Thursday, March 11, 2010

Consultation on Lewisham's Planning Policy

A Council consultation is currently underway on the Local Development Framework (LDF). This is the proposed new overarching planning policy, which if approved will replace the existing Urban Development Plan (UDP). It is these policies, along with the London Plan, that planning officers and planning committees have to use when reaching decisions on planning applications.

This is the third attempt Lewisham's Planning Department has had at consulting on this document after the two previous version of the LDF had to be scrapped when government guidelines changed. Lewisham Green Party councillors submitted detailed comments on the previous version and we will do so again on this version. A few of our points from previous consultations were taken on board and incorporated into the new framework, but most were not.

I would encourage local residents to respond to this consultation and make their views known. Concerns over the major developments planned for Lewisham town centre have been far and away the biggest issue on the doorstep when we've been speaking to Ladywell residents recently, particularly those living near to Loampit Vale. This document enshrines in policy the 'growth corridor' vision for Lewisham, Deptford and Catford town centres and it's important that residents views on this are taken on board.

That said, however far this planning framework is from what I'd like to see, it is a considerable improvement on the existing UDP. It's been incredibly frustrating over the past 4 years to sit on a planning committee with local planning policy that is not fit for purpose and leaves you all too often powerless to turn down inappropriate developments.

You can see and respond to the consulation online here. The deadline for comments is Tuesday 6th April.

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