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Since the abolition of the Greater London Council (GLC) in April 1986, London has been without an elected strategic planning authority. Individual London boroughs are now expected to prepare strategic policies for their own areas, incorporating them into their new Unitary Development Plans (UDPs).


For example, the administrative political powers of the GLC are now covered by the City of London and the thirty-two boroughs, yet many have argued that such a definition of the boundaries of London is hopelessly outdated (Figure 1) and that London's sphere of influence in jobs and other area has expanded outwards to include a large part of South East England (Hall, 1989, page 1). At the same time, the difficulties of implementing regional policies in an areas which has a diverse range of local authorities of different political persuasions and interests have also become apparent (e.g. Hall, 1976, page 479). These types of problems have not been solved by the abolition of the GLC, as the area covered by UDPs is the same as that covered by the GLC.
It seems to be clear that any strategic planning for London should be formulated in the context of London's functional importance for the whole of the South East. The aim of this article is to assess the importance of strategic planning in the provision of affordable housing. In its Strategic Planning Advice for London, the London Planning Committee (LPAC) stated its belief that strategic guidance should promote the need for low-cost housing rather than just meeting market demands (1988,page 11). ...
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