Planning Resource: "Government moves to hand London mayor new planning powers"

"The government has added a new clause to the Infrastructure Bill which would give London mayor Boris Johnson powers to make development orders granting planning permission for development on specified sites within the capital.

"Speaking during the bill's committee stage earlier this week, communities minister Stephen Williams said that the government had introduced the new clause to 'recognise the opportunity to plan proactively for housing and growth in London'.

"Williams said that mayoral development orders have been 'closely modelled' on existing local development orders.

"He said the process of making a mayoral development order 'would be initiated by the relevant local planning authorities, which would be any London boroughs in whose area any part of a site is located, and which would apply to the mayor to ask him to make a mayoral development order'.

" 'Thereafter, those London boroughs would have to agree before the draft order is published for consultation and the final order is brought into force,' Willliams added.

"Chancellor George Osborne announced in June 2014 that the London mayor would be able to grant new powers in housing zones, called mayoral development orders, to 'remove planning obstacles' and speed up developments.

"A prospectus, published by the mayor's office last June, invited London boroughs to submit proposals for housing zones, where housebuilding will be accelerated.

"Shadow planning minister Roberta Blackman-Woods told the committee that a 'number of questions' remain over the proposed orders.

" 'Local development orders do not have to have section 106 agreements applied to them,' she said.

" 'That has caused us and a number of organisations concern that the housing zones that the mayor of London is setting up, and to which mayoral development orders will apply, will not have any affordable housing attached to them'."

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