AGM MONDAY 25 JUNE 2018
We held our AGM on Monday 25 June 2018 at 6pm at Fitzrovia Centre. For more details, see http://fitzwest.org/wordpress/meeting-notes/executive/executive-committee-agendas-and-notes/
We held our AGM on Monday 25 June 2018 at 6pm at Fitzrovia Centre. For more details, see http://fitzwest.org/wordpress/meeting-notes/executive/executive-committee-agendas-and-notes/
We are consulting on a proposal for greening the East side of Great Titchfield St between Clipstone St and Carburton St.
We have ward funding to prepare and consult on a plan for the pavement on the East side of Great Titchfield St between Clipstone St and Carburton St. We want your views. This will not cost you anything. Images of the proposals can be found below
To keep it simple, we are just asking four questions which are set out below. The deadline for responses is Thursday 29 March 2018.
How to respond
There are four ways to respond:
Here are links to images of the plans and a PowerPoint.
These are the questions:
1. Are you in favour of turning the pavement on the East side of Great Titchfield St between Clipstone St and Carburton St into green space?
2. We’re not able to dig into the pavement so have used containers. What do you think about our plan?
3. What is your name and are you a resident, business owner, worker?
4. Would you like to help with planting and maintenance of the green space?
All comments will be held by Fitzwest and may be made public. Your personal information, such as your postal and e-mail address will not be published, but your name and organisation (if relevant) will.
Following the public meeting on 21 November and numerous discussions with local residents, workers and businesses, we have finalised our detailed response to the Oxford Street consultation: see the final response here. This was submitted to Transport for London on 1st January 2018.
People and businesses in Fitzwest are not against change but do believe that the consultation process involves a lost opportunity to transform the whole of Oxford Street and its surrounding area into a vibrant public realm.
The consensus is that the proposals as they stand are likely to have serious adverse consequences for Fitzwest in terms of increased traffic and congestion, increased air and noise pollution and reduced accessibility (not least because of the loss of bus routes and a failure to provide alternative cycle routes).
The response also includes detailed comments on how Oxford Street West would look and operate if the proposals were implemented.
The consultation can be found at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/oxford-street/
Here are the results from the online survey that Westminster Council (“WCC”) instigated to obtain feedback from residents in the pilot area. (Great Titchfield Street, New Cavendish Street, Gosfield Street, Langham Street, Hanson Street, Middleton Place, Riding House Street and Ogle Street).
After examining the results the executive at FitzWest Forum have made the following comments and recommendations to WCC:
Several residents requested the reinstatement of the large black bins. This has also been raised with the Forum directly by some residents and is the subject of a petition. We have passed on these views to WCC. The background to this is that late in 2015, almost two years before the pilot began, WCC removed almost all the black bins in the pilot area (and beyond) on the grounds that they encouraged dumping around them. WCC told us at that time that the very limited number of bins that remained would only be left if there was a proven need for them. This has remained WCC’s position.
Within this context, the aim of the pilot was to increase frequency and efficiency of collection of rubbish and recycling. Whatever decision WCC reaches with the black bins, our aim at the FitzWest Forum is to continue to support more frequent and efficient rubbish and recycling and to keep reminding WCC to be consistent and efficient with collections and street cleansing.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the survey. The results are currently being collated by Westminster Council and we will post the results once they are available.
As you will be aware the Council has introduced new rubbish and recycling collection times in your street.
We are looking for feedback on this scheme and would appreciate your responses to the survey below, including any further thoughts and comments you may have concerning the scheme.
To take part in the survey please click here.
Everyone in Fitzrovia has noticed the rubbish and dumping that unfortunately seems to have become a daily blight on our streets.
One of the significant problems identified by residents is that there is a general confusion on collection times and days and signage is inconsistent with what happens in reality. As a result of this confusion many residents have a become accustomed to putting our rubbish out at any time which has led to the rubbish-strewn streets. Also there has been a more general call for the number of recycling collections to be increased.
The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum, in consultation with local residents, has worked with Westminster City Council over the last two years to agree simplifications and improvements to recycling and rubbish collection times. These are now being trialled in a limited area of Fitzrovia as part of the pilot. A map of the pilot area is below.
The pilot improves and simplifies the collection arrangements, including an increase in recycling for all streets and an increase in rubbish collection in some streets. Our area is fortunate, unlike our neighbours Camden and other London Boroughs where refuse and recycling is often only once a week (with reviews in hand to move this back to fortnightly) we will see an increase in general and recycling collection.
It is acknowledged that restaurants and businesses contribute to the rubbish problem and they also have been informed of new collection times in order to reduce the amount of time rubbish sacks are on the streets.
People have complained about dumping, especially by builders and house clearers. Westminster hopes to place more officers on the street during the pilot period, to enforce this and other contraventions.
As a part of the Neighbourhood Forum, we as residents and local businesses can all work together for the greater good of our environment. We do want to make sure that all residents understand the pilot arrangements and the new and improved collection times and days. The Council is contacting all households to explain the new arrangements first and providing letters to identify collection times in the particular streets in the pilot area.
We are all looking forward to seeing cleaner streets as the pilot progresses.
We would very much like to hear residents’ feedback to the pilot and the improvements to the service.
Please comment below or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback can also be provided to Tom Walsh at Westminster City Council His email address is:
From Monday 4th September 2017 please put out your recycling and rubbish for collection at the following times:
Please leave your tied recycling and rubbish directly outside your property for collection. Apart from pedestrianised streets such as Middleton Place rubbish and recycling is not to be piled up at the ends of streets.
Please do not leave recycling and rubbish out on the street outside of these times or overnight. This is considered to be fly tipping and you could be fined by Westminster Council. It also encourages seagulls, pigeons, rats, mice and other vermin.
For recycled waste please use the clear recycling bags provided by Westminster City Council. You can order recycling bags online via: westminster.gov.uk/recycling-bags
Please put your normal rubbish out in appropriately tied bags, such as black bin bags.
Look for the new signs on your street for exact timings.
For items such as fridges, mattresses and tables, etc., please arrange online via:westminster.gov.uk/residential-bulky-waste Please be aware that leaving bulky waste items on street is illegal and can lead to substantial fines. Feedback from our consultation reveals that many residents consider this to be a major anti-social issue. The Council will be inspecting streets to enforce against illegal street dumping.
For further information about Westminster City Council’s waste services, please visit: www.westminster.gov.uk/recycling.
Please do let your neighbours know about these important changes and please look at your local street notices. The pilot is being arrnaged by WCC and they are responsible for the details.
Working together we can improve our streets; stop fly-tipping and street dumping and reduce the amount of rubbish left on the streets. The increase in recycling provision will also help the environment.
Please comment below or contact us by email at email@example.com. Feedback can also be provided to Tom Walsh at Westminster City Council His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org Because of holidays please bear with us if you do not see your feedback here for a few days. Rest assured we will be monitoring daily after 5th September.
|Address:||Proposed Development Site At 54-62, 66 And 68 Oxford Street And 51-58 Rathbone Place, W1|
|Proposal:||Demolition and redevelopment behind retained facades of Nos 54-62 Oxford Street and 51-58 Rathbone Place, including a two storey roof extension and redevelopment of Nos 66 & 68 Oxford Street to provide retail use (A1) and office use (B1) at part basement, part ground and part first floors, and flexible dual use retail (A1) and / or Office (B1) uses on floors two to seven, and associated works. (Linked application – 17/05284/LBC)|
|Case Officer:||Josephine Palmer|
|Click for further information|
|Name:||Mr Nick Bailey on behalf of Fitzrovia neighbourhood Forum|
|Commenter Type:||Local Group|
|Stance:||Customer objects to the Planning Application|
|Reasons for comment:|
|Comments:||These comments are submitted in my role as secretary of the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum. This application was discussed at our meeting on 4 July 2017.
We wish to object to the application for the following reasons:
Loss of 66 Oxford Street
We note in particular that Historic England say in their evidence that the loss of No. 66 ‘would cause serious harm’.
New Replacement for 66-68 Oxford Street
The redevelopment will also further reduce the provision for small shops along Oxford Street and accommodation for small businesses which have traditionally occupied buildings on this site and in Fitzrovia as a whole.
Our Neighbourhood Plan will include policies to protect existing floorspace for small business users and to ensure it is replaced in redevelopment proposals.
We welcome the fact that no car parking is provided in the new development and the provision of PV panels on the roof. But why not go further and create a genuinely green roof which could be accessed by shoppers and/or employees?
In particular we do not feel that an acceptable case has been made in relation to policy S25:
Recognising Westminster’s wider historic environment, its extensive heritage assets will be conserved, including its listed buildings, conservation areas, Westminster’s World Heritage Site, its historic parks including five Royal Parks, squares, gardens and other open spaces, their settings, and its archaeological heritage. Historic and other important buildings should be upgraded sensitively, to improve their environmental performance and make them easily accessible.
While the uses may be appropriate to the West End and Oxford Street, the proposed development replaces many small units with one or a combination of major A1/B1 uses including courtyards for loading and unloading which are of particular value to small business users.
For these reasons the application and LBC should be refused.
New consultation has emerged from Transport for London regarding central London Ultra Low Emissions Zone:
They would like to hear your views on proposals to:
Please take some time to fill in the online survey and provide your views:
The online survey, https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-consultation-phase-2/?intcmp=47032,
It should only take 10 to 15 minutes. Please complete the survey before midnight on 25 June 2017.
Here is FitzWest Response
To Alex Williams
Director of City Planning
Transport for London
Dear Mr Williams,
Thank you for inviting the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum to provide views on the proposed changes to the Ultra Low Emissions Zone in central London (ULEZ)
We support the zone because we wish to rid ourselves of the polluted air we have to breathe every day in central London. We, who live and/or work here, know the niggling discomfort of ‘The London Cough’ which seems to effect all of us, which is never documented in pollution statistics. We are also aware of the needless deaths that occur from air pollution and that this level of air pollution is illegal under European Legislation. We trust that even though we may sever some ties with our European neighbours that will not mean that we relax our standards on air pollution.
Residents and businesses who own diesel vehicles:
The new proposals will have a financial impact to local residents with older diesel cars. We would be particularly concerned if central government proposals to introduce a diesel scrappage scheme do not come forward. If that were to be the case then we feel that TFL should introduce its own scrappage system for residents and small businesses within the ULEZ zone. We would support such a scheme even if it were means tested. There ought to be some low cost means of supporting residents and businesses of modest means to purchase a better vehicle for their personal use. We have a lot of elderly and disabled residents living in this area for whom a car is still important. Our small businesses are the life blood of the area.
Increasing need for private transport in central London:
In the light of bus service reductions in central London, (which we don’t support) the we must assume that resident car use will increase.
Need for Low Emissions Public Transport:
We trust that buses and taxis will also be subject to these stringent rules in central London and that TFL will lead by example, introducing zero emissions buses before long.
Emissions are not the full story:
While we support the reduction of exhaust emissions that does not contribute to any reduction in particulate matter, which we understand is caused by tire wear on uneven roads. What is being done about this? In addition we expect to see similar London wide planning legislation to reduce the use of carbon fuels like gas as a means of heating and air conditioning. The urban heat island effect is well documented as an added factor in central London, yet the ULEZ policies will do nothing to alleviate these problems. We understand that emissions from gas boilers constitutes about 35% of the NO2 in central London.
The healthiest and lowest emission form of movement around central London is on foot, yet funding to improve pedestrian ways is very limited. Another way to improve air quality in central London is to encourage walking and cycling. We trust that wider TFL/GLA schemes are considering such improvements to complement planned reduction in polluting traffic.
Chair FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum Executive
PEDESTRIANISATION OF OXFORD STREET
COPY OF RESPONSE FROM Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum
I represent Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum. Our forum is a 200 strong group that represents both residents and businesses in Fitzrovia. Our mailing list covers a further 500 small, medium and large businesses in the area. In our area both residents and businesses are united in wishing to improve the environment, making it a pleasant place to live work and visit.
We have already been in touch with Val Shawcross, officers from TFL and our local councillors to share our concerns for an unbridled pedestrianisation scheme that we feel would put far too much pressure on adjoining streets and communities.
We were gratified to learn that a simplistic approach was unlikely to be pursued and that any scheme that comes forward would consider the whole of the West End and not simply Oxford Street.
We support the careful consultation that TFL/WCC are establishing. Our chairman, Wendy Shillam and treasurer Yoram Blumann have been invited to attend meetings so that the views of local people and local businesses can be included in the work. However we recognise that these meetings are convened by Westminster’s PR department and we are concerned that consultation should continue to be just that – dialogue.
We have a number of concerns that we wish to raise:
a). Linking Oxford Street improvements to improvements in the Oxford Street hinterland,
b). Great Titchfield Street/Mortimer Street local hub and
c). Closing the Great Portland Street gyratory
A detailed response can be downloaded here:
We do not wish to be purely negative about the prospect of improvements to the West End. We would like to work more closely with your engineers and transport planners to achieve a better result. We feel that we have knowledge and ideas that could help. We truly hope that this consultation isn’t hiding a foregone conclusion and that genuine dialogue can occur before decisions are made. Thus we also include, at the end of our consultation response some ideas that we believe should be entertained.
Since the pedestrianisation was first announced, we now understand that it is to be made in two sections, from Orchard Street to Oxford Circus and then from Oxford Circus to Tottenham Court Road. We think phase 1 will adversely effect Fitzrovia, tending to push all vehicular access to this end of Oxford Street. We are also concerned that phase two might simply happen on the back of phase one, without the careful work that needs to be done to establish an integrated solution.
For example, we understand that no detailed junction traffic modelling for phase 1 will be done east of Portland Place and Regent Street. Thus, there will no way of knowing what the impact of phase 1 will be on major junctions in Fitzrovia or in Soho.
We support the intention to design for improved pedestrian access to side streets, but we are concerned that new bus routes, taxi routes and delivery routes will break the camel’s back. WQe have heard of no proposals to tackle these important issues:
So far FitzWest public consultation has strongly prioritised the greening of streets, the reduction and calming of traffic and the improvement of arrangements for pedestrians. We see three key areas:
a). The Oxford Street Hinterland – this is the zone of streets and alleyways between Market Place and East Castle Street and Oxford Street itself. Many of these streets have great potential to provide services that Oxford Street itself cannot offer, like cafes, smaller shops, sitting out space and services like banks, stationers and copy shops. But in order for these streets to become attractive they would need improving. We support a grid of pedestrian streets running off Oxford Street and we are prepared to supply the necessary detailed planning policy in order to allow such streets to thrive and take some of the pressure from Oxford Street itself.
b). As we move further north into Fitzrovia West we come to the Great Titchfield Street/Mortimer Street local hub. This is a critically important part of our area offering local shops and services to the businesses and residents around us. This has become a dynamic focus for local and specialist shops, small businesses and provides the area’s vitality. But it is already stymied by the fact that Mortimer Street is used as an emergency bus by-pass street for Oxford Street. We are very concerned that current plans for phase 1 will increase traffic in our streets and that a phase 2 would sign the death knell for Fitzrovia.
c). In addition we have identified the area around Great Portland Street Underground Station as one where improvements and traffic calming could be made. A lot of people live in this northern sector and there are two hospitals (Portland Hospital and The Royal Orthopedic Clinic) both of which require good pedestrian access)
We would hope that in deciding on new access streets for public transport and taxis something can be done to close down the Great Portland Street tube gyratory, thereby reducing the conflict between pedestrians and traffic turning south into Fitzrovia.
Fitzrovia has a much higher population density than other parts of the West End. There are over 4000 people living in very dense flats in FitzWest alone. We understand this represents approximately half of the population of the West End Our population is not dominated by West End Wealthy, but by ordinary people, many of whom have lived in the area for years, whose children attend the local schools and who work in local businesses. Many people live in social housing, or housing for the elderly. They cannot choose to move out of the area if it becomes even more devastated by traffic and pollution.
This week’s announcement that pedestrianisation in Oxford Street shall go ahead leads us to fear the implications for our area, especially Mortimer Street and Newman Street. While the cross rail project has gone ahead we have had several long term bus diversions through our area, along Mortimer and Newman Street. This has resulted in lines of jammed busses belching out exhaust. I enclose a photograph of Newman Street, taken during one of those diversions, to indicate how unpleasant those short term diversions were
If the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street results in a permanent diversion of taxis, delivery vehicles and bus routes along these streets it would be devastating for the area.
Despite many of us who complained about the proposed reduction in bus services, especially the C2, these have gone ahead, unaltered. Further pedestrianisation will further reduce bus services. Cross rail does NOT take the place of local cross West End trips. We do not support the reduction of bus services in the West End. People who live and work here use buses to get about the West End. We use the bus to do our food shopping, to take our children to the doctors and to hospital appointments, to go to work and to visit our Council Offices on Victoria Street. We need hop-on, hop-off services which cannot be supplied by tube or Crossrail. Tourists need this even more than locals.
We have a high proportion of elderly and disabled people living round here and they cannot use the underground so easily (if at all). Local bus services are equally important for visitors to the area. No-one in their right minds would entertain a journey for example from Tottenham Court Road to John Lewis by underground. So we need some form of local bus system along Oxford Street.
We support the hopper fares and we support the intention to electrify (de-carbonise) Central London buses and taxis.
We think a diffuse public transport system could work very well, as long as buses are smaller and less polluting (which means changing engines and wheel formats to reduce both NO2 and particulate pollution.) Trams, guided by rails are, we understand less likely to cause accidents – pedestrians know where they are! A light rail system running from one end of Oxford Street to the other – running along Oxford Street is the no-brainer solution. For public transport to work it must be able to deliver passengers closer to the destination than they can travel by private car. By pushing the busses out and by reducing their number the effect would be counterproductive. It would mean that a visit to the West End would become more convenient by private car – not less so! This is especially true as the Congestion Charge (and parking fees) do not apply on late night shopping nights, or throughout the weekends. Thus during late nights and on Sundays there is nothing limiting private car trips into the West End, for shopping or any other function.
Unfortunately it is not just Oxford Street that subjects the population of Fitzrovia to life threatening pollution. The diagram below (taken from the Kings College Model commissioned, as I understand it, by the GLA) identifies Mortimer Street and New Cavendish Street as highly polluted as well. This pollution is exacerbated in the centre of London because of the urban heat island effect, which can trap a bubble of polluted air, stopping it dissipating, as it might do in greener parts of the capital. I am sure that enlightened traffic engineers in the GLA have already considered these limitations and are proposing alternatives. For example a bus hub at Tottenham Court Road and a further hub at Hyde Park Corner would be well supported by our community. (As long as there is some way of getting to them)
We are especially concerend that All Soul’s Primary School, our excellent local primary school, which lies only yards from the Mortimer Street/Newman Street junction. The prospect of diverting transport onto a minor road and increasing pollution levels so close to an area where children are taught, is not worthy of the new GLA administration.