What is the role of the London Plan and what does it do?

    The London Plan is the Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London prepared by the Mayor of London.   

    It sets out the overall strategic plan for London, bringing together the geographical aspects of the Mayor’s other strategies and policies, providing an integrated framework for the development of London over the next 20-25 years.

    The Plan sets out economic, social, environmental and transport policies related to planning in London.  It is legally part of each of London’s Local Planning Authorities’ Development Plan and must be taken into account when planning decisions are taken in any part of Greater London.

    There have been 2 previous London Plans.  The 2004 London Plan produced by former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and the 2011 London Plan produced by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson. All of the other iterations of the London Plan from 2004-2016 have been alterations to either the 2004 London Plan or the 2011 London Plan.  The current adopted London Plan is The London Plan 2016 (consolidated with changes since 2011).  

    These plans can be viewed here https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan

    The new draft London Plan which has been produced by Mayor Sadiq Khan will be the third London Plan.   Once finalised, it will replace the London Plan 2016.

    For further details of the stages of the preparing the London Plan and next steps, please see https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/what-new-london-plan

    What stage is the London Plan at?

    The draft London Plan is at an advance stage and is currently going through its final stages for publication.  The Intend to Publish (ItP) London Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State (SoS) in December 2019.   

    The Secretary of State issued a number of directions related to specific policies in the Plan in March 2020.  The Mayor is currently in discussions with the SoS to address the directions to finalise the Plan.  

    For further details of the individual stages of preparing the London Plan since 2016 and next steps, please see https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/what-new-london-plan

    What is the role of London Planning Guidance?

    London Planning Guidance provides further detail and guidance to support the implementation of London Plan policies.  

    The guidance does not undergo an examination in public in the same way as the London Plan is required to as it is based on policy that has already been through that process.   It is however subject to consultation which the Mayor takes into consideration in finalising guidance documents.  The guidance is therefore a material consideration in planning decisions.

    Why was the draft guidance published for information in March 2020?

    A number of pieces of guidance were published for information in advance of the Mayoral elections that were scheduled for May 2020 and could not be consulted upon during the pre-election period (i.e 6 weeks prior to the election).  Due to COVID 19, the Mayoral elections, along with all other local government elections were postponed to May 2021.

    A number of these pieces of guidance are now being formally consulted upon in advance of the final London Plan being published.

    What is an Equality Impact Assessment?

    Equality Impact Assessment

    The Public Sector Equality Duty requires the Mayor to consider equality impacts on protected groups in his decision making. In exercising this duty, the Mayor should have due regard to the need to:

    1. eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Act;
    2. advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;
    3. foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

    There are 9 protected characteristic groups:



    Gender reassignment

    Marriage or civil partnership 

    Pregnancy or maternity/paternity

    Religion or Belief



    Sexual orientation

    What informal engagement has already happened on the Good Quality Homes for All Londoners guidance??

    2018/19  - A Sounding Board comprised of Mayor’s Design Advocates, Housing Developers, and Borough representatives.

    Aug 2018  - GLA workshop facilitated by Mae Architects and the Stephen Laurence Charitable Trust engaging young Londoners on the key quality of life indicators and priorities from their perspective.

    Oct 2018 - Urban Design London Workshop with London Boroughs on the design-led approach to site optimisation

    March 2020 - The pre-consultation draft was launched at the Designing a City for All Londoners: Good Growth by Design event. A question and answer session followed a presentation on the guidance to an audience of built environment professionals.  


    What if I need an alternative survey format?

    If you have an accessibility requirement and you require an alternative survey format in order to respond to this consultation, please contact us by email at londonplan@london.gov.uk or telephone us 0207 983 4591. 

    You will need to state which consultation/s you are referring to, supply your name and postal address and state the survey format you require.

    You can then either submit your response by emailing londonplan@london.gov.uk or by sending a hard copy to:

    Free post RTJC-XBZZ-GJKZ

    The London Plan Team

    Greater London Authority

    City Hall

    The Queen’s Walk

    London SE1 2AA 

    Can I view all the survey questions before responding to the consultation?

    Please find a PDF version of the survey questions in the document library for ease of reference and to assist completion of the online survey.

    Can I respond by email to this consultation?

    We strongly encourage responses via the online survey, particularly from organisations with access to online facilities, as this greatly assists our analysis of the consultation responses and ensures that we make best use of resources. 

    If you require a specific survey format for accessibility purposes or if you do not have access to online facilities, please refer to the FAQ on alternative survey formats.

    How can I submit tracked changes of the draft London Plan guidance?

    In response to this consultation, if you would like to submit tracked changes of the draft Good Quality Homes for All Londoners guidance, please email the tracked changes in a Word document to QualityHomesLPG@london.gov.uk 

    If you would also like to respond to the survey questions and/or if you have any further comments on the draft London Plan guidance, please complete the relevant online survey/s for the draft London Plan guidance. Completing the online surveys greatly assists our analysis of responses. 


    Where could area design codes be introduced?

    • Design codes enable local planning authorities to take control of development coming forward and ensure that development and change has a positive impact.  
    • It’s up to the borough to decide what type of development a design code should promote, but the code should follow the design and technical standards set out in Module C and the design policies in the London Plan.  
    • Areas with consistent form or character can benefit from design codes – which could be used to increase density sensitively and consistency - for example in areas where building form has resulted in lots of end of road infill sites or where two storey terraces could be extended upwards.  
    • Design codes could apply to small areas such as one street, or larger areas/ multiple streets, where development patterns are very similar. 
    • Module B provides template example design codes which local authorities can use as a starting point for their own locally specific codes.

    Is the new design-led approach to determining capacity more open to interpretation than previous methods?

    • The new design-led approach to determining a site’s capacity set out in the GQHFAL guidance is required by London Plan policy for site allocations.
    • This means that planners will now know what is suitable for allocated sites in terms of building type and scale and mix of uses from having examined them and the surrounding context carefully.   
    • Site allocations (which will have been through the design-led approach) will then go through the Local Plan making process and will form part of a borough’s Development Plan. 
    • If a site was to then come forward at a density significantly above or below what has been determined by the local authority, there may be potential to refuse planning permission. 
    • This was not the case with past methods that didn’t examine context in detail and provided very broad density ranges that were often far removed from what was then built out. 
    • This new design-led approach to optimising site capacity is clear, standardised and more accurate, and as such, less open to interpretation than past ways of calculating site capacity.  

    Are viability considerations factored into the model?

    • Having an understanding of context is key to understanding the viability of a site.  
    • By carrying out the design-led approach and determining what scale of building can be built, what uses are appropriate in that location, or what the specific site requirements are, you can understand better the building you might design and the layout of site. 
    • As context has already been considered, the modelled design would inherently provide a viable option for that site.