Will delivery or detail prevail in the London Plan Examination in Public

16 Jan 19

Heroes and villains shall emerge as the weeks progress and what shall be said by the key players around the table remains to be seen.


The draft London Plan Examination in Public kicked off yesterday (Tuesday 15th January 2019). It is arguably the most important and significant London Plan in a generation, which seeks to establish, in some considerable detail, the urban planning Vision for London at least until the next Mayor of London is elected.

The traditional planning battle of Greed v Need, albeit one fought on the field of one of the politest and peculiarly twee conflict resolution processes in the English system, broadly unchanged since the war, has begun. As usual, a wide range of landowner, developer, political, professional, community, amenity and resident groups shall engage in this battle over the coming weeks.

Although the proceedings commence formally this week, matters won’t really get going until next week. The best seats in the house are being reserved for Tuesday 5th February (housing requirement), the 8th and 11th February (housing supply and targets), 26th February (affordable housing) and the 18th, 19th and 20th March (the CAZ, offices, industry and business space). Other dates and sessions are available, subject to your own persuasions and levels of interest.

Heroes and villains shall emerge as the weeks progress and what shall be said by the key players around the table remains to be seen.

I expect that the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government are likely to get stuck into the Greater London Authority (GLA) on the homes vs jobs challenge. Whilst Historic England (HE) won’t need to turn up as the latest submission draft version of the London Plan was astonishing in its ability to include not only more detail but also every principal comment proposed by HE during the early stages of consultation. How do they do it!?

Once the histrionics are stripped away it is the plan’s high level of prescriptive detail, the cumulative impact of polices and viability that need to be challenged. That is if the London Plan’s fundamental ability to deliver and make good on the massive amounts of all types of development, needed now more than ever, are to be realised.

Iceni Projects has been heavily involved in the London Plan, on behalf of clients as well as through our work with London First. I know many young members of our tribe shall be additionally attending on a more personal basis being both passionate urban planners as well as being on the receiving end of our city’s housing crisis, so please do look out for future updates via our www.iceniprojects.com and on Twitter @IceniProjects as the EIP unfolds over the coming weeks!