The Mayor’s Outer London Commission: Report

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The existing economic structure

20. It is also suggested that as well as identifying relatively new growth sectors, the Commission should explore how to make sectors which are already well represented more competitive. This will not be a clear cut exercise because employment is more evenly distributed across sectors than in other parts of London. It is suggested that, after considering the LDA statistical report, the Commission comes to a view as to whether further sectoral analysis is required and whether this is most usefully portrayed ‘peak to peak’.

In and out of centre development: a false dichotomy?

21. 8 per cent of outer London’s employment is in comparison retailing and 10 per cent in leisure related activities. Historically, both were strongly concentrated in town centres but became more dispersed with development of out of centre locations. While London tends to have less out-of-centre development than the rest of the country it is nevertheless still significant.

22. The Mayor has made clear his commitment to a ‘town centres first’ policy. Addressing the unique circumstances of London, the London Plan is more rigorous than national policy both in resisting inappropriate out-of centre development and in encouraging partners to work together proactively to identify and bring forward development capacity in or on the edge of town centres. It also notes that there is already significant out of centre capacity on which partners should work to ensure that it becomes more sustainable in terms of public transport access and, in appropriate locations, evolves into functionally balanced town centres.

23. It is suggested that the Commission could provide useful guidance on implementing these complementary policies in the context of its broader economic remit and the Mayor’s town centre strategy. In light of the importance of car based trips in outer London it could investigate how parking policy bears on the vitality and viability of town centres relative to out of town, and indeed out of London, development.

Orbital movement

24. It is suggested that while there is a strong local demand to revitalise public transport in outer London, an elaborate strategic orbital system may not be justifiable per se. The Commission could usefully investigate whether a more realistic way of meeting demand for movement could be a system of hubs on the strong radial routes with spokes linking neighbouring centres and communities.

Does outer London need a new regeneration geography?

25. The London Plan already sets out a flexible and relatively sophisticated geographical structure to guide investment across London, including outer London. However, there is concern that this may not be making the most effective use of scarce regeneration resources. It could usefully be supplemented by enhancing the competitive strengths of a small number of key hubs, development of which will benefit outer London as a whole, especially if backed by complementary initiatives for smaller centres (see elsewhere in this paper).

26. It is suggested that the Commission explore the hub concept, focusing mainly but not entirely on elements of the town centre network. Possible criteria for identifying such hubs as being of sub regional or greater significance could include those set out in Figure 2. This seeks to test the criteria against a number of possible hubs using as a benchmark the established global hubs of the City and Westminster.

Figure 2: Possible criteria to define hubs of sub regional or greater significance

Annex 2: Initial Consultation Questions


(1) Why has outer London growth in employment lagged behind that of inner and central London and that of the South East?

(2) What factors have contributed to the uneven performance of economic sectors and geographic areas in outer London? Why have some economic sectors prospered and others declined? Why have some areas done better and others worse?

(3) Overall, what are the main barriers to economic and employment growth in outer London and what factors need to be addressed to allow the region to fulfil its economic potential? In particular, what investments are needed (particularly transport, both private/public, and education/skills and business support) to best ensure employment growth to 2031 either in existing or new sectors?

(4) Which of the current employment sectors in outer London will be thriving in 2031 and will any new sectors have emerged by then? Should we be actively encouraging particular sectors or focusing more on barriers that could be holding back growth in outer London?

(5) The Commission’s ‘First Thoughts’ paper outlines some ideas on the form ‘superhubs’ might take and possible locations. Do you consider the development of 4 or 5 super-hubs in outer London would enhance the outer London’s overall employment growth potential? What form do you think they might take? What role could mixed use development have there?

(6) Which super-hub locations would you consider best meet the aim to improve outer London’s economic performance and why? What can be done to ensure that the super hubs are sufficiently attractive to business that businesses would want to base their operations there? What is required to ensure that a sufficient employment base is created for a super hub; in particular, could growth be achievable with or without infrastructure improvements (specify the infrastructure improvements needed)?

(7) If super-hubs are created, what role would you envisage for other town centres and other business locations/hubs (eg Park Royal) in outer London and how can those roles be enhanced alongside the creation of super-hubs?

(8) What do you consider would be the optimal balance of employment opportunity for outer London between local opportunities, those in central or inner London, or those outside London in nearby growth corridors? What are the implications for these other areas?

Quality of Life

(9) In absolute and relative terms (compared with central and inner London and the South East) how has the residential environment changed (good or bad) in outer London over the last 25 years and how has this affected its attractiveness as a place to live, work and do business.

(10) What improvements would bring about the greatest improvements to the quality of life for outer London residents, workers and businesses? How would these bear on the economic objectives of the Commission?

(11) How could super hubs affect the quality of life in outer London for residents, workers and businesses?

(12) How important is the provision of local social infrastructure to the quality of living in outer London? (schools, health or other specific infrastructure). How does this bear on the economic objectives of the Commission?

(13) What are the factors that give your or other districts in outer London a sense of place and community ownership? How will these bear on the economic objectives of the Commission?

(14) What improvements would you like to see in the quality of the public realm eg open space quality and provision? How will these bear on the economic objectives of the Commission?


(15) How would you make the super-hubs you have indicated more generally accessible to residents and workers from across London and outside? What is an acceptable balance between public transport and provision for cars? Will this vary in different parts of outer London eg in the Thames Gateway relative to West London?

(16) What approach should be taken to traffic management including car parking, congestion and pollution and the bearing these have on climate change? How could this bear specifically on super-hubs, and more generally across outer London if employment growth rose above historic trends and travel patterns changed as outer London became a more attractive place to work?

(17) Where traffic demand exceeds capacity in outer London, what tools would be most effective for smoothing traffic around town centres (and managing crowding) in addition to or where there is not scope for infrastructure improvements?

(18) Extensive radial public transport networks already exist to town centres and some super-hubs, what needs to change to make them the modes of choice?

(19) The development of super-hubs is likely to require public transport improvements to make them more accessible. That in turn is likely to need residential densities to be optimised around and within the super-hubs to justify the necessary transport investment. Is this trade-off acceptable to secure better public transport access and employment growth and is there a particular, economically viable, balance to be struck between residential intensification, transport investment and employment growth?

(20) Do super-hubs need to evolve into ‘hub and spoke’ networks serving the neighbouring areas to make the most of opportunities for local residents? How could a hub and spoke network service the more geographically extensive labour markets required to support super-hubs (and provide accessible opportunities to more workers within and outside London)? If these networks are road based systems, should options for further demand management be considered?

(21) More generally, what are the key destinations/services which people in outer London want access to?

(22) How important is the provision of local transport infrastructure to the quality of living in outer London? How does this bear on the economy of outer London?

Annex 3A:

Outer London Commission Interim Employment Projections: Cambridge Econometrics, Oxford Economics, Business Strategies Ltd

Annex 3 B: Historic and projected employment in outer London boroughs

Historic and projected employment in outer London boroughs by broad economic sector

Source: Roger Tym & Partners, 2010. Projections are consistent with draft replacement London Plan (2009)

Annex 3C: Home Counties Employment 1989-2007

Note that the data for the ‘home counties’ includes the relevant unitary authorities and comes from three sources (Census of Employment (1987-2001), Annual Employment Survey (1991-1998) and ABI (1998-2007). Comparability of these datasets over time is imperfect so the figures should be treated with caution.

Annex 4: Economically Active Population 1991 to 2031

Source: GLA 2009 Round Demographic Projections: London Plan

Annex 5A: Housing Trends

Net Approvals for Inner and Outer London 1987-2008

Annex 5B: Net Completions for Inner and Outer London 1987-2008

The completion figures for 2002/03 are taken from ODPM returns not estimated by the GLA

Annex 5C: Compliance with the London Plan Housing Density Matrix (Percentage of Gross Residential Units Approved) 2008/2009

Note: Figures are based on gross residential units in schemes for which a site area is available

Annex 6A: The broad requirements for future health infrastructure by borough from the total estimated housing capacity.

Source: The London Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and Housing Capacity Study (SHLAA/ HCS) and the HUDU Model.

Annex 6B: Social Infrastructure Maps

PTAL and ATOS combined

Primary School Roll projections

Secondary School Roll Projections

Tertiary School Roll Projections

Inner North East London Polysystem Hubs with Population Projection

North Central London Polysystem Hubs with Population Projection

North West London Polysystem Hubs with Population Projection

Outer North East London Polysystem Hubs with Population Projection

South East London Polysystem Hubs with Population Projection

South West London Polysystem Hubs with Population Projection

All Social Infrastructure Maps Further Education

All Social Infrastructure Maps GPs

All Social Infrastructure Maps Primary Schools

Social Infrastructure Maps Food Shopping

Social Infrastructure Maps Secondary Schools

Annex 6C:

Borough School Roll Projections Ages 4-10

Borough School Roll Projections Ages 11-15

Borough School Roll Projections Ages 16-19

Annex 7: Office Development Trends

Total Completed Office Floorspace for Inner and Outer London (Financial Years 2000 to 2008) (Gross SQM)

Annex 8: Respondents to the Outer London Commission

Formal (written) responses were received from the following (52 respondents):


BAA Heathrow

Berkeley Group (AW Pidgley)

Campaign for Better Transport, London Cycling Campaign and Living Streets

City of London

Colin Buchanan & Partners

Daniel Nolan-Neylan (member of public)

East London Line Group

Hillingdon Motorists Forum

Land Securities

London Borough of Sutton

London Assembly Liberal Democrat Group

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

London Borough of Barnet

London Borough of Bexley

London Borough of Bromley

London Borough of Croydon

London Borough of Enfield

London Borough of Greenwich

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

London Borough of Havering

London Borough of Lewisham

London Borough of Merton

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

London Councils

London First

The London Primary Care Trusts

London South East Business

London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC)

London TravelWatch

Motorcycle Industry Association

North London Strategic Alliance (NLSA)

Peter Eversden (member of public)

Places for People

Quintain Estates

Regional Airports Ltd

RICS London (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors)

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

South East England Regional Partnership Board (formerly SEERA)

South London Partnership & South London Business

Surrey County Council


Thames Gateway London Partnership (TGLP)

The Theatres Trust

Transport for London


University of East London

West London Alliance

West London Business

Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd (WSL)

White City Landowners with the support of London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (submitted by Jones Lang LaSalle)

Annex footnotes


1 Counties are currently the smallest areas surrounding Outer London for which robust time series employment data are available. The employment data are sourced from the Experian Business Strategies Regional Planning Service (RPS) and are not official GLA long-run employment data which are currently being updated.
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