Planning magazine reports that the frontrunners in the battle to succeed Boris Johnson as mayor of London have both pledged to protect the capital's green belt at the same time as ramping up the delivery of new housing.
Catriona Riddell, strategic planning specialist for the Planning Officers Society, told the magazine that new development in the metropolitan green belt was inevitable as pressure to meet housing targets increased. She said the only question would be whether that development came as the result of a region-wide review, a selection of sub-regional reviews, or private sector-led appeals.
"Whoever gets in, the mayor has a difficult job to deliver the housing that is needed in London," she said. "There should be a strategic review to see where are the best places to do that, and I would have thought that the mayor, as part of the London Plan review, would have to look at that in the same way that local authorities do."
Riddell said the lack of governance structures would be an issue, following the end of Regional Spatial Strategies, but that new models could be created. She said that in many cases it was not possible to isolate the impact of development on London's parts of the metropolitan green belt from its immediate neighbour authorities.