Mayor of london

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London Plan Implementation Framework

1.12 At its centre of the Mayor’s new approach to implementation of the London Plan is a suite of documents that together make up a London Planning Implementation Framework. The Implementation Plan is the overarching implementation document within this. The Implementation Framework also includes:

  • Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG), with a formal status. – They are individually included in Annex 1.

  • Opportunity Area/Intensification Area Frameworks, with a formal status

  • Implementation guides

  • The Annual Monitoring Report, with a formal status.





2.1 Paragraph 8.20 of the London Plan states that at the centre of the Implementation Plan ‘is a range of strategic and tangible implementation actions for the GLA Group, partner organisations and delivery agencies covering all policy areas. The implementation actions support and facilitate the implementation of the Plan’s policies. For each implementation action, information about responsible delivery bodies, a timescale for delivery and a degree of certainty/ commitment are provided..’

2.2 The implementation actions are listed in Annex 1, and this chapter aims to identify strategic and tangible implementation actions across the topics the London Plan addresses. The following provides an overview of the wide range of different types of implementation mechanisms.

The Mayor’s planning powers and influence

2.3 The London Plan itself is a statutory planning document with formal development plan status.2 It is the main vehicle for coordinating strategic decision-making on London’s development on a spatial basis. The Plan influences development decisions primarily in the following ways:

  • The London Plan itself forms part of the development plan, which should be taken into account by boroughs in making planning decisions.

  • Borough development plan documents (DPDs) must be in general conformity with the Plan.3

  • The Plan directly provides the policy framework for the Mayor’s own decisions on strategic planning applications referred to him.4

  • Major investment decisions regarding infrastructure and services may be strongly influenced by the Plan, which also provides the spatial context for the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) and other strategies.5

2.4 These planning and investment powers are the main vehicles of implementing the Plan. As they are relevant across basically all policies, they are not specifically mentioned in Annex 1, which summarises implementation actions for the different policy areas.

Working in partnership

2.5 The Mayor cannot implement the Plan alone. He will work with a range of organisations to align priorities and ensure that the objectives and policies of the Plan are implemented. Partner organisations include (not exhaustive):

  • The GLA Group – Transport for London (TfL), the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) and the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA)

  • The boroughs within, and the local authorities around, London – and their representative associations and partnerships at local, sub-regional and London-wide levels

  • The private sector, including developers, infrastructure providers and business organisations. The private sector makes a significant contribution to implementation, particularly in opportunity and intensification areas. They are also responsible for two thirds of housing output across London, and the office, retail and leisure developments, which are driving town centre regeneration

  • Government (CLG in particular) and the European Union

  • Statutory agencies such as the Environment Agency, Natural England, English Heritage and Network Rail

  • The voluntary and the community sector, whose role will be strengthened, including for example the London Forum of Civic and Amenity Societies

2.6 Working with a wide range of existing partnerships provides an efficient way of involving stakeholders in complex issues. Important partnerships and umbrella organisations include for example:

  • Geographic: Local Strategic Partnerships, London Councils, sub-regional partnerships and town centre partnerships, Outer London Commission

  • Sectoral/thematic: London First, CBI, House Builders Federation, London Biodiversity Partnership, London Climate Change Partnership, London Access Forum, emerging London Housing Board6 and London Enterprise Partnership

2.7 The Mayor also supports approaches to planning, regeneration and development that harness the knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm of local communities, enterprises and other groups. He will encourage use of tools such as community land trusts, which enable communities to shape their own neighbourhoods through the management and development of land and other assets (including those transferred from public sector organisations). He recognises the importance of development trusts, other community organisations and local business partnerships and bodies in helping to shape and develop neighbourhoods, sometimes in ways that the public sector cannot.

2.8 In particular with regard to certain infrastructure (for transport, water, waste and energy) the Mayor also seeks to influence the Government and the infrastructure regulators to work with the infrastructure providers in London in order to ensure the timely delivery of new infrastructure. However, the efficient management of existing assets and incentives to promote behavioural change are critical to reduce resource and infrastructure needs. - See section 3 for more details on the different types of infrastructure.

2.9 This Implementation Plan highlights for the different policy areas key partners and partnerships that help the Mayor to deliver the Plan (see Annex 1). However, due to the complexity of many policies, not all relevant/interested bodies are mentioned.

Supporting strategies and guidance

2.10 The Mayor, the GLA Group and partners at national, London-wide and borough level produce a wide range of strategies on various topics. It is important that they are aligned and reinforce each other.7 Several strategies have been identified that reinforce and support the implementation of different policies in the Plan (see Annex 1).

2.11 Many London Plan policies are also supported by supplementary guidance (sometimes known as supplementary planning guidance (SPG)) published by the Mayor. This is also included in Annex 1. It provides detail to help boroughs in reflecting the Plan’s policies through their LDFs.

2.12 The SPGs often refer to case studies and good practice. The Mayor’s London Planning Awards also showcase and promote annually such good practice.

Area-specific action plans and designations

2.13 Mechanisms to promote development, improvements and regeneration in specific areas of London include (not exhaustive):

  • Opportunity and Intensification Area Planning Frameworks to support the development of strategic locations with capacity for growth

  • Strategic Industrial Locations (SIL), Town Centres and Business Improvement Districts as strategic areas to generate synergies of activities

  • Area Strategies, Action Plans and Masterplans with detailed proposals for an area

  • Management Plans ensuring the maintenance and enhancement of assets

  • Policy designations ensuring that certain conditions are applied for development in the area

2.14 Compulsory purchase powers may be used to acquire land in order to secure development where this is appropriate.

2.15 Annex 1 highlights for various policy areas important area-specific action plans and designations that help the Mayor to deliver the London Plan.

Assessments and research

2.16 The implementation of the Plan’s policies requires robust evidence. Assessments and research studies are often undertaken or supported by the GLA Group, boroughs, consultancies and research institutes. These can underpin the case for developers, boroughs and others to act in accordance with the policies. That will often also inform the evidence base of the boroughs’ LDFs in terms of infrastructure provision. Annex 1 includes significant assessments and pieces of research. The Mayor will be discussing ways of working with boroughs and others to ensure the evidence needed for effective planning in London is gathered and disseminated in the most effective way possible. The final document will give further detail of the programmes of research that the Mayor will conduct to ensure the London Plan is kept up to date (on demographic and economic trends, for example).

2.17 The Mayor has announced his intention to review the way in which strategic policies on housing need and supply are developed to develop approaches that are more effective, “bottom-up”, participative and consensual. He will also want to ensure that this approach takes account of the emerging National Planning Policy Framework. It is likely that the final version of the document will give more details of this process, and of other policy and institutional changes that might emerge from continuing discussions about devolution and decentralisation and the development of Government planning.


2.18 Investment schemes by the GLA Group, by Government and by delivery agencies such as infrastructure providers are the most tangible and direct implementation mechanism. The private sector has also a significant role in financing investment. Some schemes that are related to individual policies are included in Annex 1. The delivery of strategic infrastructure to accommodate the growth proposed in the London Plan is addressed in more detail in chapter 3 whilst generic funding opportunities are covered in chapter 4.

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