London Plan

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The London Plan
London Plan Cover 2017.jpg
Cover of the current London Plan
Author Mayor of London
Cover artistPhotograph by Richard Linton
CountryEngland and United Kingdom
SubjectStatutory planning document of Greater London
Publisher Greater London Authority
Publication date
March 2016
Media typeOnline

The London Plan is the statutory spatial development strategy for the Greater London area in the United Kingdom that is written by the Mayor of London and published by the Greater London Authority. [1]


The regional planning document was first published in final form on 10 February 2004. In addition to minor alterations, it was substantially revised and republished in February 2008 [2] and again in July 2011. [3] [4] In October 2013, minor alterations were made to the plan to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework and other changes in national policy. [5]

The London Plan of March 2016 was published, and amended, in January 2017. [6] The current plan has a formal end-date of 2036.

As of March 2021, a new London Plan was adopted by the Greater London Authority, planning for the next 20-25 years. [7]


The plan replaced the previous strategic planning guidance for London issued by the Secretary of State and known as RPG3 . It is a requirement of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 that the document is produced and that it deals only with matters that are of strategic importance to Greater London. The Act also requires that the London Plan includes in its scope:


The plan is a spatial development strategy for the Greater London area and has six objectives. The current objectives, as adopted by the 2011 and 2016 revisions, are to ensure that London is:

  1. a city that meets the challenges of economic and population growth
  2. an internationally competitive and successful city
  3. a city of diverse, strong, secure and accessible neighbourhoods
  4. a city that delights the senses
  5. a city that becomes a world leader in improving the environment
  6. a city where it is easy, safe and convenient for everyone to access jobs, opportunities and facilities
London Plan, 2011 and 2016

The objectives were previously updated in 2008 following the Greater London Authority Act 2007:

  1. To accommodate London's growth within its boundaries without encroaching on open spaces
  2. To make London a healthier and better city for people to live in
  3. To make London a more prosperous city with strong and diverse long term economic growth
  4. To promote social inclusion and tackle deprivation and discrimination
  5. To improve London's accessibility
  6. To make London an exemplary world city in mitigating and adapting to climate change and a more attractive, well-designed and green city
London Plan, 2008

The original 2004 objectives were:

  1. To accommodate London's growth within its boundaries without encroaching on open spaces
  2. To make London a better city for people to live in
  3. To make London a more prosperous city with strong and diverse economic growth
  4. To promote social inclusion and tackle deprivation and discrimination
  5. To improve London's accessibility
  6. To make London a more attractive, well-designed and green city
London Plan, 2004


The geographical scope of the plan is the London region England Region - London.svg
The geographical scope of the plan is the London region

The 2016 plan had chapters:

1Context and strategy Demography, external forces, quality of life
2Places Sub-regions, Outer London, Inner London, Central Activities Zone, opportunity areas, intensification areas, town centres
3PeopleHealth, housing, social infrastructure
4EconomyEconomic sectors and workspaces
5Response to climate change Climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, waste, contaminated land
6TransportIntegrating transport and development, connectivity
7Living spaces and placesPlace shaping, environment and landscapes, air and noise pollution, emergency planning, Blue Ribbon Network
8Implementation, monitoring, and review
AnnexesOne to six

Opportunity areas

The plan identifies dozens of areas of opportunity, which are where the bulk of efforts will be concentrated, with an aim at reducing social deprivation and creating sustainable development. The opportunity areas will be able to accommodate around 5,000 jobs each or about 2,500 homes, or a mixture of the two. The opportunity areas will mostly be town centres as opposed to suburban developments in the boroughs, although those are mentioned as important in terms of job growth and quality of life. By definition, an Opportunity Area is brownfield land with significant capacity for development. This contrasts with an Intensification Area that can be developed to higher than existing densities with more modest economic change. [8]


Development must not encroach on green spaces London Landsat.jpg
Development must not encroach on green spaces

For the purposes of the plan, London is divided into five sub-regions. From 2004 to 2008 the sub-regions were initially the same as the Learning and Skills Council areas established in 1999. [9] Within this scheme there was a separate Central sub-region and four others around it. The London part of the Thames Gateway zone was entirely contained within the East London sub-region. The 2004–08 sub-regions each had a Sub-Regional Development Framework. [10]

The sub-regions were revised in February 2008 as part of the Further Alterations to the London Plan. These sub-regions each radiated from the centre to combine inner and outer London boroughs. [11] The 2008–11 sub-regions, each had its own Sub Regional Implementation Framework. [12]

In 2011 the sub-regions were revised again. A smaller Central sub-region was reintroduced, the South sub-region was reintroduced, and all boroughs in the Thames Gateway were returned to the East sub-region. [13] The 2011 sub-regions are maintained in the 2016 London Plan. [14]

Throughout these revisions has been a separately defined Central Activities Zone which includes areas with a very high concentration of metropolitan activities.

Activity centres

Sutton, a metropolitan centre 1 Crossroads Sutton Surrey London.JPG
Sutton, a metropolitan centre

The London Plan identifies 201 activity centres in the city. All activity centres are categorised into:

Smaller local and neighbourhood centres are also referred to in the plan but are not listed.

International centres (2) Knightsbridge, West End
Metropolitan centres (14) Bromley, Canary Wharf, Croydon, Ealing, Harrow, Hounslow, Ilford, Kingston, Romford, Shepherd's Bush, Stratford, Sutton, Uxbridge, Wood Green
Major centres (36) Angel, Barking, Bexleyheath, Brixton, Camden Town, Canada Water, Catford, Chiswick, Clapham Junction, Dalston, East Ham, Edgware, Elephant and Castle/Walworth Road, Eltham, Enfield Town, Fulham, Hackney Central, Hammersmith, Kensington High Street, Kilburn, King's Road (East), Lewisham, Nag's Head, Orpington, Peckham, Putney, Queensway/Westbourne Grove, Richmond, Southall, Streatham, Tooting, Walthamstow, Wandsworth, Wembley, Wimbledon, Woolwich
District centres (149) Acton, Addiscombe, Angel Edmonton, Archway, Bakers Arms, Balham, Barkingside, Beckenham, Bethnal Green, Blackheath, Brent Street, Brentford, Brick Lane, Brompton Cross, Bruce Grove/Tottenham High Road, Burnt Oak, Camberwell, Canning Town, Carshalton Village, Chadwell Heath, Cheam Village, Chipping Barnet, Chrisp Street, Church End Finchley, Clapham High Street, Colindale/The Hyde, Collier Row, Coulsdon, Crayford, Cricklewood, Crouch End, Dagenham Heathway, Deptford, Downham, Dulwich – Lordship Lane, Ealing Road, Earls Court Road, Earlsfield, East Beckton, East Finchley, East Greenwich, East Sheen, Eastcote, Edgware Road/Church Street, Edmonton Green, Elm Park, Erith, Feltham High Street, Finsbury Park, Forest Gate, Forest Hill, Fulham Road, Gants Hill, Golders Green, Green Lane, Green Lanes, Green Street, Greenford, Greenwich West, Hampstead, Hanwell, Harlesden, Harold Hill, Harrow Road, Hayes, Hendon Central, Herne Hill, Highams Park, Hornchurch, Kentish Town, Kenton, King's Road (West), Kingsbury, Lavender Hill/Queenstown Road, Lee Green, Leyton, Leytonstone, Mill Hill, Mitcham, Morden, Muswell Hill, Neasden, New Addington, New Barnet, New Cross and New Cross Gate, New Malden, Norbury, North Cheam, North Chingford, North Finchley, North Harrow, Northwood, Notting Hill Gate, Palmers Green, Penge, Petts Wood, Pinner, Plumstead, Portobello, Praed Street/Paddington, Preston Road, Purley, Rainham, Rayners Lane, Roman Road (East), Roman Road (West), Rosehill, Ruislip, St John's Wood, Selsdon, Sidcup, South Chingford, South Harrow, South Kensington, South Norwood, South Woodford, Southgate, Stamford Hill, Stanmore, Stockwell, Stoke Newington, Surbiton, Swiss Cottage/Finchley Road, Sydenham, Teddington, Temple Fortune, Thamesmead, Thornton Heath, Tolworth, Twickenham, Upminster, Upper Norwood/Crystal Palace, Wallington, Wanstead, Watney Market, Wealdstone, Welling, Wembley Park, West Green Road/Seven Sisters, West Hampstead, West Norwood/Tulse Hill, West Wickham, Whetstone, Whitechapel, Whitton, Willesden Green, Wood Street, Worcester Park, Yiewsley/West Drayton


There have been a number of amendments to the London Plan which have been incorporated into the current version that was published in February 2008. Early alterations were made covering housing provision targets, waste and minerals. Further alterations to the plan covered climate change; London as a world city; The London Economy; Housing; Tackling social exclusion; Transport; London's geography, the sub-regions and inter-regions; Outer London; Liveability (including safety, security and open spaces); and the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The mayor gained new statutory powers following the Greater London Authority Act 2007.

Following the 2008 change of mayor, a new review was initiated in July 2008 and a new London Plan published in July 2011. As of this date, modifications are made to fully comply with the National Planning Policy Framework.

In 2013, London Mayor Boris Johnson proposed early minor alterations to the London Plan that were aimed at preventing boroughs from setting rent caps or targets for affordable rented homes in their local development frameworks. [15] The alterations were approved in a vote by the London Assembly in September 2013. [16]

Alterations made since July 2011 were consolidated in the London Plan of March 2016, which was published and amended in January 2017. [6]

Following the 2016 change of mayor, London Mayor Sadiq Khan outlined proposals towards creating a new London Plan. [17] A draft version was published in December 2017, with the final version of the latest London Plan released in March 2021, and formally coming into effect on 2nd March 2021. [18] [19]

February 2004 The London Plan
October 2005Draft Alterations to the London Plan: Housing Provision Targets Waste and Minerals
December 2005Reviewing the London Plan: Statement of Intent from the Mayor
September 2006Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan
December 2006Early Alterations to the London Plan on Housing provision targets, waste and minerals
February 2008 The London Plan: Consolidated with Alterations since 2004
July 2008Planning for a better London
April 2009A new plan for London: Proposals for the Mayor's London Plan
October 2009The London Plan: Consultation draft replacement plan
December 2009Minor alteration to the consultation draft replacement London Plan
April 2010Crossrail Alterations
July 2011 The London Plan
February 2012Early Minor Alterations to the London Plan
October 2013Revised Early Minor Alterations to the London Plan
March 2015Further Alterations to the London Plan
March 2016 The London Plan: Consolidated with Alterations since 2011
December 2017Draft version of the updated London Plan released for consultation
August 2018Minor changes published
March 2021 The London Plan 2021

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