Localism and London – planning seminar report

Future of London held a seminar on Localism in London and planning last week. In the panel session, Jo Wilson, Programme and Policy lead at Future of London, introduced the context of the debate into Future of London’s wider research programme, and set out some key questions to stimulate the debate.

This was followed by Jane Everton, Deputy Director, Development Planning at CLG, updating on nationwide planning reform. She confirmed that the Localism Bill was ready for Royal Assent by the end of the month, though stressed that the agenda had been a key tenet of the Coalition agreement from the outset.

Finally, Andrew Barry-Purssell, Senior Manager, London Plan at the GLA, gave the London perspective. On the perceived confusion of planning hierarchy in London, he clarified that as London has a city-wide development plan – the London Plan – this will take precedence over the National Planning Policy Framework. However, he hoped that the framework would still encourage London’s boroughs and communities to work together and take a greater control of their destinies.

In the following discussion, points were raised over the effectiveness of CIL reforms, the lack of clarity as to what constitutes a neighbourhood in non-parished areas and the potential impact that business rates retention will have on London.

For the second half of the seminar, attendees worked in groups to discuss the potential impacts of particular localist policies, barriers and solutions. We will compile and publish these findings this month.

The next Localism in London seminar will be in January and focus on economic development. More details to follow shortly.

See below for the three panel presentations.