Boris named as Old Oak MDC Chair

The Mayor of London has published his new strategic plan for the capital, which increases the housebuilding target by 10,000 homes to 42,000 homes a year, and names him as Chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

The city-wide planning strategy that aims to deliver the economic, environmental, transport and social improvements that London will need over the next 20 years has been published by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The latest version of the London Plan sets out in planning terms how the Mayor thinks London will be able to manage its population growth until 2036, by which time the city will be home to more than ten million people.

It aims to take into account that the capital is now home to more people than at any time in its history, with more than 8.6 million people living in the city. Policies contained in the London Plan guide decisions on planning applications by councils and the Mayor.

The plan confirms that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson will chair the board of the new Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) which is due to come into existence on April 1, with Sir Edward Lister appointed Vice Chair. The OPDC has been established to drive forward the regeneration of the area and transform it into a thriving new district with up to 24,000 new homes and 50,000 jobs. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles confirmed that he supported plans to establish the OPDC in January and last week, legislation was laid to give the OPDC planning powers. The London Assembly also confirmed it was happy for the Mayor to move forward last December and Deloitte Real Estate has now been appointed to advise on preparation of a Growth Strategy for the area.

Key alterations to the London Plan include confirmation of figures set out in the Mayor’s London Housing Strategy, adopted in October 2014, that London has the capacity to build 42,000 homes a year – an increase of 10,000 from the last London Plan.

The Mayor says he is exploring how this potential could be expanded through town centre and opportunity area intensification. This would also help to address London’s estimated need of 49,000 new homes a year. This target has been developed through negotiations between the Mayor of London’s Office and local councils that have identified a third more developable land than in the 2011 London Plan.

The plan also contains detail on options to help local authorities protect pubs from being lost, where it is possible to do so. This is the first time that the important role of London’s pubs has been recognised in the London Plan and has been included following publication of a Greater London Authority report that stated that 900 pubs closed in the capital from 2003 to 2012. Local authorities are encouraged to “maintain, manage and enhance” them. The plan also supports councils in preventing the loss of pubs, if it can be demonstrated that they are “community assets”.

It increases the total number of Opportunity Areas in the capital from 33 to 38. New Opportunity Areas have been designated at Bromley Town Centre, Canada Water and Harrow and Wealdstone, the Old Kent Road corridor.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The London Plan is quite literally the capital’s planning Bible – driving development and setting out exactly what is and is not acceptable as we work to build a cleaner, greener, safer city that abounds opportunity, talent and economic activity. As the capital continues to flourish over the next few years, we will need to create hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs and the London Plan will be crucial in allowing us to sustain our position as the best big city in the world.”

Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Sir Edward Lister said: “London’s population has increased by an incredible two million people in the last 25 years – the equivalent of two Birminghams. ”

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