DD2094 Upper Lee Valley Report Commission

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2094
Date signed: 
21 March 2017
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

The Upper Lee Valley plays a strategic role in the London economy. Boroughs and GLA have a shared aspiration to ensure change in the ULV supports thriving local economies, creates opportunities for local people and delivers much needed housing. The combination of population growth and limited housing supply across London, change already underway and the legacy of industrial land release in the ULV,  and the potential arrival of Crossrail 2, mean business as usual models cannot deliver growth that underpins thriving local economies.  The Greater London Authority Regeneration Team would like to commission a consultancy to undertake an assessment of industry, employment, and change, in the Upper Lee Valley. This work will inform the Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) refresh and help establish a shared analysis across the core boroughs within the OAPF area. By establishing better informed strategic planning framework and a shared analysis across the core boroughs, the work aims to test new ways of managing change to deliver good growth.

 

Decision

That the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise & Environment approves:

1.    the GLA’s receipt and use of £15,000 (£5,000 from each of three Local Authorities; Enfield, Waltham Forest, and Haringey); and

2.    expenditure of £30,000 on consultancy services required for an assessment of industry, employment, and change, in the Upper Lee Valley to inform the GLA’s refresh of the Opportunity Area Planning Framework.
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1            The Upper Lee Valley (ULV) plays a strategic role in the London economy. Boroughs and GLA have a shared aspiration to ensure change in the ULV supports thriving local economies, creates opportunities for local people, and delivers much needed housing.

1.2        The ULV Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) adopted in July 2013 covers land in LB Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest. It identified capacity for 15,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes. Since then:  

A.    Regeneration programmes have been defined and are beginning to deliver at Meridian Water, Tottenham, Blackhorse and Central Leeside. 
B.    Significant transport improvements are being delivered and plans for Crossrail 2 will transform the character of the valley as a place to live and to do business. 
C.    A series of audits (Tottenham Hale, Blackhorse and Leeside, North East Enfield, South East Enfield) have been carried out to gain a better understanding of local economies, giving insights into the number and types of businesses, levels of employment, supply chain information, as well as aspirations of local businesses. 
D.    Data from audits has informed the evolution of policy and regeneration strategies. 

1.3            Until recently there has been a sense that the decline in manufacturing output meant Industrial land was in low demand. However there is increasing concern that the ever increasing land requirements for residential development are starting to impact high value, strategic functions such as waste, logistics, and other urban services. In addition, ‘industrial’ land effectively represents ‘affordable’ business capacity for a wide range of relatively low value added activities, which support the functioning of local economies, as well higher order and/or residential uses.

1.4    The combination of population growth and limited housing supply across London, change already underway and the legacy of industrial land release in the ULV,  and the potential arrival of Crossrail 2, mean business as usual models cannot deliver growth that underpins thriving local economies.  In this context it is becoming increasingly recognised that London seems to be reaching a tipping point and more care and attention is being paid to the potential for intensifying existing industrial uses as well as opportunities to combine some industry and housing. 

1.5    The refresh of the OAPF is an opportunity to inform wider strategic research and thinking, and to establish a strategic spatial strategy for the ULV, based on the principles of good growth. As a result of discussions between the GLA and borough leadership in the ULV it was decided to establish a working group to look at these issues and to explore opportunities to develop a shared analysis and approach to industry and employment.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The over-arching purpose of this commission is to: 

A.    Inform the ULV OAPF refresh
B.    Provide the evidence and rationale for supportive policy approach to industry and employment in the ULV 
C.    Provide the evidence and rationale for, a deliverable but aspirational, valley wide economic positioning document 
D.    Scope and define the structure and content of a valley wide strategic  economic development strategy 
E.    Establish a better understanding of the public sector’s role in enabling innovative development which resolves issues that business as usual does not. 
F.    Inform decision makers and policy makers, and develop public sector thinking around regeneration; housing and workspace delivery in the ULV.

2.2    It will interrogate the baseline study, Borough regeneration strategies, economic development strategies and employment land studies, the Industrial Land Supply Study and emerging Industrial Land Demand Study, to develop a better understanding of sectoral trends and needs, the Industrial Property Market, as well as stock and locational advantages specific to the ULV. Particular attention should be paid to the capacity of the ULV to accommodate emerging growth sectors and the potential for intensification or co-location of industry with housing. 

2.3    This work will generate the insight required to develop a set of propositions for the delivery of good growth in the ULV. It will inform the evolution of the ULV OAPF refresh providing the evidence base for a supportive policy approach to industry and employment.

2.4    It will help to strategically align borough approaches to inward investment, and stances on release intensification and mix. For example we know that Enfield anticipate considerable further release and relocation of logistics, warehousing and heavy industry to places like Broxbourne. At the same time plans in Tottenham Hale assume relocation of similar functions north to LB Enfield. 

2.5    Meanwhile emerging propositions for growth in Waltham Forest propose only minimal loss of employment land on key sites - and look to new delivery models to intensify and mix where appropriate. In adopting such a distinct approach Waltham Forest are sending a strong message to the market and addressing unrealistic hope values emerging on industrial sites. It is anticipated that the process of working together on the study will facilitate experience and lessons being shared across the ULV and informing the OAPF refresh.
 

Equality comments

3.1    No adverse equality issues have been identified.  This piece of research will support the aims in the London Plan and the Economic Development Strategy for London.  It will also provide evidence to help inform policy and guidance to improve London’s economic base and sustainability, secure access to a range of employment opportunities.

3.2    This piece of work will be tendered using TFL Commercial processes and will be evaluated in line with their approach to equalities. 
 

Other considerations

4.1    a) key risks and issues

 

 

Risk description

Mitigation/Risk response

Probability (1-5)

Impact   
(1-5)

RAG

 
 

1

The findings of the research do not support the policy approach to industry and employment in the ULV

GLA officers have drafted a brief to help inform the direction of travel for this piece of work.

1

3

Green

 
 

2

A competitive tender process does not find a suitably qualified  consultant.

The GLA will ensure the tender goes out to as many agencies as possible.

1

3

Green

 
 
 
 

3

Insufficient time is available to undertake the work.

Timelines are tight but GLA officers will work closely with the consultants to keep the work on time.

 

2

3

Amber

 
 

4.2    b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

i.    This work links to the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy, the work of the London Plan and will help to inform a refresh of the OAPF.

ii.    This work supports the Mayor’s priorities such as: working in partnership with industry to deliver on skills, infrastructure, and growth, and supporting small business and protecting business space.

4.3    c) impact assessments and consultations.

i.    This piece of research will support work in the Upper Lee Valley. This area falls within the jurisdiction of three boroughs, Enfield, Haringey, and Waltham Forest.  The specification for this tender has been drafted in consultation with all three boroughs and GLA Planning department. 

ii.    GLA Regeneration undertook a review of industrial audits carried out in the Upper Lee Valley between 2012 and 2016.  The work provides a baseline for further interrogation of the threats and opportunities that face the ULV.

iii.    This piece of work will build upon the learning from the baseline study, Borough regeneration strategies, economic development strategies and employment land studies, the Industrial Land Supply Study and emerging Industrial Land Demand Study, to develop a better understanding of sectoral trends and needs, the Industrial Property Market, as well as stock and locational advantages specific to the ULV. Particular attention should be paid to the capacity of the ULV to accommodate emerging growth sectors and the potential for intensification or co-location of industry with housing. 
 

 

 

Financial comments

5.1    The total estimated cost of this project is £30,000 and will be part funded by three Local Authorities; Enfield, Waltham Forest and Haringey, with each contributing £5,000 each. The GLA will fund the balance of £15,000, specifically from the GLA’s Planning (£5,000) and Regeneration (£10,000) budgets. With regards to the GLA Regeneration budget contribution; the £10,000 relates specifically to the High Street ‘Commissioning Fund’ approved by MD1469 for which delegation has been given for the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise & Environment to approve expenditure from this fund.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

1

Issue tender

14th March

2

Tender returns

28th March

3

Clarification Meetings

WC  3rd April

4

Appoint

WC 3rd April

5

Inception meeting

10th April

6

Client meetings (x2)

May and June

7

Steering group meetings  (x3)

May, June, July

8

Interim draft

29th May

9

Final draft

29th June

10

Sign off of final report

24th July

 


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