Sadiq Khan vows to protect ‘the lungs of the capital’

The Mayor of London has strengthened his commitment to protect London’s Green Belt and other open spaces for future generations and set out plans to help make more than half of London green by 2050.

His draft London Plan, the strategic planning framework for the city, strengthens safeguards which prevent harmful development on vital green land both within and surrounding the capital.

This means a planning application which involves building on the Green Belt will be refused by the Mayor if it does not meet rules on what is appropriate.

London’s Green Belt makes up almost a quarter of the capital’s land area and benefits London’s air quality, as well as helping reduce the risk and impact of flooding and providing habitats for London’s wildlife.

The Mayor will work with London’s boroughs and other partners to ensure that public access to the Green Belt is maintained and that its overall quality is enhanced.

The draft London Plan also includes guidelines for increasing green infrastructure and a framework to help boroughs and developers determine how much should be required in new developments.

Sadiq will also instruct his City Hall to review and update existing planning guidelines on the ‘All London Green Grid’ to help boroughs to prepare their own local green infrastructure strategies.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “When I became Mayor I made it clear that delivering more of the genuinely affordable housing that Londoners so urgently need would be one of my top priorities.

“London needs 66,000 new homes every year to meet its increasing need and put right years of underinvestment. But development must not be done at any cost: the Green Belt is the lungs of the capital and must be protected.

“I firmly believe we can build the homes Londoners need without sacrificing the Green Belt. This will mean more development on brownfield land, town centres becoming denser, incorporating more green infrastructure in our streets and developments and being more creative with how we develop the hundreds of small sites across the capital.

“Since I took office I have refused a number of developments which would have caused harm to the Green Belt. With my new London Plan I’m sending a clear message to developers that building on or near the Green Belt must respect and protect this vital natural resource.”

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