ADD2014 Upper Lea Valley OAPF Temporary specialist staff

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
23 August 2016
Decision by: 
Stewart Murray, Assistant Director of Planning

Executive summary

The Upper Lea Valley Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) is a joint project being undertaken with the London Boroughs of Enfield, Waltham Forrest, Haringey and Hackney and TfL. The area is anticipated to have significant development growth over the next 15-20 years linked to the Crossrail 2 project, which is one of the Mayors key growth commitments and will form a main element of the revised London Plan.
This decision requests approval for expenditure on the employment of a temporary member of staff up to the end of January 2016 to provide technical support for the Development Capacity Study and land use mapping, and produce specialist graphics and desktop publishing for the production of an updated Upper Lea Valley Opportunity Area Planning Framework document.


That the Assistant Director approves expenditure of up to £22,000, on employment of a temporary specialist member of staff at Grade 6 to7 to undertake graphics and  desktop publishing duties for the Upper Lee Valley OAPF project.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA Planning unit is working with the London Boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forrest and Hackney to prepare an updated Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for the Upper Lea Valley.  This will cover the opportunity area identified in the London Plan, and update the Framework published in 2013. The area faces significant immediate development pressures, particularly in relation to the Crossrail 2 project and industrial and residential land use allocation and therefore it is important that the updated OAPF is in place as soon as possible. 

1.2        It is essential that an assessment of development capacity and land use allocation, and specialist graphics and desktop publishing work is undertaken on this project to enable its delivery to a high quality standard. It is proposed that a specialist temporary member of staff is appointed at a Grade 6 or 7 for this purpose to enable the production of the document. They will be required to have experience in urban planning and previous knowledge of OAPF document requirements in this context.

1.3    A member of the GLA Planning Unit is leading in the production of this OAPF. They do not have the specialist skills required for this specific area of work, and the planning unit officer with relevant skills is working on another key OAPF. The boroughs do not have the specialist staff, and are unable to contribute resources to this piece of work as they have committed to a review of their Local Plans. 

1.4        It is estimated that up to £20,000 will be required to fund a temporary member of staff for 5 months to cover its various design phases, with an additional £2,000for printing costs. However, the time spent and money accrued on the project will be reviewed weekly.

1.5    The project is highly important as it contributes to the Mayor’s commitment to delivering Crossrail 2, which is a key driver of his jobs and growth agenda. It is estimated that the Upper Lea Valley can provide at least 20,000 jobs and 50,000 homes.

1.6    ADD290 and DD1410 approved spend totalling £106k for the Upper Lea Valley for the Development Infrastructure Funding Study. This new decision is a separate and standalone piece of work, albeit relating to the same area.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objective of this project is to produce the updated Upper Lea Valley OAPF consultation draft document in conjunction with the London Boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forrest and Hackney Council by January 2016.  It will then be published for public consultation.


Equality comments

3.1        In arriving at the recommended decision to approve this proposed budget, equalities issues have been considered in line with the GLA’s duties under the Equalities Act 2010. It is unlikely that this project will have negative equalities impacts but identified equalities issues (both positive and negative) will be covered in the Equality Assessment that will accompany the project. This will ensure that at each point of the drafting and consultation process for the proposed document, equalities impacts are considered and actions decided upon to address any emerging issues. The project will also be subject to a review and this will also address equalities impacts.

3.2    Given the regeneration focus of the proposed project, identification of relevant equalities groups and potentially vulnerable locally affected populations will be undertaken at the outset of the project. Population data is available for this purpose such as indices of deprivation used to identify regeneration areas in the London Plan. A detailed public consultation strategy will also need to be drawn up in consultation with London Boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forrest and Hackney to ensure that any local hard to reach groups are engaged in the process to ensure that resulting document is appropriate and accessible to all and meets the needs of different Londoners.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

If financial support is not provided to this OAPF, there is a risk that it will not be completed or will not be completed within the required timeframes. This would undermine the Mayor’s growth agenda, the review of the London Plan and the delivery of the Crossrail 2 project.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

This OAPF will help deliver the Opportunity Area in the London Plan. It will also make a significant contribution to the Crossrail 2 project by providing a direction of travel for the review of the London Plan and local plan policy in the Upper Lee Valley. The specialist development capacity, graphics and design planner will assist in the production of the OAPF.  OAPFs are supplementary to the London Plan and bring together the Mayoral priorities for housing, economic development, development, transport and the environment.  Realising the development potential of Opportunity Areas is a Mayoral Priority, and OAPFs bring together strategic and local stakeholders to deliver an area-wide spatial planning framework in accordance with Government policy, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

c) impact assessments and consultations.

OAPFs are subject to public consultation, and equality and environmental assessments.

4.2    The need for the additional member of staff is immediate to meet the project deadlines.

4.3    This project seeks to develop a consultation draft of the document. Should further support be required to produce a final draft, further funding and an ADD may be required in future. 


Financial comments

5.1    Assistant Director’s approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £20,000 to employ a temporary specialist member of staff at a Grade 6 or 7 to work on graphics and desktop publishing for 5 months.  Approval is being sought to spend up to £2,000 on printing costs, for the Upper Lea Valley OAPF Project.  The costs will be funded from Planning’s 2016-17 Pre-Application Reserves. 

5.2    Any changes to this proposal including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s Decision Making Process. .

5.3    All appropriate budget adjustments will be made. The Planning Unit within the Development, Environment and Enterprise will be responsible for managing this contract and work.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

August 2016

Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

Sept 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external)


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

January 2016

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

April 2016


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