DD2001 Isle of Dogs OAPF – contract extension

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
25 May 2016
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

The Isle of Dogs Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) is a joint project being undertaken with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The area is anticipated to have significant development growth over the next 15-20 years linked to potential transport improvements.
This decision requests approval of further expenditure for an extension of the continued employment of a consultant to provide continuing technical support for the Development Capacity Study, and produce specialist graphics and desktop publishing for the draft Isle of Dogs Opportunity Area Planning Framework document.  The current consultant was procured though a competitive tendering process.


That the  Executive Director approves additional expenditure of up to £25,000 to the consultancy taking the total spend for this contract to £50,000 (ADD339 approved expenditure up to £25,000).


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1    The GLA Planning unit is leading on the production of an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for the Isle of Dogs, working in partnership with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.  This covers the opportunity area identified in the London Plan and is a key strategic priority. The area faces significant immediate development pressures and therefore it is important that the OAPF is in place as soon as possible. 

1.1    Fundamental to the OAPF is a development capacity study, which requires specialist graphics and desktop publishing skills to enable its delivery to a high quality standard. 

1.2    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 these skills are critical to the production of this key strategic planning document. Tower Hamlets do not have the specialist staff, and are unable to contribute resources to this piece of work given its Local Plan review. 

1.3    Specialist consultancy services were employed through a competitive tendering process in August 2015 via Assistant Directors Decision (ADD) 339 to enable the production of the study. The strategic board, joint chaired by the Deputy Mayor and Mayor John Biggs, requested that a more detailed masterplan and design study was undertaken to better understand the three dimensional impacts of the initial Capacity Study.  A pre-consultation exercise was also agreed on, involving the production of graphic material. Therefore, an extension to the existing contract is required to enable work to continue on the production of this OAPF

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objective of this project is to produce the Isle of Dogs OAPF consultation draft document in conjunction with Tower Hamlets Council by the autumn of 2016. The graphics and desktop publishing services are needed to commence immediately and will be funded by the GLA.


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 Integrated Impact 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 Tower Hamlets Council 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

4.1    If the financial support is not provided to this opportunity area, there is a risk that the OAPF will not be completed or will not be completed within the required timeframes. This would undermine the Mayor’s growth agenda set out in the London Plan 2015 (consolidated with alterations since 2011).
b) links to Mayoral strategic and priorities

4.2    The specialist development capacity, graphics and design consultant 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

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

4.4    The need for this service is immediate 

4.5    This project seeks to develop a consultation draft of the document. Should further support be required to produce a final draft, a further approval will be required in the future. 

Financial comments

5.1    ADD339 approved expenditure of up to £25,000 on specialist graphics, desktop publishing and printing costs for the Isle of Dogs OAPF project. Approval is now being sought for an additional expenditure of £25,000. This will bring the total expenditure on the Isle of Dogs OAPF up to £50,000.  This is to be funded from the 2016-17 Planning Pre-application reserves. 


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

April 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external)


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

September 2016

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

December 2016


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