London Plan reaction: ‘Sadiq Khan has declared war on the suburbs’

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  • Protection for gardens against development scrapped
  • Removal of limits on density of new homes
  • No targets for number of family-sized homes
  • Squeeze on parking spaces to impact outer London
  • 50% affordable housing claim is only ‘strategic target’
  • ‘Entire approach signals downgrading in quality of capital’s housing’


Sadiq Khan has ‘declared war on the suburbs’ with a London Plan that will leave outer boroughs ‘browner, overcrowded and harder to get around’.

The Mayor’s major strategy document removes protection against building in gardens and abandons restrictions on the density of new developments.


Commenting, London Assembly member Andrew Boff said:


“With the publication of this London Plan, Sadiq Khan has declared war on the suburbs.

“For all the Mayor’s talk of increasing green space, we have no greater protection for the Green Belt* and are instead facing a land grab for every inch of garden in our capital.

“The abandonment of sensible unit restrictions will see families crammed into rabbit hutch developments with no provision for parking if they live anywhere near a train station.

“The Mayor’s entire approach signals a downgrading in the quality of the capital’s housing and will leave outer London less green, overcrowded and harder to get around.”


London Plan – main points

  • *Despite the Mayor’s claims to have increased Green Belt protection, everything announced in his earlier press release already exists in the current London Plan and National Planning Policy – contact to discuss further.


  • Protection for back gardens has been removed. In addition, it appears to be encouraging garden grabbing with a presumption in favour of ‘infill development within the curtilage of a house’.


  • The housing density matrix has been completely removed. This means there are no limits or guidelines to the appropriate density of developments in particular areas.


  • There are no targets for family homes, despite previous commitments. Boris’s housing strategy had a target for 36% of affordable homes to be family sized. There was no target in Khan’s housing strategy and we were told to expect this in the London Plan instead – however, it is not there. It also suggests that two bed units can be considered suitable for family housing.


  • Cycle standards do not appear to have changed much, despite the Mayor’s claims. The only real improvements are for short-term cycle parking in retail and office space, and food and drink visitors.

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