London mayor absorbs DFL into London Development Agency in bid to streamline operations

Design for London (DfL) is to be absorbed into the London Development Agency (LDA) as part of Boris Johnson’s bid to streamline city operations.

Boris Johnson

The body, set up 18 months ago to advise the mayor on design, will merge with the LDA’s land and infrastructure directorate. It will take responsibility for land holdings, environment projects and area planning, with an expected budget of £70-80m.

DfL director Peter Bishop is to head up the new division. He will become a director at the LDA on 1 August to lead the integration process, which is expected to last six to eight weeks.

Bishop said: “You could say this was the end of DfL or see it as a huge opportunity. There are obviously frustrations about being a free floating organisation. There have been times when we have put an awful lot of effort in and not a lot has come out.

“Now there’s the opportunity to take a lot of ideas and back them with spending budgets and put them into practice. It’s a logical move.”

He said he expected most DfL projects to continue but some small schemes may be “shed or wound up”.

Richard Rogers is expected to stay on as a design adviser to the mayor, though his exact role is still unclear. Bishop said the men were in discussions about the “best use” of the architect’s time.