Key role on Greater London Authority will allow urban taskforce head to implement his vision.
London mayor Ken Livingstone has asked Lord Rogers, head of the government’s urban taskforce, to put his ideas into practice in the capital.

It is understood that Lord Rogers has been offered an influential post on the Greater London Authority that will give him the opportunity to implement the recommendations of his Towards an Urban Renaissance report.

The role is as yet unspecified, but it is thought that Lord Rogers will have powers spanning the environment, planning and housing departments of the GLA.

A source close to Lord Rogers said: “I think the job will pretty obviously be some kind of environmental or strategic role. What is very interesting is that it’s an open brief.”

Labour peer Lord Rogers voiced concern earlier this year that the government had been slow to act on the ideas of the urban taskforce. He has also been critical of the contents of the Millennium Dome and Prince Charles’ Poundbury village in Dorset, which was hailed by the government as a model for future urban regeneration.

Last year’s urban taskforce report included a radical blueprint for regenerating inner cities. It called for high-density housing, large-scale pedestrianisation and the creation of housing estates with limited parking, as well as restrictions on greenfield developments and acceleration of the planning process.

All this is in line with the views of the mayor, who has already started a two-year consultation process to decide the best way to implement congestion charges.

Livingstone is also opposed to two London developments because of fears about their impact on transport. (The two projects are London & Regional’s Crystal Palace leisure scheme and Chelsfield’s £500m White City leisure and retail development.)

An urban taskforce source said it had already been in discussions with the GLA. He said: “The GLA wants to take on board our recommendations. Nicky Gavron [deputy mayor and GLA planning adviser] has had a long association with the urban taskforce.”

Gavron, a former chair of the London planning advisory committee, is working on spatial development strategy for London. This is expected to toughen planning-gain policy across the capital.

In his capacity as urban taskforce chair, Lord Rogers this week visited Newcastle to advise the city council on its £400m Going for Growth redevelopment, a major 20-year project to reverse the decline in the city’s population.

Lord Rogers was unavailable to comment on the new post.

A spokesperson for the GLA declined to comment on the job offer.