London Plan Matter 3a: Subregional strategy

Written evidence from the Vauxhall Society
The civic society for the north of Lambeth (from and including Stockwell)and adjacent parts of Wandsworth and Southwark.
20 Albert Square London SW8 1BS

3.1 Are the boundaries of the sub regions appropriate
3.2 Does the draft Plan give adequate strategic guidance for the subregions?
3.3 What is the status of the sub-regional frameworks and the timetable for their implementation, and should they be in the form of Supplementary Planning Guidance or annexed to the Plan?

The division of the outer London area into subregions, and the treatment of Central London differently from the outer areas has merit, but the boundaries do not reflect, the realities as they should. Putting the City in with 'East' because it is seen as desirable to create strong links between them is silly. The City is clearly part of Central London in any sensible definition. Indeed, the Central Area might be extended a bit more to the East. Drawing a boundary is no substitute for finding policies which will actually achieve linkage. The boundaries should be fuzzy. Areas near the boundaries are affected and affect what happens the other side of them Consultations and discussions of frameworks and plans should take account of this and not be strictly confined within the boundaries. Policy 2A1 should have a sentence added 'Subregional planning for areas near boundaries should be co-ordinated and consulted upon across subregional boundaries' We support the sustainability criteria set out in Policy 2A.6, and propose the addition of 'and by the less able as well as by the fit' in criteria 3.

The Central subregion should surround the Central Action Zone
Special Policy Areas, Opportunity Areas, Areas for Intensification

Plans for all these must respect their existing character, their place in their local context and must be overwhelmingly locally generated. Consultation about them must go beyond their boundaries to include the neighbouring areas that will be affected by them, and they should not be allowed to become pockets of affluence without connection to their neighbourhoods.

The necessary public transport improvements must take place in advance of development.

The Blue Ribbon Policy, protecting the Thames, access to it and views of it, should have priority, in considering designation of these areas. Designation of 'opportunity areas' should not allow views of the river to be taken over by private interests.