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Mayor publishes social infrastructure guidance

Words: Laura Edgar

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has published planning guidance that aims to ensure the capital has the schools, hospitals, open spaces and places of worship it needs.

The Social Infrastructure Supplementary Planning Guidance (pdf) is, according to Johnson, aimed at planners and developers. It intends to tackle some of the city’s challenges, including health, education, sport and faith.

Sir Edward Lister, deputy mayor for policy and planning, said: “London’s incredible population boom is testament to the fact that this is the best big city on the planet. For that to continue, we need to make sure that we have enough schools, GP surgeries, community venues, green spaces and places of worship and that they are situated in the right place.”

The guidance includes a section of ‘lifetime neighbourhoods’. These are defined as places that have a safe, healthy, supportive and inclusive environment for people to live and work, “with which they are proud to identify”.

Johnson says ‘lifetime neighbourhoods’ incorporate facilities such as health, education, community, cultural and sport.

With the population of school-age people in London growing by 107,000 between 2001 and 2011, the mayor would like existing schools to be expanded and new schools to be built. Schools should, he said, be sustainable and provide adequate transport infrastructure around the school site, among other things.

Johnson said: “This Supplementary Planning Guidance sets out realistic steps to promote the delivery of infrastructure that is well phased and located to meet identified need.

“One way of achieving this is through co-location of social infrastructure facilities with each other and with housing development so that we can help to meet both housing and social infrastructure needs at the same time.”