- The new policies herald the ‘Time of the Planner’ where pro- active, creative and decisive planning can help steer the future.
Policies have changed as research and debate highlighted the old ones were not being followed, were delivering higher density without more homes and that high density schemes need particular design, serving and management arrangements to be successful. Separation distances and sunlight/daylight are more significant in dominating design analysis that density.
New policies seem to be generally welcomed but lots of concern over the pressure they put on planners and designers to make the design led approach work. We need skills, experience, staff resource, time, money, advice and help to deliver.
While some welcome being released from ‘restrictions’ created by the matrix, others are concerned over the uncertainty a design led approach may bring. Being led by design may mean more collaboration from a very early stage and questioning things like separation distances and daylight levels.
LB Croydon has been applying policies similar to the LP for a while. Clarity, focus and communication are being used to ensure the public, development industry and all council departments are working together to deliver design led intensification.
This is a time of transition, some are still using the density matrix, there is a lack of definition of what is acceptable, for example in the tall building policy and a real need to align infrastructure delivery with development.
New policy asks for improvements to public space as part of a better, higher density London. Preserving the status quo is not enough.
Other concerns raised were:
Active frontages - are lobbies of corporate buildings really providing an active front, or a large, empty space?
Need for phased development to align with infrastructure delivery
Funding for policy documents/teams an issue. Croydon got government funding for Suburban Guidance
Need advice for DM planners in pre-app to respond to design led approach
Speakers: Attendees: 30
Richard Katz, Deloitte LLP
Steve Dennington, LB Croydon
David Birkbeck, Design for Homes
Ender Ozkan, Eurasia RWDI
Andy Martin, TfL
Gavin McLaughlin, TfL