The Mayor must be consulted on all planning applications that are of potential strategic importance to London.
In Greater London, the 32 borough councils, the City Corporation, the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and the Olympic Delivery Authority are the local planning authorities for their area.
However, these authorities must consult the Mayor on planning applications that are of potential strategic importance to London. Definitions of potentially strategic applications are determined by the government and are set out in the Mayor of London Order 2008:
In addition there are two types of development that the Secretary of State has separately required local planning authorities to consult the Mayor on. These are:
- development within a safeguarded wharf (external website)
- certain developments within protected vistas (external website)
The Mayor is required to provide a statement, with reasons, setting out whether he considers that the referred application complies with the London Plan. The Mayor must give this statement within six weeks of receiving the application. The Mayor’s statement (commonly known as stage I) is available from this website.
The GLA’s Planning Decisions Unit will acknowledge receipt and confirm the date by which the Mayor’s statement of compliance will be provided. This will be six weeks from receipt of all relevant documentation. The Planning Decisions Unit publishes a weekly list of referrals received.
Once the Local Planning Authority (LPA) has resolved to grant or refuse permission for a referable application it must send the application back to the Mayor with a copy of the draft decisions notice, the draft section 106 agreement and all representations it has received.
Following receipt the Mayor has 14 days to decide to either, direct the Local Planning Authority to refuse the application; direct that he is to act as the Local Planning Authority or take no further action (ie let LPA’s decision stand).
The Planning Decisions Unit will acknowledge receipt of this notification and confirm the date by which the Mayor’s decision will be provided; this will be 14 days from receipt of all relevant documentation.
Please note that a letter stating where documents can be viewed on the web does not constitute sending to the Mayor copies of relevant documents as required by the 2008 Order.
The Mayor’s decision (commonly known as stage II) will take the form of an officer’s report to the Mayor and a letter from the Mayor.
The stage I and stage II reports and letters can be viewed here. They are sorted by date or by borough.
Where the Mayor has directed the he is to act as the Local Planning Authority he will determine the application and any connected application himself. Before determining such applications he must hold a representation hearing, allowing the Local Planning Authority, applicant and other specified people the opportunity to speak.
Further guidance on the Mayor’s role in strategic planning applications can be found in GOL Circular 1/2008 PDF (opens in new window).