Jenrick announces four-week delay to his response on London Plan

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that he will take an extra four weeks to respond to a revised version of the London Plan that was submitted to him by the mayor before Christmas.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick. Image by Chris McAndrew
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick. Image by Chris McAndrew

In December, London mayor Sadiq Khan rejected 15 recommendations made by planning inspectors examining the plan, including a recommendation that he drop the plan’s blanket opposition to any development of green belt sites.

Khan produced a revised "intention to publish" (ItP) version of the plan, which he submitted to central government in December alongside a letter explaining his decisions.

The housing secretary has been considering whether the plan meets national policy requirements and has the power to intervene and issue directions relating to its adoption.

This week, Jenrick wrote to Khan saying he will respond by Monday 17 February – four weeks longer than the six week deadline outlined in legislation.

Jenrick’s letter said: "I note that there are a significant number of the inspectors’ recommendations that you are proposing not to follow either in part or in full.

"The ItP London Plan arrived in the run up to the general election on the 12 December 2019, just before the Christmas break.

"Therefore, pursuant to regulation 9(2) (b) of the Town and Country Planning (London Spatial Development Strategy) Regulations 2000, I am advising you that I am taking an additional four weeks in which to consider your proposed London Plan."

Last year, a panel of inspectors examined the draft new London Plan and published their recommendations in October.

Of the inspectors' 55 recommendations, Khan accepted 28 in full, 12 in part or with an amendment, and rejected 15. 

He agreed to recommendations to reduce the plan’s ten-year housing target by almost 20 per cent, from 649,350 homes to 522,850, and to more than halve a target for housing delivery on small sites.

However, the Labour mayor snubbed the inspectors’ finding that the plan’s blanket opposition to the development of green belt sites through both plan-making and decision-taking "is not consistent with national policy".

He also rejected their recommendation that he should commit to a review of the capital's green belt as part of the next London Plan review.

Khan further turned down the inspectors’ calls for policies relating to airport expansion to be removed.

After Jenrick makes a decision on the plan, the document must also be considered by the London Assembly before it is adopted.

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