Planning Forum meeting 22nd January 2020

2 mins read

Second meeting with Cllr Guy Humphries, current chair of the Planning Application Committee for Wandsworth. It followed the Council’s workshop on the future local plan the week before, which participants commented that it was well organised.

I attended on behalf of CJAG and noted that, although promised by Mr Humphrey at the last meeting, an official response to CJAG’s proposal for planning reforms has not been provided by the Council. Beside the minutes that are received later, I summarise below parts of the discussion.

London Plan

Officers told us that the Secretary of State has written to the Mayor that it will take longer (up to 17th February) for the government to comment on the London Plan due to the end of the year period and of course the general elections. This delay will affect the work made on the Local Plan.

The main change for the borough is a massive reduction of the housing target on small sites (below 0.25 hectares in size). A panel of Inspectors, following the plan’s Examination in Public earlier last year has criticised the Mayor’s small sites modelling (they wrote p38: “This approach is policy-led rather than being based
on any case studies or pilots“), which it concluded was neither effective or justified, leading to the removal of that policy and the adjustment of the plan’s ten-year housing target.

The new proposed targets are showing a reduction of 3,600 homes:

  • Draft London Plan Dec 2019:  (2019/20-2028/29) Ten-year housing target for small sites = 4,140 (total for London  = 119,250)
  • Previous draft London Plan 2017:  (2019/20-2028/29) Ten-year housing target = 7,740 (total for London  = 245,730)

Wandsworth is a little bit above the average target for a borough in London (14 boroughs are exceeding Wandsworth’s target). It must be noted that the London Plan is clearly highlighting that the strategic target is for 50% of all new homes delivered across London to be affordable.

The change is noticeable from the previous plan regarding the 10 years housing target for Wandsworth borough and is close to the current target:

  • Draft London Plan 2016:  (2015 – 2025) = 18,123 (total for London = 423,887)
  • Draft London Plan 2017:  (2019/20-2028/29) = 23,100 (total for London = 649,350)
  • Draft London Plan Dec. 2019:  (2019/20-2028/29) = 19,500 (total for London = 522,850).

The permitted development right to go upward for 1 storey is still under-discussion and an Article 4 direction will be discussed with Wandsworth to restrict the right when there will be a change from central government.

One-Way system update

A report was published last September with some changes in the design by TfL. The contribution from Wandsworth borough is still expecting to be £27.6m from S106 funding.

Status of SSAD

Nick Calder (Head of Development Management) said that the SSAD document were still very relevant and part of the local plan. However he added that the new Local Plan will be quite different from the previous versions, as there is no longer the 3 documents: Core Strategy, DMPD and SSAD. In other words he said that it would resemble the old DUP (used 15 years ago).

Tree Strategy

We are still expecting a tree strategy document which was promised for the end of …2018. We were told that councillors met last autumn for a final review of the draft, but the document needs refreshing due to the new commitments on climate change that the Council has decided. The document will eventually form part of the Local Plan.

Alton Estate

The press release which announced that the scheme was under-review was a mistake (“PR was inaccurate” we were told). The council is still waiting for a revised plan.

Terms & Reference

One of the officer said that the Planning forum group should have an official framework, listing the purpose and the way it works: how many time to meet, who is member, what is discussed, how is it organised, … etc. As suggested, the Council should provide a draft framework that groups and amenity societies will be able to amend.

Next meeting should be in July.

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