London mayor announces additions to plans for new home building in the city

Plans to deliver tens of thousands of new homes in London through the creation of new opportunity areas have been announced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The Mayor wants to create four new opportunity areas in the London boroughs of Southwark, Bromley and Harrow to help boost regeneration and potentially deliver 11,100 new homes.

The proposals are part of a package of changes the Mayor has drawn up to his 2011 London Plan, the document that sets out the future development of the city. They are now open to a 12 week public consultation, to be followed by a public examination later this year, and are likely to be adopted by the middle of 2015.

Known as the Further Alterations to the London Plan, the aim is to update the document in line with the Mayor's 2020 Vision for the capital and address the key issues arising from an unprecedented population boom that will see London become the first city in Europe to be home to 10 million people by 2030.

Proposed alterations include designating the Old Kent Road corridor, Bromley Town Centre, Canada Water and Harrow and Wealdstone as new opportunity areas which will be London's main locations for new development over the next 25 years with significant capacity for new housing, commercial and other uses supported by existing or planned improvements to public transport.

By establishing Opportunity Areas, and working closely with London boroughs and partner agencies, the Mayor says he will be best able to deliver significant social and economic regeneration.
Also part of the plan is ensuring that Old Oak Common can reap the enormous benefits of plans to build a super hub High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail station. Old Oak Common currently falls within the Park Royal opportunity area. The Further Alterations to the London Plan propose that it becomes an opportunity area in its own right in order to help transform the area into a thriving new district with up to 24,000.

It aims to promote a strategic forward looking approach to the delivery of new electricity infrastructure to accommodate London's growing demand. Working with Government, regulators, Distribution Network Operators, developers and other stakeholders to encourage the allocation of land and investment to support new substations.

The plan will nurture the growing digital creative cluster at Tech City in Shoreditch so that it becomes a business hub of major international significance and explore the potential for a medical research cluster at Whitechapel associated with the Queen Mary University London.

As part of the vision there will be funding through the Mayor's Vision for Cycling for the transformation of up to four outer London borough town centres into cycle friendly mini Hollands. These areas will benefit from very high levels of spending concentrated on relatively small areas to make them, over time, into places every bit as cycle friendly as their Dutch equivalents.

On top of this will be the creation of cycling Quietways across London, routes aimed at those who would like to cycle, but are put off by having to do it on busy roads as well as improvement to cycle parking quantity, quality and locations across London.
‘London is the greatest place in the world in which to live, work and do business. As the capital continues to flourish over the next few years, we will need to create over half a million new jobs and a million more people will have to be housed. That's why it is crucial that we plan strategically for the future, to ensure we have a cleaner, greener, safer city that abounds opportunity, talent and economic activity,’ said Johnson.

Further Alterations to the London Plan also confirms figures set out in the Housing Strategy, launched by the Mayor last November, that London has the capacity to build 42,000 homes a year. The Mayor is exploring how this potential could be expanded through town centre and opportunity area intensification. This would also help to address London's estimated need of 49,000 new homes a year.

 The potential to construct 42,000 homes a year is an increase of 10,000 from the 2011 London Plan. It has been developed through negotiations between the Mayor of London's Office and local councils that have identified a third more developable land than in the 2011 London Plan.