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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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Industrial Land Usage in London Under Immense Pressure

Monday 11 March 2024

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is calling on the Greater London Authority (GLA) to heed the calls of London businesses and protect industrial land in the capital.

LCCI responded to the GLA’s recent consultation on new draft guidance surrounding industrial land and uses in the London Plan Guidance (LPG), which is intended for local planning authorities to inform them of how to ensure there is sufficient industrial land within their areas.The London Plan, which governs the zoning of the capital’s land for planning purposes is a critical determinant of the city’s economic future.

The demand for logistics sites and space has only grown as more commerce has moved online. LCCI members raised concerns about the supply of industrial land in the capital, with reduced availability of commercial space and growing competition leading to rising costs of leasing space.The lack of available logistics land has put pressure on businesses to move further out of London, which can exacerbate already high levels of pollution and congestion on London’s roads.

One of the tactics set out in the LPG to increase supply is industrial intensification, where developments would increase industrial floorspace in existing industrial sites. LCCI advised in its response that intensification may not work when redeveloping existing sites in the capital, and therefore it should be utilised alongside other routes such as maintaining existing industrial sites and creating new industrial spaces.

LCCI members also raised concerns around restrictions associated with intensification and co-location that could affect business operations, and LCCI encouraged the GLA to consult businesses on sites where intensification and co-location are being considered in order to ensure existing business operations would not be hindered by new development or an intensified structure.

LCCI identified that infrastructure should be a key consideration in any updates to the LPG, maintaining that increasing the supply of industrial land should occur only when there is sufficient energy capacity, transport links and utilities infrastructure to support new businesses.

Commenting on the consultation, James Watkins, Head of Policy and Public Impact at The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said:

"After extensive consultation with our member businesses, we recognise the need to increase logistics land spaces within the capital. However, this imperative must be balanced with considerations of infrastructure capacity, sustainability, quality of life, and economic development. It is evident that fostering cross-business and cross-government collaboration is paramount to addressing the needs of London businesses effectively. LCCI looks forward to ongoing engagement with the GLA to refine The London Plan into a pragmatic solution tailored to the needs of businesses, the backbone of our economy."

Read LCCI’s full response to the consultation.