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  • Southwark Land Commission

    We helped the Southwark Land Commission develop guiding principles and recommendations for using land for public good

    Project overview

    Acting on a key commitment within the Council’s Delivery Plan, LB Southwark established the Southwark Land Commission in September 2022, a first of its kind in London. The Southwark Land Commission was a six-month investigation as part of the council’s commitment to deliver on its ‘Fairer, Greener, Safer’ Plan. It seeks to democratise land in the borough by rebalancing influence over land and property, to ensure that land in the borough delivers the broadest possible benefit, and to critically look at what needs to change to deliver more ‘public good’ from land use.

    PRD helped curate an evidence-based process, led by an independent group of diverse and representative group of people, from landowners, members of Southwark’s civil society and leading thinkers and experts on the subject, to serve as Members of the Commission. The land commission challenged how land and space is used to benefit the local communities, with an explicit objective to “free up land for public good”.

    Over the course of six months, the commission met formally on four occasions; firstly, to review challenges and existing evidence; secondly, to reflect on the insights and views sourced from community groups and individuals reached via a parallel engagement programme; then thirdly, to identify opportunities to act and to draft initial recommendations; and finally, to refine these proposals and prioritise recommended actions.

    The process was also enriched through a community engagement programme to understand and test ideas and actions, in the form of four area-based workshops, targeted sessions to reach under-represented groups (through Southwark Youth Parliament and the Southwark Black Parents Forum), and feedback workshops on emerging recommendations, led by We Made That. PRD also carried out one-to-one discussions with key stakeholders.

    The Commission came up with a set of seven recommendations, underpinned by the guiding principles, rooted in maximising social purpose, and securing long-term environmental sustainability. The full list of recommendations and priority actions are available in the Land for Good report on Southwark Council’s website.

    The Southwark Land Commission is a good starting point for other places in the UK to develop their own plans of action for this important agenda. As such, Southwark Cabinet will formally consider the Commission’s report and recommendations, and an official response from the council is expected soon.

    For more content, see our journal posts: Democratising land for public good: reflections from the Southwark Land CommissionLearning from the Southwark Land Commission: implications for other authorities

    Project details

    • Client
      LB Southwark
    • Project Lead
      Daniel Partridge
    • Type
      Asset Strategy