GLA launches London vision

London is about to get an insight into what it could look like in years to come with the Greater London Authority’s draft Spatial Development Strategy.

As part of Mayor Ken Livingstone’s vision for London, with architect Richard Rogers a key adviser on urban design issues, the draft will provide strategic planning guidance for all future developments. It is still at an early stage and is broad in its initial remit. But the GLA expects the strategy to provide a clear picture on the nature and extent of this guidance and will carry statutory force within the planning system.

And with the Verdict on the High Street 2001 report (DW 26 April), suggesting that high streets need to give greater consideration to their design as an integral part of the city centre to compete against alternative shopping channels, the implications of the SDS for the design industry are manifold.

Through policies for the development and use of land, that will be reflected in each London borough’s Unitary Development Plans, detailed planning guidance will be available to ensure that the visual parameters of each borough are adhered to. One of the core issues identified is town centres and major retail and leisure developments.

The draft proposal launches on 8 May, as part of a three-month consultation period. The GLA aims to complete a more detailed planning document by early next year.

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