As we continue our investigation into how we plan for a London with 10 million inhabitants, we look at the constraints – how does the Green Belt impact on the development of London? And the opportunities, what sort of infrastructure do we need in the future?
Of course the two are inextricably linked. Crossrail 2 will create substantial pressures in boroughs like Kingston for development in the Green Belt; if we seek greater connections to the Rest of the South East (ROSE) then substantial lengths of track will pass through areas where no new development can take place extending commuting times.
The LSE published a report in 2016 which suggested that one of the most promising ways to achieve strategic development would be along a limited number of corridors. These would be made up of a chain of centres along public transport links. As well as additional housing, these corridors would provide commercial and industrial space that is increasingly being squeezed out of London itself. The corridors would be bounded by ‘green wedges’ with green spaces which would be improved environmentally, aesthetically and for recreational purposes. Last month The LSE published a more detailed proposal for a corridor along the London/Stansted/Cambridge route which suggests a more rationalise allocation of land than the ad hoc development which is taking place currently. In the absence of any political will to address issues around the development and the Green Belt his is the sort of debate that needs to be encouraged and in which the Society will continue to play its part.