> ment rights to extend upward earlier this year, showing the wider recognition that there is potential on London’s rooftops to deliver additional self-contained units. The outcome of this consultation is yet to be published. In HTA Design’s response to this consultation, we particularly emphasised the importance of adopting policy measures that would support good design. Permitted development rights can sometimes come with the risk that the resultant additions fundamentally harm the streetscape. In contrast, specific policy support for rooftop extensions, supported by careful design guidance, or a Local Development Order with a design code attached, could result in more desirable outcomes. Little work has been done to date to establish an accurate picture of the potential of London’s rooftops. A number of different figures have been quoted in the press, ranging from 500,0002 extra rooms, 130,000 to 140,000 new homes, or even 630,000 new homes3 if building takes place over public buildings such as hospitals and schools. Apex Airspace Development, a company set up exclusively to promote, procure, and deliver rooftop apartment living across the Greater London area, approached HTA Design in April 2016 to produce a detailed study of the potential for rooftop development in the Borough of Camden. Our brief was


Planning in London

to accurately establish the true potential for rooftop extensions through a practical assessment of available rooftop space, and to identify a number of units that could be delivered based on this. Camden is a unique borough in that approximately 24 per cent of the borough's housing stock is Council owned, more than half of the borough consists of Conservation Areas and 27 per cent of the borough is covered by open spaces. It is by any conservative estimate fairly constrained and therefore acts as a good starting point to estimate potential. In setting out to do our research, we were particularly aware of typical planning, design and technical constraints that impact on the potential for sites to be suited to extension, including: • the structural capacity of the building to support additional loading; • the feasibility of extending existing lift cores or adding a new external lift cores; • the presence of restrictive telecommunications equipment and other services at rooftop level; • the local character, and • planning considerations such as Conservation Areas, local and London-wide sensitive views ; >>>

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TOP: • Victorian terraced dwellings solely in residential use LEFT: • Victorian terraces with ground floor commercial uses BELOW: • Mansion blocks




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TOP: • Inter-war residential blocks with ground floor shopping parades BELOW:: • Local Authority estate low rise and mid-rise blocks



Planning in London

• good access levels to public transport; and, • the need for car parking provision.. Using satellite imagery, we identified 475 rooftop sites across Camden suitable for development. These sites excluded any building stock that was subject to planned or future regeneration. These sites amounted to 198,660 sqm of developable rooftop space. Taking an average of 60sqm per home, and utilising 75 per cent of the suitable floorspace, we calculated that rooftops in Camden have potential to deliver 2,485 new homes. This amounts to 28 per cent of the London Plan 2015 housing target for Camden. We identified a number of building typologies that might be suitable for rooftop developments, subject to these con-

straints; design solutions for these are illustrated as part of this article. From our findings in Camden we extrapolated the typical development density of 1.14 home per hectare to the whole of London, which delivers 14,330,080 sqm of rooftop space. Using an average of 60 sqm per home, this amounts to 179,126 new homes or 42 per cent of the London Plan 2015 target for housing. The study acknowledges that this extrapolated figure is approximate, but as the case study borough was fairly constrained, we believe it could be a fair reflection of the potential for rooftop development across London. The research has also been presented to the GLA, who received it positively and who indicated they would welcome further London-wide research

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LEFT: • Local Authority estate tower blocks

MID: • Small Flatted Block with Single Core BELOW: • Bespoke/Miscellaneous


to inform evidence to underpin new policies and guidance related to rooftop development. Rooftop development offers a wide range of benefits which can include: increasing opportunities for small and medium sized developers and construction companies, providing a potential new funding stream to assist affordable housing delivery if done at scale, and using offsite manufacture to speed up the delivery process, amongst a range of benefits for existing residents and leaseholders living in suitable buildings. There is significant potential within London's built fabric for intensification. Small sites have traditionally not been the focus in terms of their contribution to new housing supply, particularly as often these sites can be the most difficult to guide through the planning process. We need adequate policy support for this type of development in London, with recognition that with careful design measures, this could be an altogether sustainable way to grow London, keeping existing communities in place and resulting in local and wider economic benefits. n

1 3 Housing over Public Assets, by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff (2015) 2

If you are interested in knowing more about this research, please contact



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A modernised green belt Green Belt has served its postwar purpose well but is failing to meet new standards of sustainable development says Merrick DentonThompson

Merrick Denton-Thompson OBE FLI is president elect of the Landscape Institute


Planning in London

We have to question the future of the Green Belt in its current form for the simple reason it predates the new urgency for sustainable development. The Government itself appears not be able to make up its mind, one moment declaring that the Green Belt is sacrosanct and the next consulting on building new starter homes and supporting brown field development in the Green Belt. Its reputation is further undermined by periodic planning consents for developments in the Green Belt which attract so much ire and attention. We can celebrate the achievements of Green Belt legislation as originally conceived in that it has prevented the coalescence of cities and towns, controlled ribbon development and sustained the distinction between town and country. Today these spatial planning objectives are more important than they ever were. Yet the legislation was not adopted evenly or applied consistently across the country. In some parts of the country like Hampshire for example, strong countryside policies combined with strategic gap policies successfully prevented the coalescence of towns in a way that allowed them to ‘breath’. However these strategic planning mechanisms no longer exist. It was the Labour Government that removed county level strategic planning and it was the Conservative Government that removed Regional Spatial Planning. To be consistent, there is a powerful argument in support of a new designated Green Belt country wide. If the Green Belt is to continue to play a part in spatial planning it has to be modernised, society can no longer accept certain aspects of the way it has been implemented. The first issue prevents making the best use of transport and other infrastructure. The second is the unsustainable ‘strangulation’ of towns and cities, where once all ‘brownfield’ has been developed, the only alternative to expansion is to transform the character of places through high rise development! In a small and densely populated island we cannot afford a single purpose designation of land and today the Green Belt is a negative spatial planning tool, the only positive outcome being that the land remains open. In many parts of the country the Green Belt fails the multi-functional demands society has to make on the remaining undeveloped land. All too often the Green Belt has no positive management plan in place, the excep-

tion is where Green Belt overlaps with Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty for which there is a statutory obligation to prepare Management Plans. By their nature the Green Belt is often on the edge of various local authority administrations and as a consequence, no-one takes responsibility of supporting land owners to get the best out of their land. Farming in the urban fringe is fraught with problems and all too often land in the Green Belt fails to meet society’s ambitions for high quality, biodiverse, open countryside that defines our country. The status quo is difficult to sustain but is there a consensus that a strategic review is required to regain both the trust and credibility of the Green Belt to see us through the next century? Or I ask myself, are we in denial that in its current form it is bound to fail? If on balance we conclude that a strategic review is needed, then we need to decide whether it should be confined to the London Metropolitan Green Belt or be modernised nationally? The Landscape Institute has already invited an open discussion on the future of the Green Belt with our exhibition at the Building Centre. This followed an internal survey of our membership which concluded that a review is necessary. With a Government that is committed to rebalancing the relationship between wealth generation and public expenditure, at the same time as reducing regulation, it will not be easy to secure a strategic review of the Green Belt. What is not acceptable is for the Green Belt to be weakened by the pursuit of single issues such as the desperate need for new housing. More housing is needed and will be built in all likelihood on the Green Belt, but it has to be planned if it is to meet the new necessity for sustainable development.

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Is there support for a strategic review of the Green Belt driven by a new vision emphasising a positive transformation to meet the needs of multi-functional landscapes? This might be achieved by requiring Management Plans for each Green Belt. I suggest that a step by step approach, starting by reconfirming the objectives of preventing coalescence and ribbon development and the designation of new Green Belt might be considered. Opportunities for extensive new developments of high density might emerge from such a positive landscape planning approach to ensure the best use of transport and other infrastructure and that towns and cities are allowed to ‘breath’. Integral to such plans might be the spatial layout that develops ‘green fingers’ to connect town and city centres to the open countryside of the Green Belt. To support a new vision for the modernised Green Belt we should work collaboratively with land owners to achieve some or all of the following functions:• Successful farming businesses focussed on sustainable food production for local consumption. • Reconnecting urban based populations with food production , in particular for the young and old. • Restoring landscape quality based on the National Landscape Character Map framework published by Natural England. • Transforming the biological health of the Green Belt for species and habitats. • Improved access for health and wellbeing. • Building resilience to climate change, including sustainable drainage, water storage and slow release, carbon sequestration, rewilding and micro-climate control. • Renewable energy production including coppiced woodland for biomass. So how might society administer and fund a new vision for the Green Belt? One option might make use of existing primary legislation modernised to meet today’s needs – Joint Committees under the Local Government Act that can bring the public, voluntary and private sectors together. Such a framework is best suited to a spatial area that sits at the interface between a number of local authorities, is in the ownership of the private sector and has a range of voluntary organisations actively participating in the management and use of the land. To transform and sustain the management of land in the Green Belt, it will require new resources. One option explored in a recent Landscape Institute policy debate was to establish a Green Belt Levy to be administered by the Joint Committee. The Levy being should levelled on any development in the Green Belt such as new housing or roads. At the same time the Levy might draw resources from rural based revenue funding streams. For example Natural England might consider a Countryside Stewardship programme for the Green Belt along

with connecting the Management Plan objectives with the Greening of Agriculture under the Common Agricultural Policy. These programmes might include funding from the Forestry Commission, the Environment Agency and other Government agencies. There is also a clause in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act which enables the Government to devolve administration and expenditure to Joint Committees, this would meet the Government’s objectives for devolving public intervention and support to local delivery. In conclusion, the Green Belt has served its post-war purpose well but is being devalued as a direct result of failing to meet the new standards of sustainable development. Its objectives are, if anything, more important today. If the Government fails to undertake a strategic review of the Green Belt, including how it has been applied, public confidence in the Green Belt will disappear. However without a consortia approach from a number of relevant organisations it is unlikely that the Government will undertake any form of strategic review The Landscape Institute invites debate and a consortia approach to the Government in support of a call for a strategic review to secure a credible Green Belt for future generations. n

IMAGES: Walthamstow Wetlands Witherford Watson Mann Architects



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Six steps to success with health impact assessments Mark Teasdale gets under the skin of health impact assessments, explaining what they are and how to get the most from them

The links between public health and planning are already enshrined in a wide range of policies at both national and local levels. In London there is now a growing requirement from local authorities for major planning applications to include a systematic assessment of health impacts as part of their decision making process. Despite this, there is a shortage of clear guidance on when and how Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) should be undertaken. Health and planning policy Both the National Planning Policy Framework and the accompanying Planning Practice Guidance recognise that the built and natural environments are fundamental determinants of health and well-being. There is a clear recognition in national policy that local planning authorities can do a lot to tackle health inequalities. Since 2007, the Mayor of London has had a statutory duty and associated powers to lead on tackling health inequalities in London. Policy 3.2 of the London Plan identifies the need for the health and well-being impacts of major development proposals to be considered through a HIA. The Mayor of Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Social Infrastructure SPG published in 2015 provides more fine

grain advice on the most appropriate form of HIA (full, rapid or desktop) for different types of planning application. Why health inequalities matter Health inequalities exist throughout London, even in some unlikely places. The London Borough of Richmond is one of the least deprived places in England, ranking a lowly 294 out of 326 districts on the Index of Multiple Deprivation, published with the English Indices of Deprivation in 2015 (EID 2015). None of the neighbourhoods in the London Borough of Richmond are ranked in the most deprived decile of local areas nationally. However, this rosy picture masks some striking health inequalities. A boy born in the most deprived part of the borough between 2012 and 2014 can expect to live for 5.2 years less than a baby boy whose home is in the least deprived local area. The life expectancy gap for girls is smaller at 4 years, but still shocking in a place like Richmond. How have London planning authorities responded? Local planning authorities in London increasingly ask for a HIA to be completed as part of planning submissions for major >>>

Requirements for HIA across London

Mark Teasdale is an Associate Director at Indigo Planning. He works on regeneration, economic impact, community engagement and research projects. Mark first trained as an economist and has a Master in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from Princeton University. He owns many more bikes than he needs and one more than his wife realises



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schemes. Our recent review of the validation checklists for all 33 London authorities, supplemented by a telephone survey of 26 boroughs, revealed some striking findings: • 67 per cent of London authorities (the 22 boroughs shown in green on the map) now require a HIA to be submitted with certain types of planning applications • Four authorities (Enfield, Greenwich, Merton and Richmondupon-Thames) require a HIA for all major planning applications • 18 London authorities have identified the need for a HIA for certain applications in published planning policies or during our telephone survey • The requirement for HIAs is largely decided on a case-by-case basis, although there is very little guidance from London planning authorities about how HIAs should be undertaken • The exception here is Islington Council, which does provide guidance as it now requires all major planning applications to undertake screening to determine whether or not a HIA will be required What does a Health Impact Assessment involve? A HIA is a coordinated approach to considering the potential health impacts of a development proposal. HIAs are relevant to a wide range of development schemes, not just on projects that have an explicit health element to them. HIA work is typically an ex ante evaluation looking at the anticipated impacts of a scheme on health outcomes in advance of the scheme being delivered. Ideally, the HIA will help to inform the choices made during the design development of a scheme. The London Healthy Urban Development Unit has published a comprehensive and user-friendly Healthy Urban Planning Checklist (second edition, June 2015), which recommends the assessment of potential health impacts under four main thematic areas: • Healthy housing; • Active travel; • Healthy environment; and • Vibrant neighbourhoods The Healthy Urban Planning Checklist raises a total of 30 questions relating to the potential health impacts of a development proposal. Not all of these questions will be relevant to all schemes, but each needs to be considered as part of a rigorous HIA. Six steps to success Given the patchiness of guidance from London planning authorities about how to undertake a HIA, it is important to think (and plan) carefully before embarking on one. Here are six steps to success in completing a HIA that will support a planning application in London.


Planning in London

1 Engage early For developers and scheme promoters, it is crucial to get a clear view from the local planning authority about their expectations for a HIA. The case officer might not be very familiar with HIA work so you may have to help calibrate their expectations for the assessment. For case officers working on major planning applications, it is vital to agree on the need for a HIA at an early stage in the pre-application discussions. If the requirement is identified late, the HIA will inevitably become a tick box exercise and the opportunity will have been lost to influence the design development of the proposals. 2 Scope wisely HIAs are intended to be practical tools that facilitate objective consideration of a development’s positive and negative effects on health and well-being. As always, you need the right tool for the job in hand, so be sure to check the following: • Is there a preferred methodological framework for completing the HIA? • Does the planning authority require a high level desk top HIA or a more detailed evaluation involving primary research? • Will the proposed development create a new residential population large enough to place noticeable pressure on local health provision? If so, you may well need to include an audit of local healthcare infrastructure as part of the HIA. 3 Talk to the experts Borough Public Health teams will have unrivalled knowledge of the health issues facing their local communities, as well as understanding the priorities for (and pressures on) health investment. They will be able to help with the scoping of a HIA, provide access to useful health intelligence and identify key people to speak with on the ground. For major planning applications with potentially significant strategic health implications, it is vital to develop a meaningful dialogue with the relevant Health & Well-being Board that has strategic influence over commissioning decisions across health, public health and social care. 4 Build a robust baseline Understanding local health conditions is fundamental to producing an effective HIA for new development proposals. Fortunately, building a baseline of health conditions is made easy by the availability of a range of sources providing health data in user friendly packages. • Public Health England provides health profiles and separate child health profiles at local authority level. Although bite size, these health profiles contain a mine of useful data, including

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RIGHT: Six steps to success

comparisons between the local authority in question and the England average for 32 different health indicators. • For more localised health information in London, try the ward profiles in the London Data Store. • The EID 2015 enables comparisons to be made for a range of deprivation indicators at local or neighbourhood level, including the health deprivation and disability domain that forms part of the overall index of multiple deprivation. 5 Design for good health The most effective HIAs are those in which the consideration of health impacts is embedded within the design development of the scheme. The emphasis should be on maximising the potential of a scheme design to secure health benefits, rather than designing to the minimum standard to pass muster with the relevant regulatory authority. The potential for good design to promote physical health benefits is well established and widely understood. Less so is the opportunity for the thoughtful design of buildings, spaces and landscapes to secure positive mental health outcomes. Start-up think tank the Centre of Urban Design and Mental Health has identified several key priorities, including the provision of social or communal spaces to combat loneliness and making sure that interior spaces offer sufficient daylight to lift the spirits of residents. 6 Make some noise

The public engagement supporting planning applications provides a golden opportunity to make some noise about the positive health impacts of development proposals. It is worth taking the time to talk with local residents and other stakeholders about how a scheme is likely to affect local health conditions, especially for developments that do not have an obvious health component to them. Having completed a HIA, it is vital to consider where and how best to present the findings in order to ensure that the key messages reach the right decision-makers in the local planning authority. What next? There is a growing demand across London for comprehensive HIAs to support major planning applications. Failure to recognise the need for a HIA early on in the planning process could cause unexpected additional costs or unwelcome delays to developments. It could also mean that opportunities are missed for new developments to make a real contribution to delivering positive health outcomes for Londoners. Greater focus on the end users of new developments – the people who will live, work and relax in each new building or open space – makes projects more attractive and more likely to deliver lasting health benefits. Forward-looking developers are already making a feature of the benefits health impact assessments bring – long before they become mandatory across the capital. n




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How the Mayor can deliver homes London needs Katie Scuoler and Stephen Ashworth distill Dentons report for London First

Katie Scuoler is a solicitor in the planning team at Dentons

Stephen Ashworth is the planning partner at Dentons


Planning in London

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, heralded the May 2016 election a 'referendum on housing'. Khan has made clear – both in his manifesto promises and since taking office - that he wants to see more homes built, particularly affordable homes. His challenge is to turn those words into action. During the election campaign Sadiq proposed that a group be set up with the objective of ensuring that all of London government plays an effective part in increasing housing in London to 50,000 homes a year. This group he called 'Homes for Londoners'. In July 2016 London First and law firm Dentons published a joint report called 'Homes for Londoners: A blueprint for how the Mayor can deliver the homes London needs'. The recommendations in the report press for the GLA to evolve from being a body that sets strategies and distributes a small amount of government money to fund housebuilding, to become a more interventionist body – one that rolls up its sleeves and acquires land from other public bodies, uses its compulsory purchase powers, where appropriate, to help get more homes built, and invests in transport infrastructure where it encourages new homes. Standing by his commitment, on 23 August Sadiq unveiled the first of his plans to set up a 'Homes for Londoners' team in City Hall. Now that first step has been taken we explain the report's blueprint and key areas of focus. Readying public land for development The report recommends that the primary role of Homes for Londoners should initially be getting public land ready for development. The key aim is to secure an effective pipeline of un-/under-utilised public land for development across London to provide housing. Where that land is owned by, or the disposal of which is controlled by, Homes for Londoners the Mayor will have ability to directly influence housebuilding and increase the speed of delivery. The main pipeline of land left under the Mayor's direct control is that held by TfL. The report recommends that the Mayor should establish a clear strategy for TfL land from the perspective of maximising housing supply. The report is clear that there is inevitably a trade-off in the way in which TfL assets are used: the biggest commercial return is unlikely to be the one that maximises the amount of affordable housing, for example. How the balance is struck between maximising housing supply and TfL's need for investment is a political choice. The Mayor's approach to the disposal and redevelopment of TfL's land at Kidbrooke was the first litmus test of how he would tackle such issues. In August the Sadiq issued a direction to TfL requiring them to "take such steps and measures as it considers reasonably necessary and practicable" to ensure delivery of no less than 50 per cent affordable housing on the disposal and/or delivery of


,&-./$0(1*2&'"(&3"4&23$&567"(&86*& +$.19$(&23$&3"#$%&)"*+"*&*$$+%

the Kidbrooke site. The direction report acknowledges that the disposal of land with 50 per cent affordable housing – in excess of policy compliant 35 per cent - could significantly reduce the residual land value. The competing demands had to be balanced: the suppressed land value and return to TfL as a result of 50 per cent affordable housing vs. the Mayor's wider statutory remit and affordable housing aspirations. In the case of Kidbrooke the Mayor concluded that the benefit justifies the financial impact on the finances of TfL. The London First report encourages this type of transparent decision making, which considers the pressures on London government in the round. It also makes it clear that the public sector will need to have realistic market valuations reflecting the need to meet planning policy requirements. Giving teeth to the London land Commission Aside from TfL there are many parts of the public sector– government agencies to NHS Trusts through to boroughs – who could use their land and assets in London to help build more homes. The report recommends the Mayor should build on the work undertaken to date by the London Land Commission ("LLC") by adopting a bolder approach that: • provides the LLC with significantly more resource through

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Homes for Londoners so that it can more effectively engage with public landowners in London; and • puts in place a strategy for ensuring the disposal of relevant land identified on the register by either acquiring this land (via transfers or purchase), or by coordinating its disposal with the public landowner. The report argues that LLC needs to evolve from its current virtual form into a body with teeth that has the capacity to challenge all public bodies to bring forward potential development land, offering and targeting support as required. It is recommends that, where practical, Homes for Londoners should assemble sites around core public land-holdings by acquiring adjacent privately owned land. It should set out an acceptable level of density for development, and offer land to the market with clear requirements about the quantum and mix of tenures it wants. In September Network Rail announced they had has identified almost 200 sites for disposal across the country which in London alone could deliver 5,000 homes. The Mayor has stated that he intends where possible to use affordable housing grant and public sector land to secure higher proportions of affordable housing than might be possible through planning obligations alone. The level of oversight and intervention on Network Rail land disposals will be test of his focus on public land delivery.

Katie Scuoler advises on all aspects of planning law, in particular advising on compulsory purchase and mixed use developments and infrastructure projects. Katie advised on the planning agreement to secure the 15,000 home redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula. Stephen Ashworth is in charge of a broad based planning, projects and regulatory practice acting for both the public and private sectors. Stephen has worked on projects including the Argent proposals at Kings Cross, the Places for People new settlement of 10,000 homes at Gilston Park Estate north of Harlow and Harwell Oxford science facilities.

Role of private land The public sector has a role to play in spearheading development but it cannot do it alone. Work will also need to be done to bring more private land forward for development. The GLA needs to be bolder in its approach to compulsory acquisition and Homes for Londoners should be responsible for this by: • building on existing CPO technical competences in TfL, by creating a CPO unit that has the capacity to undertake housingfocussed CPOs; and • creating a loan fund for acquisition and compensation costs so that boroughs and other public bodies only bear the risks of the procedural costs of a CPO. These powers might be exercised to create bigger and better development opportunities anchored by public land or in some instances used to unlock a private sector led regeneration schemes held back by fragmented ownership. The way forward Homes for Londoners' primary initial role should be getting public land ready for development. A set of complementary work should also be undertaken across a range of other areas including: • Central policy and advocacy – providing additional resource to support London’s boroughs in planning for and delivering more homes, and work to influence policy in London and cen-

tral government to support an increase in housebuilding; • Transport and wider infrastructure – in particular, working with TfL to ensure that future investment decisions are directed towards transport and wider infrastructure investment which support the delivery of new homes; • Affordable housing – by creating a new approach to working with housing association and adopting a co-ordinated panLondon approach to affordable housing • Finance and funding – including developing a financial strategy to support the GLA land strategy and exploring the support that can be offered to SMEs • Skills and innovation – ensuring there is a skilled workforce able to provide the homes London needs, and that innovative construction methods are proactively explored where this can accelerate supply. Sadiq has already indicated that a skills and capacity review will take place across the GLA. Sadiq stepped into the office of Mayor with a very broad range of powers. Although it is always tempting to ask for more powers the report found that there were few genuine legal constraints on the Mayor's ambitions. The real limitations are more political in terms of relationships with the Boroughs, in having the imagination to use the powers that already exist, and in building the confidence to act in a more "muscular" fashion. Our view is that, in time, the relationships, imagination and courage should be combined in a new agency, within the GLA family, called Homes for London with real responsibility for delivering the necessary homes we all need. The report sets out a blueprint striking a balance between focusing on what the Mayor can realistically do now, what will make a difference and the political realities of London. The Mayor has a million vote mandate – the largest personal mandate of any politician in the country – to increase housebuilding in London. That mandate provides a platform to move from debate to delivery. n



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London property price trends revealed

A Martian landing in London today would fast realise that the capital’s number one obsession is property prices. It is just inescapable that for most Londoners, incomes have not kept pace with property prices and they have become poorer. The average price of a London home in January 2000 was £179,821. In March 2016, it was £625,120. Even allowing for inflation from 2000-2015, the average home would be costing just over £270,000. No wonder then that London’s prospective first time buyers need a minimum annual income of £77,000, or three times the national average to get a mere foot on the property ladder. Yet within these datasets from the Land Registry, a different story emerges, made only possible by the creation of a highly capable geospatial database, which goes far beyond any public facing property website - And the planning implications are huge. Few would doubt that had London increased the build rate of housing instead of reducing it, at a time when the population increased by 1.7 London’s declining rate of new properties sold from 2000 to March 2016

Dan Lewis is Chief Executive of the Economic Policy Centre and Director of, and Senior Infrastructure Adviser to the Institute of Directors


Planning in London

million, living in London would be much more affordable. But as this chart shows, the trend level of new homes completed each month since the turn of the century is clearly downwards. The source for this information is a database is now available on – the leading crime and postcode data research and analysis platform. And in a new report for the Economic Policy Centre, “London’s Property Price Trends Revealed” quite a different and more nuanced picture emerges. PiL readers will appreciate that the average home price is a very crude indicator. It is far better to look closer at the data and break it down by property category to see where the most and least inflationary pressure has been. And indeed, as we will discover, the nation’s capital still has pockets of affordability in long neglected areas that are on the verge of a renaissance. With the rush to avoid stamp duty increases, March 2016 was not a typical month with approximately double the usual Average price paid per London property type in January 2000 and March 2016

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number of property transactions and the most –perhaps ominously - nationwide since November 2007. However, viewed over time since 2000, by far the greatest increase in price has been in freehold properties, followed by terraced homes and then by Flats. To understand where the most affordable living in London is today, we can break the data down to much smaller areas and London’s planners should take note of where they are. Of London’s 33 Boroughs, the most affordable based on 2

years of property transactions from April 2014 to March 2016, is Barking and Dagenham. No wonder the outgoing Mayor, Boris Johnson was so keen to build there with developments like Barking Riverside and Beam Park. While perhaps unsurprisingly, the most expensive boroughs are Westminster, Camden and Hammersmith. Viewed at a nearly four times smaller scale still with Postcode Districts, out of 110, we can determine some key traits. SE28, currently the cheapest postcode district to live in >>>



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>>> in London, has been slated for redevelopment by Peabody, principally of the Thamesmead estate. Abbey Wood seems poised for take-off with a Crossrail connection going live in 2018. Croydon meanwhile, has been transformed in a few short years from the butt of many jokes to a new kind of towering metropolis, driven in part by the redevelopment of East Croydon station, a tram and the Overground connection with West Croydon. The cheapest areas are seemingly in the vanguard of London’s planned development. Now if we look at which areas over the last 5 years (Jan 2010 to Dec 2015) have seen the most property sales, once again the findings are stark. There is a clear mixture of new build and speculative capital ranging from Croydon to Fulham. But when we look to see which areas have had the most new properties built and sold, there is a very clear bias towards the city centre and emphatically not in the most expensive areas of London. As the table shows, the top five areas measured by the total value of transactions, are not where the new build is happening. So, all in all, London’s development is not matching demand, but it is following a kind of logic. Previously declining areas that are the cheapest are being redeveloped like Croydon


Planning in London

and Woolwich, helped by fast new transport links. Dramatic new build rates have been taking place close to the City particularly in a still deprived Tower Hamlets. And the near impossibility of new build in Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham has led to the basement phenomenon and runaway property inflation based on short supply. But we have only just got started. Planning for London’s population growth of up to 2 million more by 2030 is perhaps the biggest and most demanding headache for London’s new Mayor, Sadiq Khan. Central to that question will be the affordability, location and quantity of the housing stock and how best to connect up transport infrastructure and the new social infrastructure of schools, hospitals and public amenities that will be required. If we are to maintain the green belt, the logical next step appears to be to densify the suburbs. But this runs the risk of destroying their essential character and quality of life, not least having a garden. Access to green spaces is more useful and tangible to most people than cordoned off green belt land. So perhaps London’s future economy will inevitably be served even more by long distance commuters and the development of some more green belt land. n

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LONDON 2024 Holistic Priorities for Prosperity and Inclusion Sadiq Khan can deliver holistic leadership to the city and prove Vince Cable wrong in calling London in 2014 “a giant suction machine draining the life out of the rest of the country” says Lars Christian

Lars Christian, Urban Pilot, London & Scandinavia

London cannot be everything to everybody, at all times in the foreseeable future. London could better prioritise and make choices. At the same time as the UK, the EU and the G20countries prioritise and make choices. Choices that affect London's prosperity and Londoner's health, well being and quality of life. Further to one IPPR, several Centre for London and several Centre for Cities publications from 2016 as well as an article in PiL 97, I have put together eight holistic priorities for London – for the new mayor, his deputies and agencies to prioritise over the next three to seven years – irrespective of London's future role in Europe. Most of the eight holistic priorities for London can be combined in several different ways, making their combined effects (and consequences) powerful if chosen with care. Priority 1: London as a national & global financial centre_ Despite being outside the Eurozone, London has been the largest financial centre of Europe until Brexit. A situation that dates back to the so-called financial big bang of 1986, the fall

of the Berlin wall and the birth of globalisation in 1989, and the EU single market of free flow of capital, goods, labour and services from 1993, the latter including financial services. The economic revolutions of China and parts of the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Asia have also led to a rise in London's influence as a financial centre, parallel to the rise of half a dozen other international financial centres across the globe. The exceptional concentration of expertise, banks and capital is reflected in London's luxury hotel, housing, retail, service and tourism sectors. The concentration of capital includes capital that was earned or originated in other parts of the UK, including pensions and lottery revenue. Depending on future government policy, domestic capital may need to a greater extend return closer to its origin, strengthening a handful of regional financial centres throughout England and Wales. Priority 2: London as a politically sustainable city_ London has been the royal seat of England and Scotland since 1603. From 1707 to 1999 it was also the seat of the joint parliament for the two nations. London's political influence over England may diminish if England no longer is micro managed by a 1500 seat Westminster parliament with 100 or so government ministers. With further decentralisation and devolution within England, primarily federal fiscal and security departments may remain in London. And when a proposed senate replaces the House of Lords, it may be located away from London. Setting up a legislative London assembly may prove challenging due to the large population of London as [a] proportion to the rest of England and the UK. Further fiscal or political devolution from Westminster to the Mayor of London may also prove challenging, unless power and prosperity is spread more equally to all the corners of England and the UK. Priority 3: London as a global arts & cultural city_ London is the cultural capital of England, is the only very large city in the >>>



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The new Mayor can better match the number of net new jobs with the number of new homes. Whilst at the same time, further improve primary and secondary education. And equally important, re-skill the long-term unemployed. 56

Planning in London

UK and is one of a dozen leading cultural capitals of Europe. Some of London's museums and cultural institutions are unique within Europe and in the world, including the many musical theatres. However, many institutions are to a greater or lesser extent similar to institutions found elsewhere in Europe, including in Rome, Paris, Madrid and Berlin. But noticeably few museums and cultural institutions elsewhere in the UK are as big or bigger than the ones found in London. A more holistic distribution of larger institutions to a handful of the largest cities of England may be advantageous to the other cities and the capital itself, spreading cultural wealth and prosperity to more corners of the UK. Priority 4: London as an economically sustainable city_ London has an enormous need of capital to both build and run its institutions, infrastructure, housing and services. But financing the set-up and running of these is demanding, and some may provide better quality and value if relocated elsewhere in the UK. Similarly, duplication is costly, and for example reducing the number of acute hospitals by a half long overdue. Further, private and public companies and institutions within London ought to pay their employees enough to house and provide them and their families adequately. Alternatively, relocating elsewhere may provide better quality of life for both their employees and remaining Londoners. Lastly, taxes and rates may have to reflect the cost of providing services, the need of new housing, transport and infrastructure, higher wealth, and the higher concentration of most institutions and services in London. Carefully balancing London's share of England's tax base. Priority 5: London as an green & ecological city_ London could choose to become a carbon free and zero emission city, reduce noise pollution, eliminate NOXs and turn homes carbon free. Private and public vehicles, including taxis, buses and shared cars could be electric. All electricity could be sourced from offshore windmills and supplemented by solar panels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and gas on grey windless days only. Heating and cooling of public and commercial buildings could be sourced from the Thames and from geothermal wells. The sourcing of building materials such as steel, concrete and bricks could better reflect their carbon footprint. Second, London's green infrastructure should be seamlessly connected by a fully segregated cycling network. Allowing the old, young and parents alike to live within 1-2 miles of the network and recreate without a car in the evening and at the weekend. At the same time allowing everyone to commute safely by bike during the week for journeys typically less than half an hour. Similarly, the bike share could be replaced with a

better value for money system that includes all of the denser areas of Inner and East London and Croydon. Third, the London Overground could be expanded with an outer southern loop from Barking to Richmond via Croydon, Sutton and Kingston. And an outer western loop clockwise via Leatherhead, Staines, Heathrow, Uxbridge and Wembley. Extending the DLR westwards along the North Circular Road could also be explored. By choosing to be a world leader, London together with Copenhagen can set an example for other developed and developing cities to aspire to. Not least as they are both located adjacent to shallow seas, with endless capacity for offshore windmills. And as both Scotland and Germany have proved it possible to cover all present electricity use by renewables during a 24 hour period. Whilst Denmark generated 42 per cent of its electricity by wind power last year. Priority 6: London spreading innovation & prosperity_ London's strength (and weakness) lies partly with its size, but size can prove illusive. London and the greater southeast with twenty four million inhabitants have enormous global potential. But competing priorities, political uncertainties and high costs may lead to institutions, businesses and professionals migrating. Many sectors from IT to bio-science may find it increasingly advantageous to locate in city regions half the size of London, with lower costs and better quality of life for young families with children. Further, London's teaching and research institutions are on a par with the greatest other places such as Greater Paris, the Ruhr, Randstad and Switzerland offer. But London could choose and prioritise more carefully, including choosing away options and potentials to restrain the pressure on housing, infrastructure and services. Options and potentials that may equally prosper elsewhere in the UK. Advocating decentralisation is maybe something London to a greater extent could do, spreading prosperity to more disadvantageous parts of the country. Priority 7: London as an inclusive & equitable city_ First, re-skilling the young and long-term unemployed should be a priority. Most new jobs either require skilled professionals or provide relatively lower pay for lower skills. And the majority of employees filling both types of jobs relocate to London from elsewhere. Leaving a hundred thousand low skilled Londoners in long term unemployment, including the second highest youth unemployment in the UK after the northeast. Since 1999, it is unclear what tier of government is responsible for the long term unemployed: the UK, the Mayor or the boroughs. In most places, maybe the boroughs are best equipped to re-skill and organise a few thousand apprenticeship places locally. As it is the boroughs that pick up the largest

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Outer London Overground 2030, showing the existing line from Richmond via Gospel Oak to Barking with possible extensions: A: Southern loop via Kingston, Sutton, Croydon and Lewisham. B: Southwestern loop via Leatherhead, Byfleet and Addlestone. C: Northwestern loop via Uxbridge, Ruislip and Wembley. The four dotted sections are new alignments. D shows the DLR extended via the North Circular Road. G shows existing trainlines to Gatwick via Dorking and Redhill

bill when people fall into long term unemployment. Second, London could better balance the net number of new jobs with the number of new homes. Equally important may be a strong focus on housing quality and place making, with a particular focus on re-urbanising and re-establishing urban qualities to well connected places throughout outer London, including the Thames Estuary1. Doing this should make it possible for an increasing proportion of lower paid Londoners to afford quality housing, in safe, quality, diverse, inclusive and urban outer London neighbourhoods. With good quality cultural, educational, environmental, health, social and transport infrastructure and institutions. Where a majority of local journeys can be made carbon free by bike or on foot – by the old, the young and parents alike. Priority 8: London's house building & economic cycles_ Without establishing a dedicated house finance institution for London, house building will fluctuate erratically with economic cycles. A dedicated bank or institution is needed to provide financial guarantees to London's housing associations as well as the small and medium house builders. Further, reviewing the number of housing associations in London may be required. In Berlin there are six non for profit housing companies owing a third of a million homes in a city of less than four million inhabitants. Maybe a similar number of housing associations are sufficient in London if the majority of boroughs retain their (public) housing stock. If all boroughs disposed of the latter, a dozen housing associations may be sufficient to build and manage London's non for profit housing stock. Leaving the boroughs to focus on spatial planning, land management, place making and low carbon

transport provisions. Four priorities house builders and housing associations cannot deliver without the boroughs taking a lead. Third, splitting up into smaller lots and long term leasing surplus public land to small and medium house builders – rather than selling the freehold to volume house builders and financial investors – could further stabilise house building through erratic economic cycles. Providing and delivering an urban and spatial richness – that facilitates cycling and walking for most local journeys throughout both inner and outer London – in a post car urban era. Holistic leadership, priorities & decision making. After half a year in office, Sadiq Khan needs the best available advice there is to holistically steer London through the next three to seven years. The previous mayor did a lot of good for the city, maybe best remembered for the new Routemasters, cycleways and the bike share. Incidentally, maybe both mayors started at an economic downturn.  Whilst building on the previous two mayors' advocacy, the present one can do better. He can better match the number of net new jobs with the number of new homes. Whilst at the same time, further improve primary and secondary education. And equally important, re-skill the long-term unemployed.  Lastly, Sadiq Khan can deliver a holistic leadership to the city with his deputies’ and their agencies' political and administrative priorities and decisions. And prove Vince Cable wrong in calling London in 2014 “a giant suction machine draining the life out of the rest of the country”. n [1] Place Making in the Thames Estuary, Planning in London 91/2014,



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Conditioning or sectioning – the jury’s still out ... not be the punchiest of titles, nor perhaps the most riveting of subjects, but it has become a bone of contention, not to say, a complete dog’s dinner says Roger Wilson

Roger Wilson is an Architect with 40 years in private practice including 12 years as a Planning Inspector/Reporter in England and Scotland


Planning in London

If I were a planning officer, I might make the strategic decision to avoid mentioning it at social parties, or, better still, I’d invent another career in those circumstances. The alternative is to invite all sorts of unwelcome comments about the state of the system, or …. how could they, i.e. you, possibly allow such a hideous scheme next to a listed building. Alternatively, why did they, i.e. you, refuse permission for that harmless extension to my good friends - they’re such nice people too! – It’s a travesty of common sense. Such are the risks for a planning officer in normal social intercourse. Since my early days of architectural practice, the role of the planning officer hasn’t changed much, but the pressures on the system have increased significantly through the number of applications, costs and the number of hoops every application has to jump through, from assessments of environmental impact, transportation, landscape, sustainability, energy use, archaeology…. the list is almost endless. Little wonder then, that it suits both applicant and planning officer to push a number of issues to one side, if not under the carpet, certainly to be dealt with later. Why do today what can be put off for a few months! It is for these reasons that conditions are imposed to control development, at least that was the government’s intention – to remove from councillors’ valuable time, the need to debate the minutiae of uncontentious matters. So far, so good. In most cases, these were imposed without discussion between applicant and council, and simply controlled the timing of development and such things as the external materials. Once submitted, these conditions were ‘discharged’ - end of story, job done. Now things are far more complex. There can be 20-30 conditions applied to a simple office building and drafts of these can pass back and forth between council and applicant over a long period, right up until the time the application is determined. The public never see these because they’re not part of the public file, and it takes a very skilled observer to spot inappropriate or technically incorrect conditions suggested in the officer’s report to Members and to get these changed often at the last minute. Most significantly for the decision making process, it often shifts determination of controversial issues from public and elected Member scrutiny to be settled by officers under delegated powers, long after the dust of public angst has settled. The fundamental basis of imposing conditions is that without them, the council or decision maker would refuse planning permission. Certainly, as a Planning Inspector, this was the abiding question in my mind. Contrary to the council’s offering a ‘wish list’, anything that wasn’t essential was rejected. Also

rejected were conditions that required an ‘undefined proposal’, i.e. something that had not yet been designed (and indeed may not be possible to design or manufacture) to overcome a planning issue; for example, a noise reduction mechanism to allow a ‘bad neighbour’ to live alongside a residential use. Such were the infinite range of ‘conditional’ possibilities that the government introduced a guide to their use. Two of those key requirements are that any condition should, firstly, be precise and secondly, enforceable. The first should be self-explanatory, though I’ve seen some pretty woolly examples. The second means that there must be a recognised standard by which the condition is deemed to comply, but also, and perhaps more importantly, that the council is not expected to endure a lifetime of monitoring to ensure compliance. It was never the government’s intention to land councils with a never-ending burden. I have seen conditions requiring or implying that equipment is to be maintained to certain standards of performance. Is it reasonable or practical to expect a council to monitor such a situation for compliance over the lifetime of the building? Alternatively, is it reasonable to expect residents or members of the public to recognise noncompliance of such highly specialised issues as noise or air quality? I think not! On noise, given that the human ear cannot detect less than a 3dB change in level to either noise coming from equipment or background noise against which it is measured, it would place an unreasonable burden on both council and the public. Consider also, whether a council has the resources to enforce maintenance regimes for such equipment - for how long would a broken extraction fan remain unrepaired for the want of enforcing suitable maintenance? In such sensitive areas of environmental control, the margin for compliance is small, and even minor changes could cause an infringement. Thus, the use of conditions here is an inadequate mechanism and heavy reliance on them is unsafe. Moreover, any assessment should not be dependent on a specific operator, e.g. an hotelier, and remember that this may not be the original developer, where the proposed use is readily transferable to any other operator. Alternatively, if such conditions were not imposed, it is axiomatic that the scheme would be unacceptable, and therefore should be refused planning permission. One aspect of the modern planning process is the use of legal agreements or obligations (under Section 106 of the Planning Act). These agreements introduced a much broader scope of enterprise and control and are considered a step-up from conditions. In the early days, it gave both sides an oppor-

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tunity to extend the scope to include financial contributions covering matters well beyond the terms of the development A new cricket ground in return for a supermarket was not unknown. Some councils used the opportunity to swell their coffers, while developers were not averse to active collusion, if only because it offered the chance for developing a site that would not normally have been available to them. This practice was rightly curtailed because circumstances got so ridiculous that permission was being granted for some really awful schemes only because of the size of the cheque that accompanied them! Happily, matters have become more regulated, but in my recent experience, no less contentious. Developers, in the full knowledge that conditions would not suffice, have offered a Section106 agreement covering a range of issues from Construction Management Plans (CMP), Green transport, ‘local’ staffing and employment, environmental performance and Operational Management Plans among others. Again, the scope is almost limitless. At first sight, these seem quite a good idea. Whereas a developer could appeal against a condition, the same could not be said of a binding obligation into which the developer had freely entered. However, there are significant issues arising from such agreements that give cause for concern. Firstly, they give false hope to councils that they can control development. For example, how is a council to control the staffing and employment policy of a company? Without actively engaging with that company on a regular basis, there is no control – so, this is an unrealistic prospect; similarly, green transport policies. Are the council to follow employees to the bus, just to make sure an unauthorised car trip isn’t being made? Secondly, unlike other planning documents that describe the characteristics of a development proposal, their final content is often excluded from public consultation and scrutiny. I have recently come across CMPs, which, on the face of it, are environmentally good, and support best practice in the industry. But in order to achieve anything, they have to be monitored regularly. Contrary to general expectation, the council does not employ a department policing construction

sites. Instead, they rely on the public to do it for them. Any reported infringements are normally followed up. But how is the public to know of an infringement? Contractors do not display the agreed CMP for the public’s scrutiny. An enquiry to the site manager is likely to be met with a frosty response, or an unhelpful gesture. A similar question to the council is met with the response: ‘that’s a confidential matter between us and the developer’. So much for open government. The very essence of a planning permission is signed behind closed doors that have then been firmly shut in the public’s face. Another aspect of agreements is that they are signed by the developer and council (naturally) …. and ‘any other person who has an interest in the land’. In commercial cases, it can involve a range of parties from mortgagees, tenants and other financial partners. This can take quite a time to assemble, and all must sign up to it. While such agreements are not appealable, they can be subject to judicial review. Courts have overturned the agreements where judges have decided that they are no longer valid or reasonable, for example, the attachment of residential use to agricultural holdings. I can also imagine a strong case for extinguishing a requirement for a hotel company to operate in a certain manner. Hotel managements change faster than Mercedes change Lewis Hamilton’s tyres, so binding one company to another’s policy is as unrealistic as it might be seen to be unreasonable. So ends a key element of the council’s control mechanism. So, who would want to be a planning officer - the jury is still wondering? Equally important, should members of the public have to monitor conditions or agreements drawn up by council officers to protect their amenity when that, surely, was the very purpose of making a planning application in the first place. If planning officers cannot get the application in the right form before the council Members have to decide yae or nae, then at least make sure the conditions meet the rules, i.e. necessity, precision, relevancy, enforceability and reasonableness. Don’t leave an unholy legacy for other council staff and the public to pick over for eternity. If S106 agreements are required, then make them open and transparent operating under the same rules. n

If that’s not enough on ‘conditions’ then read Andy Rogers’ column! – Ed.



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London’s Boroughs at 50 Jonathan Manns reviews Tony Travers’ book from Biteback Publishing

Hardback, 400 pages £25.00 eBook £20.00

Jonathan Manns

Drawing upon Travers’ experience as a journalist, the tone of London’s Boroughs is that of an easy-reading popular history but which remains academically robust and exhaustively referenced says Jonathan Manns London has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past half century. Although the capital’s population didn’t begin to grow again until 1996, the tide had certainly begun to turn by 1987 when the cult British film Withnail and I was released to cinemas. Set in 1969, it portrays two failing actors embarking on an ill-fated trip to the countryside from a very different city to the one we know today, escaping not only their situation but London itself. “London”, muses their drug dealer, Danny, on their return, “is a city coming down from its trip and there's going to be a lot of refugees”. In a globalised world, post-Brexit referendum, with memories of the Olympics and royal pageant slipping away, it’s possible that some may sympathise today. Yet it’s impossible to deny, and important not to forget, that London has experienced a significant and remarkable revival, by comparison even with the late 1980s. It’s this story of metamorphosis which Travers’ book tells, through both a borough-by-borough review and collective analysis. In many respects, the research contained within London’s Boroughs provides the background to a subject which has become the focus of Travers’ career; the British capital. As Director of LSE London and Visiting Professor in the LSE’s Government Department he has advised various select committees and chaired Boris Johnson’s London Finance Commission, which reported in 2013. Drawing upon Travers’ experience as a journalist, the tone of London’s Boroughs is that of an easy-reading popular history but which remains academically robust and exhaustively referenced. This might explain why, perhaps surprisingly, it was released by a mainstream publisher – Biteback Publishing – responsible for works including Lord Ashcroft’s controversial biography of David Cameron Call Me Dave which triggered the now infamous "Piggate" scandal. Although it’s a logical read from start-to-finish, there’s something quite alluring about dipping-into London’s Boroughs. For those who live or work in the city, it’s hard to resist heading straight for familiar locations and unlikely you won’t find a titbit of interesting and previously unknown information. As a Camden resident, for example, I was surprised to learn that it was formed cordially over lunches between the clerks of Holborn, St Pancras and Hampstead. Whilst enjoyable, this can also feel at times like a romp through Wikipedia or the small-talk of an old regular in the local pub. Travers also provides the background to how, in April 1965, a new framework of 32 boroughs (in addition to the City of London) was introduced but it’s his analysis of this that really makes his book stand out from other histories. He shows, for example, the extent to which chance has seen the boroughs

succeed, and that central government decisions have generally proved more important than London’s own people or plans. Much is also attributed to the fact that the Herbert Commission, which initially recommended London’s reorganisation (with 51 boroughs) in 1960, got the size of the proposed local authorities correct to perform their role. It may be fair to suggest that Travers could be more critical, but that doesn’t detract from the relevance of London’s Boroughs. He makes important points about the importance of pragmatism, power and resilience. He also raises useful questions, not least about the relationship of individual boroughs to the composite city, which will remain relevant in the foreseeable future. There is a need for such inquiry and speculation today, when London’s future hangs in the balance, with decisions on airport capacity and the terms of departure from the European Union outstanding. Irrespective of whether it points towards the emergence of a 10-million-person megacity, stabilisation or decline, the fifty years of experience set out within this book will prove to be an invaluable. n



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Classical tunes for progressive planners The Radical and Planning’s radical roots remind us of its role in building fairer societies. Perhaps it’s time has come again? wonders Lee Mallett Socialist Tradition in This book is an invaluable source for those studying the history British Planning of planning, housing and land reform. It is a kind of prequel to – From Puritan conventional assessments of reform in these three fundamental aspects of civilisation, usually considered discretely, and colonies to usually only from the emergence of the ‘Great Estates’ garden cities by onwards. The author, lest we forget, is senior lecturer in planning and Duncan Bowie housing at the University of Westminster, and leads the MA in and published Urban and Regional Planning. He was also a renowned planning practitioner in an array of senior London posts, and remains a by Routledge at staunch advocate of the socialist goals that planning should be £95. Reviewed designed to achieve – as he reminds us in this book – which he calls ‘an intentionally partisan history’. by Lee Mallett

Duncan’s next book on Radical Solutions to the Housing Supply crisis will be published by Policy Press on 1st January at £9.99 and can be pre-order at £7.99 now


Planning in London

Bowie has dug deep starting way back with the earliest Puritan settlements in newly discovered America by the ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ fresh off the Mayflower in 1620, by and large ‘theocratically’ driven, moving onto the more pragmatic principles of colonial planning established in the 1670s by Lord Ashley, the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury and Lord Chancellor to Charles II – and summarised in Robert Home’s history of colonial planning published in 1997. These include familiar concepts: town planting in preference to dispersed settlement; land rights in town, suburban and country lots; wide streets in a grid, public squares, standardsized lots, and that most enduring of all planning ideas – a physical distinction between town and country, either common land or an encircling green belt. The Enlightenment of the 18th century brought new radical influences, surprisingly in places like Savannah, Georgia, while the debate over the rapid growth of London, following the failure of the plans of Wren, Hooke and others after the Great Fire of 1666, also engendered support for more radical town planning. For example when architect and engineer (and a founder of the RA) John Gwynn in 1766 published his proposals for London and Westminster he wrote ‘the magnificent, elegant and useful plan of the great Sir Christopher Wren was totally disregarded and sacrificed to the mean, interested and selfish views of private property, views which did irreparable injury to the citizens themselves and to the nation in general, for had that great architect’s plan been followed, what has often been asserted must have the result, the metropolis of this kingdom would inconceivably have been the most magnificent and elegant city in the universe.’ Indeed. We managed to avoid that formal aspic internment though, unlike Paris. We move on in short chapters, to the Benthamites and utilitarian planners of the early 1800s, and then the ‘new communities’ established by Robert Owen and his followers – a revival

of earlier ‘Communitarianism’, but now driven by industrial revolution and the requirement for ‘model villages’ to improve the lot of workers and make them more productive. Other chapters cover the influence of French utopian socialists – the Saint-Simonian missions to England for example, and of course working class radicals, like the Chartists, and the pursuit of land nationalisation. ‘What a chain of evil follows upon the usurpation of the soil! What a rapid striking off of the links of the chain would follow upon the nationalisation of landed property. Only prevent one set of men from making God’s “gift to all” their private property, and that moment you open the door to unlimited improvement,’ writes leading Chartist Bronterre O’Brien in 1848, soon after the Chartists’ political reform movement had failed. That gives you a flavour of what you might encounter in Bowie’s 12 chapters and 220-odd pages. Not so dusty, yet appropriately scholarly, with a useful index and all the references and sources you might need. He restates his themes and purpose in the last chapter. These are to contrast middle class philanthropic reformers and ‘grassroots’ working class radicalism, compare utopian and pragmatic approaches, the role of

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the state, the role of local initiatives relative to centralist reform and the inter-relationship between policies on land, tax, housing, planning and their inter-dependency. Bowie contends that ‘few historical narratives have examined the relationship between the three reform movements’ of land, housing and planning and his object is to demonstrate that there is indeed a substantial pre-history to the great reforming movements of the late 19th Century, and that this history utterly demonstrates their inter-dependency. That’s why we got the 1909 Housing and Town Planning Act and it was accompanied by income and land tax measures in the Budget of that year. He contends; ‘The role of the pioneers studied in this narrative should be recognised and this history should no longer be hidden’. If Bowie is right then it is an important contribution to understanding where planning’s ideals came from and how they have grown to interact with all fundamental government policy. Of course politicians are selective about history and feel no compulsion to study, or act on, its lessons as they usually regard themselves as its master, thereby condemning us to live in its repeats. We all live our lives on Dave tv. ‘Contemporary policy discourse is notable for its ahistoricism,’ he dryly observes as he mounts his concluding revisionist argument for greater control over land. Anathema to all right-thinking capitalists everywhere. ‘The role of land in urban growth is an issue of considerable historical significance, though it is only now, with the failures of governance of housing and planning policy difficult to deny, that we are again recognising that without control over land, planning will struggle to progress from plan-making, however

visionary, to plan implementation’ – and all that implies for utopian planning.’ Getting things done in other words. It is also possible to argue that previous ‘failures’ in planning in the post war era must take some of the blame for the present attitudes to the role of planning. Or perhaps that is equally ungenerous – but there are undoubtedly painful lessons from our Modernist era of ‘utopian’ planning which policies of the last 30 years have sought to unravel. And, agreed, they have probably gone too far looking at the inequalities that currently surround us. Jeremy Corbyn and his followers should read this book. They will find plenty to like: ‘The narrative should also demonstrate that the social justice agenda is not just central to radical and socialist ideology but should be central to the planning discipline. Planners need to reassert the core Benthamite principle of planning for the public good against the practice of planning to enable private gain. Planning has to be a fundamentally collectivist project and not an individualistic one.’ The book should end on that last truism. And whether nationalising land is the way forward, through greater planning control, should be another more forward-looking book. We need these arguments to be revisited. And if Labour is still with us in any electable form, they may be. Planning professionals should gird their loins for a new centre/left political era in which planning may be called upon to play a re-energised role. Let’s hope so, so long as it gets good things done. Bowie’s book is a useful place to start learning the history – even if you cannot wholly agree with his purposes. What’s not particularly egalitarian is the price. At £95 I can’t see many students buying the hardback, nor any Corbynistas. n

Up In Smoke Extract from London Society’s review of Peter Watts’ book It is not controversy about air pollution that dogs (pun intended) Battersea’s giant power station today, but what Will Self has called ‘class cleansing’ and domination by foreign – in this case Malaysian – capital. Could it have been otherwise? Might a sister organisation to the Coin Street Community Association have risen up to devote the power station to the dreams of Londoners? Might another Nicholas Serota, whose boldness and imagination have made Bankside the most popular museum of modern art in the world, have ridden in on a shining installation and rescued Battersea from commercial exploitation? Peter Watts, for 25 years a London-based journalist, writes a deft and finely illustrated account of the ups and downs of what I refuse to call Giles Gilbert Scott’s iconic building. He also makes clear that Battersea’s size – about twice that of Bankside – and its much worse state of repair, made it inevitable that it would have to be rescued by private money. The huge renewal cost, plus a need to pay £1bn to extend the Northern Line, also explains what many see as the main failing of Rafael Viñoly’s masterplan: the enshrouding of the power station, except as seen from the Thames, by walls of flats. Watts is good on architecture, good on politics and good on skulduggery. And what a saga it is. n



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pil99 OCTOBER 2016 2.qxp_pil pp15-18 13/10/2016 13:23 Page 66

Lucy Taylor Director of Regeneration and Planning Policy 020 8825 9036 Noel Rutherford Director of Built Environment 020 8825 6639 Pat Hayes Executive Director Regeneration & Housing 020 8825 8280 London Borough of Enfield 020 8921 5463

Planning Control Manager 01708 432800

Sue Sewell Head of Democratic Services 0208 921 5670 Andrew Parker Planning Manager (Major Developments) 020 8921 5875

Simon Thelwell Planning Control Manager (Projects and Compliance) 01708 432685 London Borough of Haringey Level 6 River Park House 225 High Road Wood Green London N22 8HQ

Martyn Thomas Development & Transport Planning Manager 01708 432845

020 8489 1400 London Borough of Hackney Environment and Planning Hackney Service Centre 1 Hillman Street E8 1DY 020 8356 8062 PO Box Civic Centre, Silver Street Enfield EN1 3XE 020 8379 4419 Rob Leak Chief Executive 020 8379 3902 Joanne Woodward Head of Planning Policy 020 8379 3881 Bob Griffiths Assistant Director Planning, Highways & Transportation 020 8379 3676 Andy Higham Head of Development Management 020 8379 3848

Tim Shields Chief Executive 020 8356 3201 John Allen Assistant Director of Planning and Regulatory Services 020 8356 8134 Randall Macdonald Head of Spatial Planning 020 8356 8051

Zoe Collins Head of Regeneration Delivery & Strategic Partnership

John Comber Chief Executive 020 8921 6426

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham Hammersmith Town Hall Extension King Street London W6 9JU 020 8748 3020

Pat Cox Head of Policy & Spatial Planning 020 8753 5773 John Finlayson Head of Planning Regeneration 020 8753 6743 Ellen Whitchurch Head of Development Management 020 8753 3484

Mike Hows Assistant Director of Planning 020 8921 5363

Matin Miah Head of Regeneration & Development 0208 753 3482


Planning in London

Dan Hawthorn Assistant Director for Regeneration 020 8489 5678

London Borough of Hillingdon Civic Centre, High Street Uxbridge UB8 1UW 01895 250111 Jean Palmer OBE Deputy Chief Executive and Corporate Director Residents Services 0189 5250622 Nigel Dicker Deputy Director of Residents Services 01895 250566

London Borough of Harrow PO Box 37 Civic Centre, Station Road Harrow HA1 2UY

Michael Lockwood Chief Executive 020 8863 5611 Caroline Bruce Corporate Director-Environment & Enterprise 020 8416 8628 Paul Nichols Divisional Director of Planning 020 8736 6149

James Rodger Head of Planning and Enforcement 01895 250230 Jales Tippell Deputy Director Policy, Highways and Community Engagement 01895 250230

London Borough of Hounslow Civic Centre Lampton Road Hounslow TW3 4DN 020 8583 5555 Mary Harpley Chief Executive 020 8583 2012

Juliemma McLoughlin Director for Planning 020 8753 3565

Pippa Hack (Acting) Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills 020 8921 5519

Tim Jackson Assistant Director of Transportation

Stephen Kelly Assistant Director for Planning

020 8863 5611

Nigel Pallace Chief Executive 020 8753 3000 Royal Borough of Greenwich Council The Woolwich Centre 35 Wellington Street London SE18 6HQ 0208 921 6426

Lyn Garner Director of Regeneration, Planning and Development 020 8489 4523

Femi Nwanze Head of Development Management 020 8356 8061

Sharon Davidson Planning Decisions Manager 020 8379 3841 David B Taylor Transportation Planning 020 8379 3576

Nick Walkley Chief Executive 020 8489 2648

London Borough of Havering Town Hall, Main Road Romford RM1 3BD 01708 433100 Cheryl Coppell Chief Executive 01708 432062 Andrew Blake-Herbert Group Director for Community and Resources (Deputy Chief Executive) Helen Oakerbee

Brendon Walsh Director of Regeneration, Economic Development and Environment 020 8583 5331 Marilyn Smith Head of Development Management 020 8583 4994 Ian Rae Head of Regeneration & Spatial Planning 020 8583 2561

pil99 OCTOBER 2016 2.qxp_pil pp15-18 13/10/2016 13:23 Page 67


Roy Thompson Director of Place 020 8545 3680

Andrew Darvill Assistant Director of Traffic and Transport 020 8891 7070

London Borough of Islington 222 Upper Street London N1 1XR 020 7527 6743 http://www.islington. services/planning Lesley Seary, Chief Executive 020 7527 3136 Karen Sullivan Service Director of Planning & Development 020 7527 2949 Eshwyn Prabhu Team Leader for Planning & Projects 020 7527 2450 Victoria Geoghegan Head of Development Management & Building Control Andrew Marx Deputy Head of Development Management & Building Control, Andrew.marx@ 020 7527 2045

London Borough of Lambeth Phoenix House 10 Wandsworth Road London SW8 2LL 020 7926 1180 Sean Harriss Chief Executive 020 7926 9677 Alison Young Divisional Director for Planning, Regeneration and Enterprise Neil Vokes Project Manager in Planning, Regeneration and Enterprise Rachel Sharpe Divisional Director Housing Strategy and Partnership

Sakiba Gurda Planning Policy Team Leader 020 7527 2731

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea The Town Hall, Hornton Street London W8 7NX 020 7361 3000 Chief Executive Nicholas Holgate 020 7361 2299 Graham Stallwood Executive Director of Planning and Borough Development 020 7361 2612 Rob Krzyszowski Planning Policy Team Leader

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Guildhall 2, High Street Kingston upon Thames KT1 1EU 020 8547 5002 Bruce McDonald Chief Executive 020 8547 5150 Darren Richards Head of Planning and Transport 020 8547 5933

Jon Freer Assistant Director, Development and Street Scene 020 8891 7319

London Borough of Newham Newham Dockside 1000 Dockside Road London E16 2QU

Philip Wealthy Head of Policy and Design 020 8891 7320

020 8430 2000 Kim Bromley-Derry Chief Executive Jackie Belton Executive Director for Strategic Commissioning

Robert Angus Development Control Manager 020 8891 7271

VACANT Director for Commissioning (Planning & Regeneration)

020 8314 6000 Barry Quirk CBE, Chief Executive 020 8314 6447 Gavin Cooper, Development Manager 020 8314 9271 John Miller, Head of Planning 020 8314 8706 Chris Brodie, Growth Area Manager 020 8314 9162

London Borough of Merton Merton Civic Centre London Road, Morden Surrey SM4 5DX

Deirdra Armsby Head of Planning and Physical Regeneration London Borough of Redbridge 128-142 High Road Ilford, London IG1 1DD

Ged Curran Chief Executive 020 8545 3332

Eleanor Kelly Chief Executive 020 7525 7171 Deborah Collins Strategic Director of Environment & leisure 020 7525 0899

Roger Hampson, Chief Executive 020 8708 2100 Fiona Dunning Head of Development Management 020 8708 2052 020 8708 2052 Mark Lucas Head of Inward Investment & Enterprise 020 8708 2143 John Pearce Head of Planning Policy and Environment 020 8708 2843 020 708 2843 Amrik Notta Head of Building Control 020 8708 2521 020 8708 2521

London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames Civic Centre 44 York Street Twickenham TW1 3BZ

020 8545 3837

London Borough of Southwark 160 Tooley Street London SE1 2QH 020 7525 3559

020 8554 5000 London Borough of Lewisham Town Hall, Catford London SE6 4RU 020 8891 7477

020 8891 1411

London Borough of Sutton 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 2JG 020 8770 5000 Niall Bolger Chief Executive 020 8770 5203 Ade Adebayo Executive Head Asset Management & Planning & Capital Delivery 020 8770 6349 Eleanor Purser Executive Head of Economic Development Planning and Sustainability Simon Latham Executive Head Housing and Regeneration 020 8770 6173 Mary Morrissey Strategic Director Environment, Housing and Regeneration

Gillian Norton Chief Executive 020 8891 7908

Chris Lee Director of Environment & Regeneration 020 8274 4901

Paul Chadwick Director of Environment 020 8891 7870

London Borough of Tower Hamlets Mulberry Place 5 Clove Crescent London E14 2BE

Simon Williams Director of Community and Housing

David Barnes Head of Development and Enforcement

020 7364 5009



pil99 OCTOBER 2016 2.qxp_pil pp15-18 13/10/2016 13:23 Page 68

Please notify any changes immediately by e-mail to cc to with the subject ‘planning in london directory’. Aman Dalvi OBE Corporate Director for Development & Renewal Owen Whalley Service Head Planning and Building Control 020 7364 5314 Paul Buckenham Development Manager 020 7364 2502 Adele Maher Strategic Planning Manager 020 7364 5375 Jackie Odunoye Head of Strategy, Regeneration & Sustainability, Development and Renewal

Forest Road London E17 4JF 020 8496 3000 Martin Esom Chief Executive 020 8496 4201 Lucy Shomali Director of Regeneration & Growth 020 8496 6734 Ken Jones Director of Housing & Growth 020 8496 5309 Ron Presswell, Design & Conservation 020 8496 6736

London Borough of Waltham Forest Town Hall,

OTHER ORGANISATIONS Greater London Authority City Hall, The Queen's Walk London SE1 2AA 020 7983 4000 Boris Johnson Mayor of London 0207 983 4000 Colin Wilson Senior Manager, Development & Projects 020 7983 4783

Paul Martin Chief Executive

Westminster City Hall 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP 020 7641 6500

Nick Calder Head of Development Permissions 020 8871 8417 Nigel Granger Development Management East Area Manager 020 8871 8415

Charlie Parker, Chief Executive 020 7641 2358 John Walker Operational Director Planning Delivery Unit 020 7641 2519 Barry Smith Operational Director City Planning 020 7641 2923

Mark Hunter Development Management Nine Elms Opportunity Area Manager 020 8871 8418

Ben Denton Executive Director for Growth, Planning and Housing 020 7641 3025

Martin Scholar Strategic Planning Manager (Planning Frameworks) 020 7983 5750

Graham Clements Senior Strategic Planner 020 7983 4265

Urban Design London Palestra 197 Blackfriars Road London SE1 8AA 020 7593 9000 planning.policies@communities.gsi.g

Christine McGoldrick Strategic Planning Manager (Development Plans) 020 7983 4309

Design for London City Hall, The Queen's Walk More London, London SE1 2AA

Justin Carr Strategic Planning Manager (Development Decisions) 020 7983 4895

Department for Communities and Local Government 020 7944 4400

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Transport oriented development – the key to sustainable urbanism We should look long and hard at all the opportunities to intensify development around transport hubs to create more homes as well as easier access to jobs, services and green spaces says Laura Mazzeo

RIGHT: Kowloon Station podium garden and square © Farrells

Laura Mazzeo, is a partner and head of masterplanning and urban design at Farrells

With almost 70 per cent of the world’s population estimated to be living in urban areas by 2050, there has never been a more pressing time to consider how we will accommodate such large and rapid growths in our cities, while also progressing towards a sustainable future. Nowhere more so have such patterns of growth been seen than in rapidly developing nations but the same issues are starting to take centre stage in the growing capitals of the West and are most acutely felt in London. The result is an inevitable explosion in the consumption of land, energy and natural resources but also a concern for the loss of quality of life. There is a strong case for responding to rapid growth whilst taking fewer environmental risks with high-density urban living. By combining a multitude of varied land uses into the city’s vertical dimension, the hyper-dense city can optimise the accessibility, vitality, amenity and efficiency of buildings, as well as the communities they serve. Our international experience in Hong Kong has taught us that high density urban planning and design are changing the model of sustainable development, questioning established lifestyle ideals and putting public transport and transport infrastructure at the centre of the debate as an enabler and catalyst of such new models. In the 1960’s, Jane Jacobs argued that we could minimise our damage to the environment by clustering together in highrises and walking to work. This notion has since been developed to support the concept of Transport Orientated Developments (TOD). As the name suggests, TODs orientate dense urban development around efficient public transport nodes and along linear network corridors. A close relationship between transport, social and economic mobility is key to accommodating rapid urban growth and developing a sustainable future for our cities. The technology of transport leads to contingent human habits being formed around significant hubs of movement, and the types of spaces (homes, workplaces, warehousing, shops, places of worship and even educational spaces) that are the very DNA of habitat start to accumulate around these new locations. When Hong Kong resolved to close its congested airport at

ABOVE: Kowloon Station transport oriented development concept diagram © Farrells

Kai Tak, the construction of its replacement broke all records for scale, speed and innovation. Part of the largest infrastructure project in Hong Kong’s history, the Lantau Airport Railway was conceived to provide a high-speed link between the city and the new airport at the remote island of Chek Lap Kok. Kowloon Station, the largest station on the line offered the opportunity to create more than just a point of access to an efficient transport link: it was the first of its kind to bring development of homes, offices, shops, public spaces, hotels together and on top of a major station. The station itself resembles an airport terminal more than a conventional metro station, incorporating in-town check-in counters, baggage handling and screening systems, as well as interchange facilities. Above the station, a high-density, three-dimensional transit-oriented urban quarter was developed: comprising one million square metres of space for hotel, office, retail and residential accommodation, all arranged around a central square with easy access to the station below. More than a station, it is a new piece of city, self-contained and offering all the amenities an urban dweller might dream of from gardens and alfresco dining to jobs and shops on your doorstep but also extremely well connected to its surroundings and the rest of the city. With 90 per cent of all trips made to and from the new Kowloon Station district being made via public transport and all spaces being enjoyed by residents, workers, shoppers and diners , this project has become the model of transport orient- >>>



pil99 OCTOBER 2016 2.qxp_pil pp15-18 13/10/2016 13:23 Page 70

RIGHT: Four propositions for London, Estates Gazette ©Farrells BELOW: Old Oak Super Hub – The Vision © Farrells

ed development in Hong Kong, Asia and globally. Place-based differences between UK and China developments are linked to the point in time in history where population density in city centres has exploded. Where London had the highest density levels in the late 19th century, lack of construction methods and technology allowing to build tall led to overcrowding and slums. In Hong Kong, and more widely across Asia, this phenomenon being relatively recent in comparison, typologies and technologies were already available to respond to a growing population. However, as urbanisation rates continue to increase worldwide and populations become more and more mobile, bringing renewed growth to Western capitals, these hyperdense models and associated environmental challenges become highly relevant. Closer to home, we must realise that opportunities to create sustainable lifestyles through transport oriented developments are ready to be unlocked around both existing and planned transport hubs all across London. The Victorians had understood the value of transport oriented development well ahead of their times as St Pancras proves today: successfully combining hotel, shopping as well as connecting rail to underground in one single integrated building. The below diagram published by Farrells in the Estates Gazette illustrates where some of these major opportunities exist today, perfect catalysts for development. One of those opportunities lies on a site of over 500 hectares of West


Planning in London

London. Our work on Old Oak Common has always had at its heart the vision to explore the wider potential of the proposed Crossrail and High Speed 2 stations and to look at the economic benefits that could ensue from their colocation. The resulting vision could generate an estimated 12,000 new homes, 115,000 new jobs, a new waterside park along the Grand Union Canal and a revolutionary rapid transit system. It is however still at risk of never being realised with the imperatives of delivery of the rail element running ahead and in spite of thinking comprehensively about integrated developments. The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation and the new Mayor should take leadership on ensuring this is enabled and the delivery of a transport solution at all costs does not happen at the detriment of creating a new place for Londoners 15 minutes from Central London. With part of the Elizabeth Line opening as early as 2019, HS2 following in 2025-2026 and Crossrail 2 currently on the drawing board combined with the urgency to house and offer sustainable lifestyles to a growing London, we should look long and hard at all the opportunities to intensify around transport hubs to create more homes as well as easier access to jobs, services and green spaces. To name a few: Euston Station, Clapham Junction, Earls Court, Old Oak Common should be high on our politicians’ agenda along with planning ahead integrated developments along the entire Crossrail 2 line before it is too late. n

pil99 OCTOBER 2016 2.qxp_pil pp15-18 13/10/2016 13:24 Page 71


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LONDON’S NEW POLITICS OF PLANNING EVENT 19th October 2016 Come and join the debate Organised by London Planning Analyst, with Planning in London Magazine, hosted by Colliers International, 50 George Street, London W1U 7GA. London has a new mayor. Brexit is looming. Two factors that have an enormous impact on politics and policies in the capital. London Planning Analyst’s inaugral conference will focus on the strategic opportunities new Mayor Sadiq Khan should seize, and our speakers will argue for policy changes to deliver the homes and work spaces we need. The conference has been programmed by Lee Mallett, urban regeneration consultant, journalist and chartered surveyor. Senior people already attending: Advisor to No.19, Former Deputy Mayor for Housing, N10 Managing Director, Andrew Sissons Consulting; Partner, Ben Adams Architects; Founder at Argent Group Assistant Director, British Property Federation; Chief Executive, Colliers International; Director, Colliers International; Chief Executive, Croydon Council Partner and Head of Planning Team, Deloitte; Chief Executive, Dolphin Living; Chief Executive, First Base; Associate, Fletcher Priest; Associate Director, GL Hearn; Councillor, Chair of GLA Planning Committee, GLA;

Strategic Planning Manager, GLA; Director, Hepher Grincell Planning and Development; Associate Director, JLL; Director of Regeneration & Housing, London Borough of Ealing; Director of Housing Services, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham; Consulting Editor, London Planning Analyst; Director of Development, Urban Design and Masterplanning, Publica Associates, Member of MDAG; Planner, PRP; Director, Ramidus Consulting; Associate Director, Sheppard Robson; Founder, Stokes Duncan; Chief Executive, The Office Group; Principal of Architects and Planning Consultants, The Boisot Waters Cohen Partnership (BWCP); Editorial Director, AJ and AR and Director, World Architecture Festival, Co-Editor, Planning in London;

Buy your ticket for £245 + VAT on the website Not for profit organisation £195 + VAT? Email to gain the discount. Companies attending: Andrew Sissons Consulting; Argent Group; Ben Adams Architects; British Property Federation; Church of England; Croydon Council; Colliers International; Deloitte; Dolphin Living; First Base; Fletcher Priest Architects, GLA; GL Hearn; Hepher Grincell; JLL; London Borough of Ealing; London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham; Planning in London; Planning & Development; Publica Associates; PRP Architects; Ramidus Consulting; TFL; The Office Group; Sheppard Robson; Stokes Duncan; Urbik Limited; The Boisot Waters Cohen Partnership (BWCP).

Planning in London October 2016  

The autumn edition of Planning in London, free to members of the London Society (

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