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Pro-growth planning could deliver 407,000 jobs | LocalGov



Pro-growth planning could deliver 407,000 jobs | LocalGov

Image: Charles Bowman /

A pro-growth planning environment could deliver 407,000 jobs and an additional 55.7 million square feet of commercial floorspace in central London by 2045, according to a new study.

The City of London approved 3.2 million square feet of major office space in the period January 2023-May 2024, followed closely by Southwark and Camden, according to the development consultancy Arup.

Over the same period, this trio of local authorities approved nearly eight million square feet of office space.

However, there has been a 53% fall in major office planning applications across central London over the past decade.

Arup’s report, Good Growth for Central London, indicates that more prescriptive approaches to development could see London lose out to competitor cities.

The ‘checks on growth’ scenario could see office floorspace in central London decrease by 5.9 million square feet by 2045, making it harder to attract leading businesses, resulting in fewer jobs and significantly lower economic output (£7.6bn vs £101.2bn).

Charles Begley, chief executive, London Property Alliance, said: ‘It is highly encouraging the new government is putting planning reform at the heart of its agenda for growth. Our analysis lays bare the profound impact of planning decisions on growth, particularly in relation to attracting investment to ensure buildings are sustainable and fit for purpose.

‘The essential role development plays in generating jobs and supporting local areas is all too often overlooked. We need to ensure that the planning system is optimised to turbocharge housebuilding and sustainable commercial development in central London, providing certainty and clarity to investors and local communities alike.’

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