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London’s Freight Firms Urgently Require Access to Land in Net Zero Push

Monday 22 May 2023

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, for greater provision of industrial and employment land in London.

In a letter to the Deputy Mayor, LCCI communicates feedback it has received from its members that the lack of available logistics land, particularly within the North Circular, has forced logistics firms to move further out of London which has contributed to unacceptable levels of pollution and exacerbated congestion on London’s roads. While LCCI supports the need for residential development in Central London, the letter emphasises the importance of securing land for businesses, such as those in freight, which are so vital to powering London’s economy and on which so many have come to rely on for deliveries for purchases made online.

The letter makes clear that these lengthened, polluting journeys risk undermining the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s ambitions for the capital to be net zero by 2030. It also highlights that Electric Vehicle charging points are often centred around industrial sites, meaning that firms are making long and fuel-dependent trips without the necessary infrastructure to support the transition to more sustainable forms of transport.  

In 2019, LCCI worked with the Mayor to ensure that a policy of no net loss of industrial land was included in his updated London Plan, a measure which was later removed by the then Secretary of State. Now, LCCI is urging Mr. Pipe and the Mayor to reinstate this policy and to ensure that there are sufficient protections on industrial land availability in the next update to the Mayor’s London Plan – the capital’s regional planning strategy.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer Richard Burge, said:

“If London is to reach Net Zero by 2030 then every possible step must be taken to enable firms to play their part and cut emissions. Forcing logistics firms out of central London and into the suburbs due to an insufficient provision of industrial and employment land means that journeys will be lengthened and congestion made worse in the outer London. If London’s businesses are to sustainably thrive in the future, land must be made available for industrial and employment use in central London alongside better provision of electric vehicle charging spots at these sites. We look forward to engaging in constructive discussions with Jules Pipe and the Greater London Authority in the near future to resolve these issues and to help further the Mayor’s decarbonisation objectives.”

Read the full letter to Jules Pipe.