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Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, has made his comments on Westminster City Council's unitary development plan. ...
Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, has made his comments on Westminster City Council's unitary development plan.
Responding to Westminster's replacement plan, Mr Livingstone recognised the many areas of agreement between himself and Westminster Council. He also welcomed the constructive engagement between the two sides and said he appreciated the council's initial comment that they found most of his representations helpful.
According to convention, his comments were based on areas where he thought the plan could be improved. His objections focused on Westminster's proposed policy on tall buildings, provision of affordable housing, car parking space and development of a 24-hour city.
The mayor believes that in appropriate locations, such as Paddington, high buildings of architectural quality can be of benefit to business, the local community and London as a whole. Westminster's central location makes it integral to the development of London as a 24-hour city, and the mayor has suggested that in Central London the UDP is too restrictive of commercial activities.
Ken Livingstone also wants to see targets for affordable housing in borough UDPs and he questioned why Westminster's target for affordable housing on new developments has been set at 25%. The mayor's housing commission recommended last year that new housing developments should include 50 per cent affordable housing.
The mayor said: 'I welcome this constructive engagement with Westminster. This kind of dialogue between boroughs and the GLA is vital if we are to achieve an integrated, London-wide approach to planning which I believe will be of benefit to the city and its residents.'
The GLA Act 1999 requires all London UDPs to be in general conformity with the mayor's spatial development strategy. The strategy, currently in preparation, but will be published in 'proposals' form shortly, and available in consultation draft form later this year. Given this overlap, most of the mayor's objections reflect national planning policy, but some raise concerns which can be elaborated as the SDS evolves.
Friday 23 February is the deadline for all objections to Westminster's unitary development replacement plan. Westminster now has to negotiate with all objectors and the plan will go on deposit for the next stage of consultation later this year
Westminster's statement can be viewed here.
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