Garden Grabbing Policy Dropped in Revised London Plan

I haven’t heard it commented on but the following policy statement from policy 3.5 of the current London Plan

Boroughs may in their LDFs introduce a presumption against
development on back gardens or other private residential gardens
where this can be locally justified.

Is dropped in the Draft replacement London Plan (where the best match is policy D4 which drops this.  There is nothing in the Housing or Design Chapters and checking every mentions of gardens in the replacement plan nothing.

This will certainly cause a general conformity problem to those borough”s like Harrows whose plan presume against development on Garden Land.

The NPPF offers very little support to boroughs who may quarrel with the Mayor.  All it says in para. 55  is

Local planning authorities should consider the case for setting out policies to resist inappropriate development of residential gardens, for example where development would cause harm to the local area.  

In considering that case they have to be in conformity with the London Plan.

Indeed the key here is the new small sites policy H2 which with a swift dose of prestidigitation magically solves all of the shortfalls of previous London Plan’s and  – hey presto – as of by magic it alone magically makes the SHLAA figure match the SHMA despite increasing housing targets by 50% and not increasing London’s land footprint by one inch.  This requires something dramatic, and the dramatic something is a dramatic upzoning of small housing sites across much of London.  A policy which would have very limited effect if you had to keep the exact same footprint of housing redeveloped if replaced, as you would not be able to replace one row of houses with a block of flats facing in either direction front to back. Ill be logging about the small sites upzoning – from an international perspective – in a future post.

3 thoughts on “Garden Grabbing Policy Dropped in Revised London Plan

  1. Nothing like a bit of densification to bring a feeling of community and togetherness to an area where the population is diverse and transient. Conversely, cramming people together, in poorly designed, cheaply built and maintained rented accommodation, is a sure fire recipe for dysfunction, tension, and alienation.
    Quantity over quality is the order of the day in everything planning these days it seems.

  2. Sorry, not familiar with ES story. Andrew’s entry is based on reading the emerging policy documents. He appears to surmise that, in the abscece of a clear commitment to the existing policy, because it’s been dropped, speculative backland development (garden grabbing) is inevitable.
    Indeed, one would have to suggest that, having refused the opportunity to use the duty to cooperate, as a way of breaking into some areas of the green belt, upward and backland development would have to become the policy.

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