diamond geezer

 Wednesday, December 18, 2019

While all eyes have been on Westminster, the business of governing the capital has continued. Last week the Mayor launched the latest version of his London Plan, two years after putting the draft version out for consultation. We're now at the "Intend to Publish" stage, the final version before assent is given, the document now coming in at a meaty 622 pages. Once ratified it'll form the basis of long-term planning as far ahead as 2041, "a blueprint for future development and sustainable, inclusive growth".

When the draft came out I picked out six maps to show you, and from this latest version I'd like to show you six more. You can learn a lot about London from a map.

This is one of eight maps showing growth corridors spreading out from central London, in this case a segment running east along the Thames Estuary. Everything shaded mucky blue is an opportunity area, which in this case is the majority of the land. Eight numbered hotspots are shown, between them delivering another 127,000 homes by 2041 - the equivalent of one additional London borough. The Royal Docks and Beckton <2> is inner London's largest contributor, while London Riverside <3> along the fringes of Barking and Dagenham and Havering comfortably tops that. South of the river, even 20 years after the millennium there's still room for 17,000 more homes on the Greenwich peninsula. Across this estuary zone an extra 120,000 jobs would also be delivered, with the Royal Docks taking the lion's share, followed by London Riverside and Bexley Riverside <8>. Note the proposed Overground link between Barking and Thamesmead, with additional potential road crossings either side. [page 51]

This map shows the CAZ, or Central Activities Zone - the global centre of excellence which generates much of the UK's wealth. For planning purposes, everything within the solid red line is central London. The whole of the City and the West End is included, with fingers of development pushing out into Paddington, King's Cross and the East End. South of the river the growth areas of Nine Elms and Elephant & Castle are included, along with a swathe of the South Bank. Docklands is so important that it's had to be tacked on as a separate 'satellite', with Stratford and Old Oak Common lined up as potential office-space additions. The London Plan intends to promote and enhance the CAZ, as well as supporting the quarter of a million people who live here. I just like the idea of seeing precisely where it is. [page 80]

I also like this map, because I think it explains a heck of a lot about the capital. It shows London's Town Centre Network, a hierarchy of places where we work, shop and play. I've blogged about this before, with case studies, but I reckon this map's clearer than last time round. Knightsbridge and the West End are the sole examples of the International category, both absolute magnets for global travellers. After that come 14 Metropolitan centres, widely scattered, such as Uxbridge, Wood Green, Croydon and Romford. Most are some way from the centre, but Stratford and Shepherds Bush make the grade thanks to Westfield, and Docklands is in there too. The third rung down is Major centres, of which Wandsworth boasts 4 but Enfield, Barking & Dagenham and Bexley only 1. Below this come the more ubiquitous District centres, although you'll see there are several parts of the capital that don't even have easy access to one of those. I feel quite blessed where I live - you may not be so lucky. [page 99]

These are London's Strategic Industrial Locations. Not all Londoners work in services, some still have to make and manufacture things, hence the need for SILs to be strategically protected. It helps to co-locate industries wherever possible, so fewer people live within polluting distance, and also to ensure sites are close enough to transport networks and other infrastructure. The largest such industrial areas can be found downstream on the Thames, around Dagenham and Erith, where most of London never has to see them. Also highly significant is Park Royal in west London, with a further thread along the Grand Union Canal. The River Lea also really stands out, while that big blotch down south surrounds Beddington Lane. By contrast several inner London boroughs have zero SILs, while Richmond and Barnet are the only outer London industry-lite boroughs. [page 286]

This is great, this is listed buildings per square kilometre. Ignore the white symbols along the Thames, they're London's four World Heritage Sites at Kew, Westminster, the Tower of London and Greenwich. The red areas are Scheduled Monuments, for example Barking Abbey, Fulham Palace, Grim's Dyke and the WW2 fighter pens at Kenley airfield. Instead look at the shades of purple, where the darkest colour means over 350 listed buildings per square kilometre and the lightest means less than five. Most of the 'history' is concentrated in the centre, because that's where London began, with tentacles stretching out towards Hampstead and Greenwich. Ancient settlements in Richmond, Kingston and Chipping Barnet also register, as does Harmondsworth just north of Heathrow. Meanwhile a listed desert spreads east of Barking, and south of Bromley, and there's not much going on in Brent either. Much of suburbia was once nothing more than fields. [page 319]

Finally, let me show you the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land. Not much of London is Green Belt, because this was originally prescribed as a ring around the capital, but substantial portions of what's now Hillingdon, Havering and Bromley fall within. The London Plan confirms that development proposals which would harm the Green Belt "should be refused", and its de-designation "will not be supported". Metropolitan Open Land is less familiar but is separately designated at a local level. It includes, for example, Mitcham Common, Hounslow Heath and several green corridors around Greenwich. Tower Hamlets has virtually none. Richmond has plenty. Importantly MOL is afforded the same status and level of protection as Green Belt, and its boundaries should only be changed "in exceptional circumstances". All of this still leaves an awful lot of London clear for development... it's just that most of that is built on already. So many maps tell a story, but the London Plan's maps also help set the future. [page 357]

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream