Following receipt of Robert Jenrick’s damning letter and schedule of required modifications to his ‘Intend to Publish’ London Plan on the 13th March 2019, the Mayor can be excused for shifting his immediate priorities to mitigating the impact of Covid-19. On the 24th April Sadiq Khan issued a response to the Housing Minister, acknowledging the need to engage constructively with his officials to find ‘acceptable’ wording so the Plan can be published. Given the substantial nature of the alterations needed to address the comments from the Housing Minister, it is unlikely that there will be a ‘quick fix’. With the Mayoral and Local Elections delayed until May 2021, Sadiq has additional time to consider his position and take the statutory steps to agree a modified Plan.
As the focus now shifts to how the development industry will be able to return to some sort of normality post Covid-19, the certainty of a sound Spatial Development Strategy becomes ever more necessary in reducing risk within the process. It seems inevitable that this political game of ‘football’ is set to continue for some time. With that in mind, the adoption of the new London Plan, within Sadiq’s current term, is by no means certain. Bell Cornwell are hosting a Virtual Panel Discussion on the 22nd May from 9.30am to 11.00am: ‘The London Plan – to be or not to be?’. The event will explore the application of the emerging London Plan to date, whilst considering what may need to change if it is ever to be adopted. Providing the planning perspective, Bell Cornwell will be joined by guest speakers providing expert knowledge on transport, sustainability, viability and community engagement considerations. If you would like to register for the event please click here.