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"London's new infrastructure plan to look at new towns and green belt reviews, says GLA planner"

Link to Planning Resource

"London's new strategic infrastructure plan is likely to examine potential reviews of the green belt and whether new towns are needed to support the capital's growth, a top planner for the mayor Boris Johnson has said.

"Speaking at a briefing on the proposed revisions to the London Plan, John Lett, strategic planning manager at the Greater London Authority (GLA), revealed that the mayor’s upcoming, long-term '2050 Infrastructure Plan' would be 'asking unmentionable questions'.

"He said: 'It will be asking: Where is London going to grow? What’s the infrastructure needed to support that growth? It will be looking at green belt development, new towns, expanded towns.'

"Lett also promised that it would look at the possibilities of airports closing and new ones opening.

"He added: 'These are issues that are outside the planning system, but this debate is beginning.'

"Last July, the GLA revealed that the mayor would publish a strategic infrastructure plan alongside a revised version of the London Plan.

"According to the GLA, an interim report on what it describes as a long-term infrastructure investment plan is due this spring with a final report in the summer. It has said the plan would consider London’s needs up to 2050, examining a number of scenarios including airport locations, densities and the impact of technological change.

"Meanwhile, the draft Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP), published in January for consultation, raises the capital’s housing target to 42,000 homes a year up to 2036, up from 35,000 a year in the current plan."


Call for written evidence (now closed)
"The Mayor of London has commissioned work to create the capital’s first Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan.

"We want London to have the infrastructure needed to remain one of the best cities in the world to live, work and do business in. But we all know that London’s infrastructure is under pressure even as London’s population continues to grow. Current projections suggest London’s population will hit 10 million by the early 2030s. Climate change presents further long term challenges.

"Our aim in developing a long term infrastructure investment plan is to help the city prepare better for this growth over the very long term, while working out how we can overcome current problems and bring fresh thinking into delivering the infrastructure the city needs today.

"To that end, we are making a high level assessment of the full range of infrastructure delivery in the city, looking at how it is managed currently and what could be improved, and considering London’s strategic infrastructure needs up to 2050. The scope covers public transport, roads, energy, water, sewerage, waste, broadband and green infrastructure. Critical social infrastructure is also included – in particular the overall amount and approximate distribution of housing (including affordable housing) and school places. We also want to assess the magnitude of cost associated with the city’s infrastructure requirements; and consider how best to fund and finance our needs.

"Of course the city’s needs will change over time, and technological developments will affect what type of infrastructure is needed and how it is delivered. As such, we anticipate that the Infrastructure Investment Plan will be revisited periodically. We are taking a deliberately long-term perspective to ensure that over time plans can be revised to take account of changed circumstances.

"The first Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London will be produced in two stages – an interim report (inviting comment) in February 2014 and a final report in Summer 2014.

"As we work towards the first stage, evidence would be welcome on the following five core questions:
  • What aspects of London’s infrastructure will come under most pressure as London continues to grow?
  • What will London’s high level infrastructure needs be over the period to 2050? What will be the key projects for London? How could we fund these projects?
  • How can we change behaviours to reduce demand for key infrastructure? To what extent could demand side changes affect, for example, our energy needs or over-crowding on London’s transport?
  • What can we learn from other cities in terms of infrastructure planning, delivery and financing?
  • What are the main barriers to delivering infrastructure in London (at local as well as regional levels)? How might these be overcome?

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