GLA Consultation

25th November 2020

The Greater London Authority (GLA) is currently consulting on new guidance documents which are going to support the new London Plan once it is formally published. This consultation period for the documents ends on 15 January 2021 and include:

  • Good Quality Homes for All Londoners
  • The Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Opportunity Area
  • The Public London Charter
  • Whole Life Carbon Assessments
  • Be Seen Energy Monitoring Guidance
  • Circular Economy Statements

We have summarised what they cover into categories below.

Good Quality Homes

The GLA have published their anticipated guidance on Good Quality Homes. The substantial four-module guide sets out how to optimise site capacity (part A), assessing small housing developments (part B), housing quality and standards (part C), and housing design (part D).

This will replace existing guidance, in particular the outdated Housing guidance from 2016. The consultation on Good Quality Homes runs from 13 October 2020 to 15 January 2021 and anyone can comment via surveys on the GLA’s website.

The new modules do not reinvent design guidance for residential or mixed use developments in the capital, however there is a new emphasis which reflects the approach proposed in the recent MHCLG White Paper, published in August 2020 (read about it here: Planning for the Future) to increase digitisation of the planning system. The White Paper proposes to ‘take a radical, digital first approach to modernise the planning process’.

Several digital resources are promoted through the modules, including an ‘indicative capacity calculator’ which should assist developers and particularly designers and architects to design a development that optimises the site, taking into account constraints, opportunities and land uses.

There is also what appears to be, throughout the documents, an increased willingness to consider proposals that truly maximise urban sites with ‘back land development’ and increased building heights. Detailed guidance is given in Module B about delivering small scale housing sites and the particular considerations for different scenarios. This is encouraging for developers and property owners with smaller plots to maximise the use of their land.

Following the consultation period, the GLA will review the responses and publish the final guidance in summer 2021. Speak to one of the team today about these proposals and how they may provide opportunities for your sites.

Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Area

The Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside area, from Canning Town to Beckton along the river Thames and including Royal Albert Dock and City Airport, has been identified as the subject of an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF).

The GLA has published this framework to guide all forms of development and infrastructure in the area, led by significant residential and employment development. This growth will account for around 67,000 new homes and around 150,000 new jobs over the next 20 years.

The consultation runs from 14 October to 27 November 2020. Get in touch with the London team today to find out more and understand the potential for your site in the area.

Public London Charter

As part of the emerging London Plan, the Mayor committed to developing a Public London Charter to set out the rights and responsibilities for the users, owners and managers of public spaces.

The importance of public spaces has been heightened by the pandemic, shining light on the crucial role green spaces play in positive wellbeing. The draft Public London Charter consists of eight principles including:

  • Public Welcome
  • Openness
  • Unrestricted Use
  • Community Focus
  • Free of Charge
  • Privacy and Data
  • Transparency
  • Good Stewardship

Although the Charter is not about the design of public space, it establishes the principles for the management and maintenance of these areas, and will no doubt become a prevalent consideration within planning applications that include public amenity space.

The current consultation runs from the 13th October to 15th January 2021. Get in touch with us to find out more about the Charter and its relevance to your proposals.

Becoming a Zero Carbon City

In April 2020, the Mayor published draft guidance on the requirements for Circular Economy Statements, Whole Life-Cycle Carbon Assessments and Be Seen Energy Monitoring Assessments within planning applications.

The GLA has now published further guidance on these topics which supersedes the previous advice and is “presented in a slightly different structure; however, the processes and methodologies set out in the guidance remain the same”.

As we reported previously (Sustainability Standards), this sustainability guidance will gain increasing weight and importance in the decision-making process as the focus on meeting Zero Carbon targets returns. In the determination of major planning applications, this guidance is already being referred to in certain cases and it is important to be aware of the implications when preparing planning applications. The consultation for this latest guidance runs until the 15th January 2021. Speak to one of the team today about your proposals and the implications of this guidance.

If you wish to comment on any of the documents which are currently open for consultation, do not hesitate to contact the Bell Cornwell London office. Our personalised service will ensure that your thoughts on these documents are heard. | 020 3960 1530

The consultation closes on 15 January 2021 and the documents can be found at

Geoff Megarity, Senior Planner

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