Upcoming London Elections
Potential Planning Committee Delays and Changes in planning policy direction for some London Boroughs
Planning Policies and decisions have become increasingly intertwined with local elections and the leading political party’s position on development. You just need to look at what played out in South Oxfordshire to see the impact a shift in political parties can have on plan making, National Government interference and development decisions.
With the recent boundary reviews across London Borough Councils, there is speculation of perceived marginal boroughs turning, such as Wandsworth, Barnet, Croydon, Tower Hamlets, Harrow and Kingston (to name but a few).
What does this mean for those working in property development?
The biggest challenges for those working in the London property market over the coming months will be anticipating likely changes to the political make-up of boroughs planning committees (and what this means for the outcome of decisions) and whether a change in political position locally is likely to result in changes to local planning policies and guidance in the medium to long term. This is particularly relevant in London Boroughs where Local Authority Plans are due a refresh or review.
In addition to the above post-election challenges, those with existing planning permission applications in London boroughs may find their applications delayed whilst new planning committees are introduced after the May elections. Therefore, for time sensitive projects this can result in additional risks which need to be planned for.
It is important not to standby and allow this delay to happen to your project, instead be proactive with planning departments. Whilst often difficult, speaking with the assigned case officer or their team leader about the likely impact of the upcoming May elections on the decision and whether your application needs to be determined at committee can help prepare.
How can McLoughlin Planning help?
Whilst we are not political analysts, monitoring elections helps us in providing our clients with advice in terms of planning strategy for new developments and preparing for changes in the determination timeline or potential decision makers.
Chris Moore has over 7 years of experience working with London Boroughs on behalf of clients to successfully realise their development goals, especially in redevelopment, conversions, new build and enforcement.