Mayor intends to publish strategy for London after Government fail to respond

The Mayor of London has announced plans to publish a key document offering guidance for various parts of the capital after central Government failed to reply to a prior submission.

In a letter sent to Robert Jenrick yesterday, Sadiq Khan stated:

“I subsequently wrote to you on 24 April 2020 setting out my intention to
work constructively with you and the importance of publishing the London Plan as
quickly as possible. Shortly after that time my officials provided MHCLG with a small number of proposed amendments to those directions, as you invited us to do, in order to make the directions workable in practice.

Unfortunately, I have not yet received your response to those minor amendments.”

The letter concedes the pressures of Covid but given the importance of this document questions why there has been no reply in almost eight months.

Crucial guidance

The London Plan is crucial to determine where future housing, office and industrial space is located and ensure suitable infrastructure is operating alongside. It also offers us a clue into changes we may see in certain areas.

In Charlton for example, it shows numbers at Charlton Riverside bumped up to 8,000 from 7,500 before a single home has been built. Well, you could include Valley House perhaps though that predates the current Charlton masterplan.

Latest draft London Plan numbers

The new London Plan is already outdated in some respects too, with numbers projected at Greenwich Peninsula already above and beyond levels in the plan. It states 17,000 homes at Greenwich Peninsula. Last month’s approval of Knight Dragon plans has taken levels above that, and other plots on the Peninsula raise it yet further including:

Enderby Wharf phase two will see 749 homes under plans revealed in October 2020 and covered here.

2015 plan for a cruise terminal and towers. The terminal has gone – towers remain in 2020 plans

Morden Wharf plans have 1,500 homes and were submitted in July 2020.

Morden Wharf is outside Knight Dragon area

And if we include future phases of Greenwich Millennium Village, we can add on another 1,500 homes.

GMV masterplan

That brings the Peninsula to over 20,000 homes rather than 17,000 in the new, unadopted London Plan.

Many other areas of growth in the London Plan are dependent upon public transport projects now mothballed. The Bakerloo Line is still unfunded yet 12,000 home are highlighted along the Old Kent Road. Many plans have already been approved. We face a lose-lose situation as either homes are built without adequate transport links and developers avid a levy to help fund an extension, or sites are mothballed for a decade during a housing crises.

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It’s hard to see population pressures subsiding in the near future as London continues to grow. The UK government recently announced that Hong Kong citizens can fast track applications for passports to move to the UK.

Woolwich is forecast to see 5,000 homes in the new plan as events supersede the document. The MOD have announced plans to sell most of Woolwich Barracks which while long predicated, was only recently announced. Other sites in Woolwich include:

Morris Walk estate rebuild (966 homes)

Connaught estate final phase (300+)

Front and rear of Woolwich Tesco (795 homes)

Spray Street (750 homes)

Red = Spray Street site. Blue = TfL DLR site

DLR sites – Unknown after 12 years of inaction. Sizable plot should see 300+

Armourers Court above eastern end of Crossrail station opposite Spray Street (500 homes)

Mortgramit Square (296 homes)

Mortgramit Square plans

Macbean Street site (622 homes)

New Woolwich leisure centre site (450-500) and homes on current site (unknown total)

Mast Quay phase two (218)

Woolwich Island Site (300 homes)

Royal Arsenal future towers and buildings on Maribor Park site (Possibly 2,000)

There’s numerous other smaller sites such as the former Catholic Club and King Henry’s Dock.

Beside Thames

A failure to reply to revised documents by Housing Minister Robert Jenrick in almost eight months is telling. Could it be a game as the Minister does little, Khan then intends to publish and voila, suddenly Khan is acting recklessly and alone with Jenrick and Conservative Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey then going on the offensive? Coming days and weeks will reveal more.

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Many thanks

J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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