Consultant Lichfields appointed to support expert panel
A review of the London Plan announced by the housing secretary just before Christmas is expected to be on his desk by the middle of this month.
In a major planning policy speech on 19 December, Michael Gove, secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said the capital’s plan was “not the right plan for London” and announced a review examining barriers to development.
The expert panel carrying out the study is led by Christopher Katkowski, a specialist planning barrister, and includes James Jamieson, a Conservative councillor at Central Bedfordshire Council, architect Paul Monaghan at AHMM and Dr Wei Yang, a town planner.
Lichfields has been appointed to support these expert advisers with the review, which will look at whether there are specific changes to London Plan policies that could facilitate urban brownfield regeneration in London for housing delivery in an appropriate manner.
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The expert panel’s quick-turnaround report is expected to be delivered to Gove by 15 January.
Gove has criticised the performance of housing delivery in London, noting that the 37,000 net additional dwellings built over the past three years fell short of Sadiq Khan’s London Plan target by around 15,000 homes.
The housing secretary wrote to the mayor on 18 December, telling him it was “not right or fair” for London to rely on more public subsidy when it was, he claimed, “regulatory complexity that so often makes new building too difficult”.
He had been responding to a November letter from Khan and the London Housing Delivery Taskforce, which asked for an additional £2.2bn in grant funding.
Gove said London would receive £4bn to deliver new affordable homes and noted that significant funding had already been allocated for infrastructure projects.
He also warned Khan: “If you cannot do what is needed to deliver the homes that London needs, I will.”
A spokesperson for the mayor of London pointed out at the time that London had “outbuilt the rest of the country since Sadiq took office in 2016” and claimed that housing completions in the city were “at the highest level since the 1930s”.
“This is despite the fact that decades of austerity, high inflation and a lack of national leadership has culminated in a major decline in housebuilding across the country,” they added.