The Council is consulting on the revision of the Local Plan. This is the basic document by reference to which all planning applications are decided.
The Council is under pressure from both the Mayor of London and from central government to deliver over 4,000 new homes in the Borough over the coming years.
The Society’s Planning Committee is drafting the Society’s response to this important consultation, and would welcome views from members, which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of key issues have already been identified:
– housing/homes are treated as a single commodity and an overarching priority. But there is no attempt to distinguish between different types of accommodation, for example between luxury flats built for absentees and affordable housing for key workers.
-the consultation paper is full of references to “growth” and “development” without any explanation of what these terms mean and why they should be encouraged in Conservation Areas, of which Chelsea has many.
- the ability of the Council to drive change is exaggerated. Most investments are made by the private sector on the basis of its judgement of what the market will bear.
– protecting existing work space, so safeguarding jobs for the well being of the local population and in particular school and college leavers, as well as supporting increases in office work space.
– creating new affordable managed workspace (as the City Corporation has done in the City Fringe) to reinforce the creative hub around the Lots Road Employment Zone in particular, because dynamic emerging enterprises often need hot house conditions not remote working, while finding their feet.
– sustaining the economic contribution of the Borough, generated by the 19,300 people working in offices here, through improving transport, especially by increasing the capacity and frequency of trains on the West London Line and by actively managing the Kings Road to ease congestion through use of dedicated traffic wardens and CCTV Cameras to enforce yellow boxes etc. to deter infringements.
– determining that no significant development sites in this densely populated borough should in future be approved unless and until it can be shown that in step with such developments (and not a decade later) the additional social, educational, public health and physical infrastructure will be built up to absorb the impacts of such large scale developments.
– prioritising affordable extra care housing for the elderly and disabled in the parts of the Borough which already have very high levels of social housing like Riverside Ward where such housing on the Pound site was publicly promised some years ago.
– reintroducing a key worker housing waiting list so that more local people doing valuable public service jobs can live in this area, although Community Housing schemes should also accommodate those able to afford intermediate rental housing set at London Living Rents.
– protecting all surviving social and community spaces from bids to undermine their uses in our densely populated wards.