Merton welcomes report on London Plan

Merton Council welcomes the report from the Panel, which was set up to examine the Mayor of London’s draft London Plan.

The draft London Plan details the Mayor’s new planning strategy for London. Following its launch last year, a government appointed Panel carried out a Public Examination of the draft plan and there was an opportunity to submit views on the Plan, which Merton did. The Panel then produced a report, which was made public on 22 July 2003.

Merton welcomed the draft plan but had made representations about certain aspects to the Panel, including:
Arguing for the retention of the Wandle Valley Regeneration Corridor in the Plan
Supporting an Area for Intensification (housing and employment) in South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood, and that this to be extended to Mitcham
To call for transport improvements, such as extensions to Tramlink, to support this new housing and employment.

The Council is pleased that the Panel largely supports its views. The Report says the Plan:
Should promote more employment opportunities in South London
It concludes that the whole of the Wandle Valley should be a strategic priority for a Development Framework being prepared for South London
In addition the Panel thinks there is scope for more development in town centres, including Wimbledon town centre, rather than this being concentrated in Central London.

Transport is also featured in the report and Merton is pleased that the Panel recognises the success of Croydon Tramlink in improving accessibility. The Report says that more detailed justification should be provided in the Plan for extensions to Tramlink. This is a point made by Merton at the Examination in Public and has been agreed by the Panel.

The Panel also agreed the Mayor’s target of 50 per cent affordable housing in new developments, which the Council would support – so long as there is public subsidy to achieve this.

Also the Panel endorsed the Mayor of London’s housing policies, which aim to provide the widest choice for all people. This included the ‘lifetime homes standards’ policy, which encourages a percentage of new homes to be designed and built so they are accessible to disabled people, who may wish to live or visit the house at some stage.

Councillor Russell Makin, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning, said “Merton has argued for a ‘lifetime homes standard’ in its own Unitary Development Plan, but it was turned down by the Inspector. The inclusion of a planning policy in th