Mayor publishes planning guidance to protect character of London

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today (Friday, June 27) published detailed planning guidance to ensure that future developments enhance the rich character of the city.

With London set to be home to ten million people by 2030, the Mayor’s ‘Character and Context Supplementary Planning Guidance’ aims to ensure that London can continue to grow sustainably without losing its much-loved distinctiveness.

The guidance encourages anyone engaged with the planning system to fully understand the heritage and environment of an area before taking important decisions on its development.

It asks planners to think about how an area has come to be the way it is, the things about it that people who live, work, and visit want to see changed and the economic, social and other forces driving change.

In addition, the document builds on detailed guidance in the London Plan and the Mayor’s London View Management Framework that advises on the location of tall buildings and ensures strategic views across the city are protected. It also links in with the Mayor’s Opportunity Area Frameworks and the borough’s Local Plans which provide clear guidance about the right places in which to locate tall buildings.

By taking all of these factors into account, the Mayor expects that future developments will be more likely to be successful economically as well as aesthetically.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

“Planning for neighbourhoods in a city as dynamic and diverse as London is a tricky business. This guidance aims to ensure that areas do not lose their unique character while allowing developers to continue to bring forward innovative and thought-provoking schemes.”

The Mayor is also now consulting on his draft ‘Social Infrastructure Supplementary Planning Guidance.’

This considers how social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals could be developed and integrated alongside the 49,000 new homes a year that the Mayor believes need to be built to meet the demands of the city’s ever increasing population.

Increasingly, London is seeing communities and parents setting up new academies and free schools and GPs working together through clinical commissioning groups to understand and meet local needs.

Against this changing background, this guidance provides sensible guidance that will help planners and non-planners to work together so that social infrastructure can be built where it is most needed.

The Mayor’s ‘Character and Context Supplementary Planning Guidance’ can be accessed here.

The draft ‘Social Infrastructure Supplementary Planning Guidance’ is open for consultation until the end of September 2014 and can be accessed here.

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