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  • CarolineShah

Stop the "London" Plan: Calling all Londoners

Updated: Jan 4

Please donate to my fundraiser to take the London Plan to judicial review here

Shut Down but not Shut Up

The Mayor of London has yesterday sent an amended version of the London Plan to Robert Jenrick for the latter's approval. Given the Mayor has accepted all but one of Jenrick's instructions to change the plan, it is likely that Jenrick will approve the plan and the Mayor will publish the plan very soon.


We need to show Sadiq Khan and Robert Jenrick that we can come together to challenge the many aspects of the Plan that will harm our communities, neighbourhoods, and the natural and historic environment across London. We must show him our will to do what is right, even at Christmas and even during a Tier 4 lockdown.


The "Publication London Plan" continues to contain policies for heritage assets and open and green spaces that appear inconsistent with relevant national policies and which remove protection for the things that make London unique. They will lead to the further degradation and destruction of our local communities all across London. Housing targets will be even more ambitious, especially in so-called "opportunity areas" for mass, high-rise and dense development all over London; and local authorities will now have the ability to extend the boundaries of any "opportunity area" at will, leading to inappropriate development spreading to places where we thought our homes and neighbourhoods were safe from the ravages of over-development.


Changes to the London Plan also mean that protection of the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land can now been removed in order to facilitate development if a local authority believes that there are "exceptional circumstances" for doing so. Even worse, though, the Mayor has added last-minute wording to the Plan that requires Boroughs to make "as much use as possible" of "brownfield sites" and "undertilised land" to deliver housing - vague terms that are completely open to arbitrary interpretation by planners and which provide a recipe for even taller, denser and even more inappropriate development across our neighbourhoods with no requirement to protect heritage or the natural environments. And who will make the final judgement as to whether the land on which my or your home stands is "underutilised land" and therefore needs to be redeveloped at greater height and density?


This is also a recipe for disaster for protected habitats, such as Richmond Park SAC, Epping Forest SAC and the Lea Valley SPA, that are surrounded by areas that will be doomed to suffer massive development and multiplication of their populations in just two decades with no requirement to provide new green space and the ability to degrade and build on whatever green space exists today that does not bear a legal protection.


The effects of planned development across London on the scale laid out in the London Plan have not been properly considered. In Kingston, for example, there has been no environmental assessment at all of plans for growth that will see the population nearly doubling in just 22 years; and the requirement to consider the effect of pollution from increased road traffic has not been considered in establishing Borough housing targets across London


The Mayor, in his letter of 21 December 2020, says that: "My Plan is underpinned by the concept of Good Growth – growth that is socially and economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable."


This is clearly not the case. It seems that the Inspectors of the plan recognised the fact when, at the last minute and avoiding all public scrutiny, they downgraded the "good growth policies" in the plan to unenforceable "objectives".


We must seek the opinion of a judge on whether this plan is legally-flawed. We owe it to ourselves and to our children. It is their future that is at stake.


Please help me now.


You can donate to my fundraising to send a pre-action letter to the Mayor of London and Robert Jenrick and to start a case for judicial review here


Thank you as always,


Caroline

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