Preeti Gulati Tyagi, Planning Policy Team Leader, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Carolyn Goddard, Enforcement Team Leader, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
James McCool, Transport, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Catrina L Stewart, Co-founder, Office S&M
Ian Chalk, Director, Ian Chalk Architects
Tom Mitchell, Architect, Met Workshop
Cordula Weisser, Director, ZCD architects
Honoré van Rijswijk, Co-founder, Frontwork
1. Community engagement and buy-in is essential to ensure small-site development is site-appropriate and accepted in the long-term. This can be undertaken in a myriad of ways such as community consultation sessions, door-knocking, phone apps and neighbourhood Design Guides, when appropriate.
2. Small-site development is important in reaching the ambitious housing targets set out in the new draft London plan. As outlined in the London Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, 2017; small site works such as basement, rooftop and infill schemes, will provide 29% of overall housing capacity.
3. The draft NPPF and draft London Plan provide boroughs with the tools to take a more pro-active role in new small-site development. Plans and design codes encourage boroughs to provide additional housing and higher residential densities on small sites and give them the scope to choose where development is appropriate.
4. A Construction Management Traffic Plan (CTMP) can be a good way to regulate and minimise disruption during small site construction. LB Kensington & Chelsea have undertaken a proactive approach to monitoring construction sites, to ensure resident complaints are streamlined and pre-empted when possible, and overall neighbourhood impact is kept to a minimum.
5. Well-designed small-site developments can ensure a neighbourhood’s character is not only maintained but enriched. As outlined in H2: Small Sites, a neighbourhood’s character evolves over time and has to change in appropriate locations to reach required density levels. Architects should be engaged, even in the smallest extensions, to make sure development is site-appropriate and enhances the character of the local area.
6. High-density developments must create opportunities for creative green spaces. The draft London Plan is clear that that any loss of existing biodiversity or green space should be mitigated and replaced elsewhere and sets an environment target to increase green cover in London to more than 50% by 2050.