Legacy Local Plan

August 2014

The Legacy Corporation's Local Plan at last provided the opportunity to see how and if community representations were reflected in this 'final' Plan. At one consultation meeting, the Legacy Corporation Planning Department explained how.

 

Legacy plan Map download

At Hackney Wick with its established artist community, the Local Plan would protect its creative use by restricting rents in redevelopments and extending the neighbourhood's conservation areas.
At the threatened Carpenters housing estate (that saw community resistance to prevent its demolition to make way for a new UCL campus) the Local Plan now committed to 'protect social housing quotas from net loss' and 'protect and re-provision community facilities'.
At the north-east Chobham area the much publicised site for Community Trust housing remained absent even in the final Plan 2014 and there were no references to the promised return of the removed community assets like the Manor Garden allotments. The expectation was that if granted, they would be provisioned at the very end in any space left over.

With the policy of introducing high profile cultural institutions UCL and the V&A into the Olympic Park (the former no longer to be sited on the Carpenters estate site) the Legacy Planning team stressed the Plan's 'flexibility' so as not to adversely affect the overall housing quotas.
 

Community apprehensions with the Local Plan turned to what was outside the Plan rather than what was in it - with parallel changes in FALP (Further Alterations to the London Plan), with national policy changes outside the Plan such as the re-assesment of affordable housing costs (increasing it to 80% of market rent) and so forth.
As one community paper put it: “traditionally 'affordable' meant homes for working-class, low-income people. It has been redefined and now it means affordable for graduates and young professionals”.

 

The overall consensus amongst community groups was that the Local Plan left key community concerns undetermined. Given the executive powers of the Mayor's office (in a Mayoral Development Corporation) and creeping concerns about the financial viability of the Legacy Corporation, communities were potentialy exposed to 'financially necessitated' tweaking and compromise in the future. At the Carpenters estate, the proposed redevelopment by Newham Council and its policy of leaving homes empty heightened the fears of local residents.
 

Mutiple responses were submitted through the London Tenants Federation on housing matters. In addition, submissions were made concerning the waterways in the LLDC areas that still remained closed off to public access:

  • Since their closure are part of the preparations for 2012 Games development, communities and users of the waterways have waited for the removal of the temporary barriers, and reinstatement of rights of access for roaming, mooring, rambling, fishing on parts of our waterways which remain closed off.
  • The plan (Policy BN.2) is vague and a cause for concern that parts of the waterways could be compromised as historic commons affecting the community rights above.
    Several sections of the community need assurance that they will not be discriminated against or excluded by selective policies; thus both clarity and consultation are needed.
    Clarity on rights of access is the main concern.

 

Recommendations:

  • So as to give a clear direction to development proposals affecting the waterways the wording must be “required to” rather than the weaker “expecting”.
  • Positive support for public access; “prevent disruption” and “improve access as appropriate” are not sufficient to address concerns of many user groups.
  • The policy should set a target for freight transport by the waterways in connection with major developments so it's possible for community user groups to form a picture of the planned usage of sections of waterways concerned.
  • There should be reference to maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity of the waterways; “improving ecological potential “ is not sufficient.