Government to consult on devolving further planning powers to City Hall
The Mayor of London is to gain planning powers over the capital’s protected views, under new proposals.
Chancellor George Osborne’s 2015 Budget said the government will “consult on devolving planning powers over sightlines and wharves to the Mayor of London, allowing the Mayor to accelerate provision of new homes by reducing planning delays.”
The capital’s views are currently protected through the London View Management Framework, a piece of supplementary planning guidance, and 13 vistas fall under the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (see box below).
Other measures for London announced in the Budget include:
- £1m of funding for the London Land Commission, to create a database of public sector land and to map brownfield land.
- Devolution to the Mayor of London and Greater London Authority (GLA) of power over the apprenticeship grant for employers budget and a role in the re-commissioning of further education skills provision in the capital.
- £34m towards the Croxley rail link project in Hertfordshire, subject to a £16m contribution from Transport for London and final approval of the scheme.
- £97m of funding and ring fencing of the local 50% share of business rate growth to support the regeneration of Brent Cross, which aims to create 7,500 new homes and 4.9 million sq ft of commercial development.
- £7m over five years towards the delivery of the Croydon Growth Zone, which aims to deliver over 4,000 homes.
London’s protected views
Certain views in the capital are protected through the London View Management Framework, a piece of supplementary planning guidance published by the GLA.
These include: six panoramas, such as Parliament Hill; three linear views, including The Mall to Buckingham Palace; 14 river prospects, among them Tower Bridge; and five townscape views, such as Parliament Square to the Palace of Westminster.
Additionally, London has 13 protected vistas which currently fall under the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. These are:
- Alexandra Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral
- The summit of Parliament Hill to St Paul’s Cathedral
- The summit of Parliament Hill to the Palace of Westminster
- Parliament Hill, at the prominent oak tree east of the summit, to Palace of Westminster
- The viewing gazebo at Kenwood House to St Paul’s Cathedral
- The summit of Primrose Hill to St Paul’s Cathedral
- The summit of Primrose Hill to the Palace of Westminster
- Greenwich Park, north east of the General Wolfe statue, to St Paul’s Cathedral
- Blackheath Point, near the orientation board, to St Paul’s Cathedral
- Westminster Pier to St Paul’s Cathedral
- King Henry VIII’s Mound in Richmond Park to St Paul’s Cathedral
- The centre of the bridge over the Serpentine to the Palace of Westminster
- The Queen’s Walk at City Hall to the White Tower.