London's construction rush overlooks environment

In a rush to meet London's demand for new houses, the Mayor is not meeting his own environmental objectives, a London Assembly report claims.

London is already one of Europe's most crowded cities, with 4,700 people per square km, and as its population continues to grow this translates into a pressing demand for new homes, schools, shops and offices.

In a report entitled "The Dash for Homes," the London's Environment Committee argues that in the rush to meet housing demand Ken Livingstone is overlooking his commitments to green energy, water use, flooding, waste and loss of open and green spaces.

Although not responsible for most planning permissions, the Mayor nevertheless makes decisions on some of London's biggest and most significant projects.

Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the London Assembly's Environment Committee said:

"We welcome improvements made so far to integrate environmental concerns into the planning process and understand the difficulties the Mayor faces in balancing his priorities. However, his decision-making process is far from transparent."

"We appreciate that there will be times when he has to make difficult decisions and understand there will be occasions when environmental aspects in planning applications are superceded."

"However, effective land use is vital for London's future generations, but development must be done in an environmentally responsible way at the same time protecting existing green space. The entire process has got to be totally transparent and it should be clear where, when and under what circumstances sacrifices are made."

By Goska Romanowicz



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