The London Assembly Labour Group recently responded to the Government’s drive to dismantle the planning system by introducing and expanding a series of permitted development rights. Allowing property owners to convert offices, light industrial, and warehouses into flats without the need for planning permission is a reckless measure which sacrifices jobs. It results in the wrong types of and sub-standard housing in the wrong locations, and without any contribution of affordable housing or Section 106.
Last month at Mayor’s Question Time I challenged the Mayor to stand up to the Government that he’s now campaigning to join as an MP. The question sparked off a fierce debate, with Assembly Members from all parties agreeing that the Mayor needed to do more to stand up for London’s employment space.
We now know that the Mayor refused to take a tough stance. The letter that he sent to Government is only tinkering at the edges.
In contrast, the Labour group’s response to the Government consultation was clear: this is bad policy and should not be implemented. We noted that the proposals threaten to harm London’s economic recovery and would damage the integrity of the mixed-use nature of its neighbourhoods, whilst resulting in sub-standard residential units, as Local Planning Authorities will have no control either over the size and mix of dwellings, nor over provision of infrastructure or standards.
You can read our response in full here (pdf): Assemly Lab Group – technical consultation on planning response