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LONDON-The independent panel appointed to conduct an examination in public of the Mayor of London’s draft London Plan has given the plan a strong endorsement, and called for it to be adopted as soon as possible.

The report overwhelmingly supported key elements of the draft London Plan and concluded that the controversial target for providing 50 per cent affordable housing on all new residential developments can be justified and is ‘reasonably practicable’. But it did call for the Mayor to reconsider plans to abolish two protected views of St Paul’s Cathedral. At the moment high-rise development is banned in certain zones in order to protect long-range vistas of the cathedral’s dome.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: “I am delighted that the seven-week Examination in Public process has given broad support to the vision for London outlined in my draft London Plan, and am particularly pleased that the Panel has confirmed that the economic and population growth projections that form the basis of the plan are realistic and that setting the affordable housing target at fifty per cent is both justifiable and practicable.

Livingstone said the final London Plan would be presented to the Secretary of State for approval in Autumn 2003.

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