London’s Opportunity Areas

Sources: Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan (2014) and individual OAPFs; contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015

The latest version of the London Plan lists 38 Opportunity Areas and 7 Intensification Areas. In total, these cover almost 19,000 ha of land, with the potential to deliver a minimum 302,450 homes and over 58,000 jobs.

Opportunity Areas are defined in the Plan as:

The Capital’s major reservoir of brownfield land with significant capacity to accommodate new housing, commercial and other development linked to existing or potential improvements to public transport accessibility. Typically they can accommodate at least 5,000 jobs or 2,500 new homes or a combination of the two, along with other supporting facilities and infrastructure.

Intensification Areas are already built up and will be able to deliver less additional homes and jobs than Opportunity Areas, but still have significant capacity for growth and densification.

The map above shows the locations of London’s Opportunity and Intensification Areas along with information on the capacity for homes and employment in each.

The areas range widely in size and capacity:

  • Upper Lea Valley is the largest at 3,900 ha, and covers four boroughs
  • Holborn, in LB Camden, is the smallest at 13 ha
  • Lower Lea Valley has the greatest capacity for homes, with a minimum of 50,000 predicted
  • Isle of Dogs has the highest projected employment capacity, at 110,000 jobs

Areas designated as Opportunity Areas receive support from the GLA to develop Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks, which set out spatial planning strategies, including infrastructure provision, spatial integration, transport, access and public realm guidelines.

Importantly, these documents give both developers and local communities a timescale for development, and a sense of certainty that change is supported and will take place as part of an agreed strategy. The GLA’s 2011 OAPFs report is available here [pdf].

Future of London will be looking at Opportunity Areas in more detail throughout 2015; if you would like to contribute, please contact us.