London deputy picked
By Sarah Townsend Friday, 06 May 2011
Regeneration and Renewal
Edward Lister, leader of the London Borough of Wandsworth, has been appointed as London mayor Boris Johnson’s chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning.
Lister’s appointment is part of a major reshuffle of senior staff at City Hall following the death of the former deputy mayor for planning, Sir Simon Milton.
During his first few months in post, Lister will be tasked with responding to the planning inspector’s report on the revised London Plan, as well as continuing to develop proposals to merge joint venture company the Olympic Park Legacy Company into a new mayoral development corporation.
He will also have to make decisions on major planning applications such as the Westfield shopping centre extension at White City, the regeneration of Battersea Power Station and the controversial Earl’s Court masterplan, which would involve the demolition of both the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates.
Lister has been Conservative leader of Wandsworth Council since 1992, after first being elected in a by-election in 1976.
In December, he called for local authorities to be given greater involvement in planning decisions on national infrastructure projects.
Tony Travers, director of the Greater London Group at the London School of Economics, said:
“Wandsworth has been very pro-development under Lister’s leadership, while also seeking to improve quality of life for residents. I would expect to see this in his approach to London-wide planning.”
But Nicky Gavron, a Labour Assembly member and chair of the Greater London Authority’s planning and housing committee, said that she is “concerned” by Lister’s “poor” track record of developing affordable homes across Wandsworth.
She said that figures from the London Plan show that just 1.5 per cent of all housing completions in Wandsworth in 2009/10 were socially rented homes.
“Under Lister’s leadership, mixed communities have been eroded in Wandsworth. This worries me, because one of the key challenges for the deputy mayor is working out how to use the planning system to create affordable homes. This is a central tenet of the London Plan.”
You can read the story online here:
Nicky Gavron AM
Labour Group Spokesperson for Housing and Planning on the London Assembly
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