CHANGES TO MIXED USE POLICIES IN THE WESTMINSTER CITY PLAN
Many thanks for the opportunity to be consulted on the above changes to the mixed use policies in the City Plan.
Our general concern is the proposed relaxation of the requirement to provide an increase of residential use as part of larger commercial developments in the Core CAZ and Opportunity Areas such as Tottenham Court Road. The West End and central parts of the City are characterised by a mix of commercial and residential uses adding variety, interest and enhancing interaction between different sized businesses and residents. The proposed change in wording will lead to more large scale, single use, ‘iconic’ developments which, although highly profitable, add very little and often detract from the quality of the built form in the City as a whole, or indeed in areas such as Fitzrovia.
The wording changes to 3 A are not a major concern since it is rarely implemented in full anyway.
Our detailed concern is the change to the wording of paragraph 3 B whereby in the core CAZ, named streets and Opportunity Areas developers will be able to evade the requirement to provide housing on-site or nearby. We argue that given the choice, developers will always choose to make a payment in lieu, particularly where there is a S106 requirement to provide affordable housing. The cascade approach should apply to this policy whereby the applicant must submit a good case why the required housing cannot be provided on site, and if accepted, off-site but in the same ward. If payment in lieu is accepted by the Council an additional levy of 25% over and above the agreed tariff should be required.
Our reasons for this objection are firstly those set out in the first paragraph above but also because in the past few years developers’ pleas to make payments in lieu have been increasingly accepted by the Council in relation to the affordable housing policy and while the Affordable Housing Fund contains many millions of pounds very little is spent in the core CAZ and West End ward in particular. Areas like Fitzrovia, and the core CAZ as a whole, will be increasingly dominated by single use developments.
We assume 3B iv refers to payments in lieu to the AHF.
Thus we argue that this policy should operate in the same way as the current policy S16 on Affordable Housing with the emphasis on on-site inclusion unless there are exceptional circumstances.
On behalf of Fitzrovia west neighbourhood Forum
WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE DRAFT CHARGING SCHEDULE
CIL Consultation From Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Forum
I write on behalf of the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Forum.We have received your consultation regarding CIL but find that a number of issues seem as yet unresolved.1. There is no outline of how all CIL moneys are to be spent. We can not comment on the value of CIL unless we understand what that value might raise in terms of revenue and how the revenue will be apportioned.2. We note that the legislation requires the Local Authority to consult with and agree with established Neighbourhood Forums a) the proportion of CIL that is spent in each area and b) what that money is spent on.Fitzrovia is suffering extreme pressure from development and recent permissions (which of course still exclude CIL) have provided little if any community benefit.Our understanding of the legislation is that CIL is part of the recompense for areas that suffer development pressure and by forming a Neighbourhood Forum enter constructively into the process of development management and development planning.We look forward to your response.RegardsWendy Shillam
CIL Consultation From Fitzrovia Neighbourhood ForumI write on behalf of the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Forum.We have received your consultation regarding CIL but find that a number of issues seem as yet unresolved.1. There is no outline of how all CIL moneys are to be spent. We can not comment on the value of CIL unless we understand what that value might raise in terms of revenue and how the revenue will be apportioned.2. We note that the legislation requires the Local Authority to consult with and agree with established Neighbourhood Forums a) the proportion of CIL that is spent in each area and b) what that money is spent on.Fitzrovia is suffering extreme pressure from development and recent permissions (which of course still exclude CIL) have provided little if any community benefit.Our understanding of the legislation is that CIL is part of the recompense for areas that suffer development pressure and by forming a Neighbourhood Forum enter constructively into the process of development management and development planning.We look forward to your response.RegardsWendy ShillamChair Fitzrovia West Executive Committee
WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL NEW HOUSING STRATEGY
Thank you for sending us the Housing Strategy:
Fitzrovia West is the designated neighbourhood forum in our area. We have over 200 business and resident Forum Members.
A: Loss of affordable housing in Fitzrovia and the West End.
At our meetings concern about the loss of social and affordable housing is regularly expressed. In particular the policy of taking affordable housing contributions as money instead of insisting on a proper proportion of new build associated with planning applications, is resulting in a net loss of private and public low cost accommodation in the area.
Our community sees great value in a good mix of residents and does not agree with the continuing concentration of affordable housing in certain wards.
B:Llocations for affordable housing:
We agree with the proposal that the existing WCC estate should be used to find suitable housing sites. Because these sites are controlled by the City Council, there should be binding covenants placed on any land disposal that requires developers to build the correct percentage of affordable housing on the site (rather than pay a commuted sum)
C: Types of housing.
We do not agree with the proposal to concentrate on intermediate rent. There are many more pressing needs in all areas of the city.
D: Who needs to live in Fitzrovia?
We do not agree that social housing should be limited to particular key workers, though an element of key worker housing would be welcomed. We believe that social cohesion is best achieved when there is a good mix of residents from different social, ethnic, age and wealth backgrounds.
E: We would welcome any policies that penalised absent owners who leave properties empty. There is no evidence that such properties provide any social, cultural or financial benefits to our city.
Fitzrovia West Executive
Euston Area Plan Deadline Wednesday 5th March 2014
Proposed Submission Euston Area Plan (EAP)
An updated version of the EAP, the proposed submission version, a sustainability appraisal and accompanying background documents, have been published for review until 5pm on Wednesday 5th March 2014.
This plan includes controversial proposals for an extended Euston Station to accommodate High Speed 2.
The plan has been updated to reflect comments received on the draft version last summer. The main change made to the plan, responding to community concerns, is that it now contains clear illustrations of different potential approaches to station design, with key principles which will be applied to any proposals for station redevelopment.
All details can be found here: http://www.eustonareaplan.info/
We encourage anyone to respond in a personal capacity. But if you would like us to respond as a group please leave your comments below and we will coordinate them.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust: Foundation Trust Consultation
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has been consulting on becoming a Foundation Trust. The consultation closed on 10 February 2014, but comments may be taken into account even after that date.
Their hospitals are Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and Western Eye hospitals, and those of you particularly in the western part of the Fitzrovia West area may find yourselves referred to the Trust.
Here is a link to their consultation document
A summary presentation is at this link
The web address for comments has closed. Their regular address is
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
South Wharf Road
St Mary’s Hospital
London W2 1NY