Draft London Plan consultation

Your chance to comment

Draft London Plan Consultation

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has demonstrated his determination to get London building the affordable homes it needs by ripping up existing planning rules and calling on homebuilders to develop sites at higher housing densities to substantially increase capacity in the capital.

In a major housing policy in his new draft London Plan, the Mayor has removed outdated constraints and rigid density guidelines to give a significant boost to the number of new and affordable homes given planning permission in the capital. In his new Draft London Plan, the capital's strategic planning bible, the Mayor has set out how he will ask homebuilders to maximise the use of valuable land in the city - and that means developing sites with more homes on them than existing developments nearby that would have had to follow previous guidelines. The Mayor believes increased numbers of homes should be built on sites near town centres or good public transport, reducing the need for car parking spaces within developments. The Mayor's Plan says proposed development on sites that do not clearly maximise housing density should be refused, and that councils – working with developers and housing associations - should take a case-by-case approach to each site to determine its capacity based on surrounding infrastructure.

The new policy also emphasises the importance of good design and will be applicable to buildings of all types, including low-rise, medium and high-rise. This new approach is supported by a far stronger policy on housing standards, including minimum space standards, which sets out how a home should be designed. The Mayor is clear that, while he is encouraging homebuilders to make best use of land in the capital, he expects councils to refuse any applications that come forward with homes that do not meet his new standards.

The draft London Plan also includes the Mayor's key strategic housing commitment for 50 per cent of all new homes built to be genuinely affordable – to be achieved through planning, investment and building on public land. It strengthens his new approach offering private developers a fast-track route to planning permission if they reach a minimum of 35 per cent affordable.

New ambitious targets have been set for councils across the capital, as part of an overall London Plan figure of 65,000 homes a year - roughly double the current rate of homebuilding. For the first time, targets in the Plan show how capacity can also be reached on small sites, which must now make a significant contribution to housing supply. The Mayor believes there is capacity for 24,500 homes a year on London's small sites – typically those between one and 25 homes – and asks boroughs to approve applications for small developments unless they do not meet his strict design standards. It forms part of the Mayor's commitment to stimulate growth for small and medium-sized builders in the capital, which has for too long had an over-reliance on London's large developers building the majority of homes in the city.

Vice-President Practice, Eddie Weir MCIAT said:  ‘We are encouraged to see good design at the heart of this plan to address an ongoing problem.  CIAT will be formulating a response on behalf of the Institute to ensure the technology of architecture is considered and we would ask members to contribute their views.’

Further information on this consultation can be found on the link below:


In order that we can formulate an Institute response to the questions and issues that are raised, please forward your comments to Graham Chalkley, Assistant Practice Director, at graham@ciat.or.uk by Friday 23 February 2018.