Well attended AGM
First of all, a big thank you to over 40 local residents and businesses and all the West End Ward councillors (Cllrs. Toale, Fisher and Lilley) who attended our AGM on 18th May at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre on Howland Street. The high tech facilities meant we were also able to have people attend virtually.
As well as the usual AGM business, Cllr. Geoff Barraclough and some of the Westminster Council Oxford Street team presented initial plans to change the traffic flow at Oxford Circus. There were plenty of questions and comments and an undertaking by the Council that this would be fully consulted on before implementation. There was particular concern about suggestions to make Great Titchfield Street two-way and the potential for increased traffic.
Our local police officer from the Safer Neighbourhood teams then gave a presentation about crime and anti social behaviour. This also generated lots of questions and gave residents a chance to chat afterwards.
Finally, there were some updates on projects that have received CIL funding. Donna Yay from Fitzrovia Community Centre explained how the works to improve the accessibility and floor covering would not have otherwise been possible. Gwilym Harbottle told us that the New Cavendish Planters will be installed this summer – and asked for volunteers to be on the planters committee – so if anyone is interested please get in touch with Gwilym at email@example.com
CIL News & AGM Date
Successful CIL application for funding
Fitzrovia Community Centre has been awarded £22,583 to fund further developments and refurbishments. The project will cover the laying of new flooring, increased security and health and safety measures, and small furnishings. This project is part of a wider programme to make the community centre more accessible and welcoming, to meet the growing need for community centres and programmes in the local area. The cabinet member report also highlighted that community uses such as a community centre is identified as a priority infrastructure type in local CIL policy.
You can read the full Cabinet Report that includes all Westminster applications here.
Update on other CIL projects
New Cavendish Street planters
This project has been extremely slow to come to fruition due to the lengthy road safety assessments and access plans which are being done by Conways on behalf of WCC. Rest assured, the Forum is constantly asking for information as we are keen to get the planters in position as soon as we can.
AGM – Thursday 18th May 2023
Our AGM will be at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre on Howland Street at 6pm on Thursday 18th May 2023.
Full details to follow, but the focus will be on the new WCC plans for Oxford Street. Come and find out plans to change traffic flow and pavement size at Oxford Circus and how this will affect Fitzrovia. Have your say about the plans. There will also be updates on CIL applications for funding plans for our area.
Have a say in how CIL money is spent
As this long, hot summer draws to an end we wanted to update you on the progress of various CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) applications and awards.
We also wanted to tell you a bit more about CIL and how important it is for as many people as possible to have a say in how it is spent.
What is CIL?
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge paid by developers (not householders) when beginning a new development. FitzWest has access to 25% of CIL generated in our area and this means the Forum can submit projects it wishes to see implemented as well as endorsing projects submitted by other charitable organisations based in the area. Projects should meet the following criteria:
- They should provide infrastructure which benefits those living and working in the area;
- They should provide additional infrastructure for defined sections of the population where facilities and services are insufficient or lacking;
- They should be non-discriminatory and meet all other legal requirements in the way they are delivered and operate;
- They should meet policy objectives as set out in the Council’s City Plan 2019 – 40 and the Neighbourhood Plan 2020;
- They should conform to guidance provided by the Council as set out on the website above.
A few projects have already been successfully applied for and accepted by Westminster Council for CIL funding. However, there is a constant supply of cash form new developments and it is really important that as many people as possible – residents, businesses and organisations – have a say in how this money is allocated.
This is your chance to be involved in making these decisions!
We are looking for volunteers to be on our CIL Committee. This committee meets every couple of months and members also receive emails and applications to look at and comment on. It is up to you how much you would like to be involved and this is an important way to really influence and contribute how projects are funded.
If you would just like a simple admin role then we also need a secretary for the committee This would involve organising meetings and creating the agendas and minutes.
If you, or anyone you know would like to help make sure this funding goes to the right places, then please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Westminster Archive
Successfully funded CIL projects:
Greening Around New Cavendish Street – together with funding from Tesco, a selection of planters will be positioned in areas to deter rubbish dumping and will be maintained by local residents and businesses.
Greening Consultation - Overwhelming Support - Next Steps
Thank you to all the residents and businesses who responded to our consultation about planters in Fitzrovia.
The response was overwhelmingly supportive and included lots of great ideas for other places and greening initiatives. And also many offers to help look after the planters with watering and weeding.
100% of respondents were in favour of greening generally in the area and 94% were in favour of all the suggested sites. Click here to see the full report.
We really hope that if we are able to successfully achieve this small amount of greening, then we can begin on other projects.
We have made some adjustments to the proposal, taking into account feedback and concerns (for example the corner planters at locations 2 and 5 will be a smaller rectangle shape not the larger square shape in the photographs – which means there will still be space there for people to wait at these spots when the pavement on New Cavendish Street is crowded.)
Funding Application from CIL
We had anticipated having enough money to complete this project using the Tesco funding, but costs have increased because the planters are on the public highway so we now need safety checks, traffic impact assessments etc. As a result we are now applying for further funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and will know by February 7th 2022 if we have been successful and are able to complete this project.
Do you live or work in Fitzrovia West (west of Cleveland Street
and Charlotte Street) and care about safeguarding our unique environment?
FitzWest was designated a Business Neighbourhood Forum by Westminster City Council in 2015 and over 200 local people and businesses have joined. This designation was extended for another five years in February 2020. The Forum prepared a plan for the neighbourhood, targeting housing, enterprise, transport, air quality – and much more based on consultation with both residents and businesses.
Following a referendum on 2nd September 2021, where all residents and businesses had the opportunity to vote, a majority voted YES which means the plan is formally adopted into planning law.
If you live or work within the red line, or you are part of an organisation that works within the area, you are welcome to join the Forum. Membership is free and will qualify you to be involved with helping support the plan and to be involved with decisions which will have a positive effect on the FitzWest area.
If you would like to join the forum, just fill in the application form here.
Greening plans - update
Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions and comments on the location of planting and greening as a means to improve the streetscape and to deter rubbish dumping. There are plenty of locations – we had 15 on the long list – so now we have a great resource to refer to and also to share with other organisations as we work on greening the area. Where we are at the moment:
We are planning to apply for funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which is a levy that local authorities can choose to charge on new developments in their area. The money is used to support development by funding infrastructure that the council, local community and neighbourhoods want.
We have many suitable suggestions for locations, all over the FitzWest area.
It is suggested the greening will have more impact – both visually and practically as a dumping deterrent if the greening areas are clustered together.
We will keep all suggestions for a long term greening plan, but in the short term, for this initial CIL project we suggest the following which has the benefit of being relatively close together and therefore visible:
1. Langham Street/Gosfield St – 2 locations/ 4 or 5 planters A real and visible hot spot with lots of commercial and residential dumping.
2 & 3 Hanson Street /Foley Street – 2 locations /2 planters Two planters on Hanson Street/Foley Street corners. One of the corners by the bin is very prone to dumping, and there is plenty of space.
4 & 5 Candover Street – 4 locations/ 4 planters Four planters, one on each corner with Riding House Street and Foley Street. Prone to persistent dumping, would link to and echo existing planting outside local businesses on Foley Street.
These locations would create a real impact and are close enough together to be a noticeable improvement to the greening in the area and will be easy to monitor for rubbish dumping. Let us know your thoughts – by email email@example.com or by commenting on this post
Local business involvement We also plan to approach local businesses to see if they would like to be part of the application – we can apply for additional planters for businesses to display and care for on their forecourts (as some do already). If you are a local business with a forecourt or pavement space that is yours and would like to register an interest in acquiring planters then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well-attended AGM hears from Westminster Council and local police
First of all, a big thank you to over 40 local residents and businesses and all the West End Ward councillors (Cllrs Toale, Fisher and Lilley) who attended our AGM on 18th May at the Sainsbury...
AGM next week – 18th May – come in person or join on Zoom
We want to have as many people as possible so please share this with your neighbours and local businesses. Find out about the changes to Oxford Circus traffic flow, hear about the exciting CIL...
Invitation to AGM including Oxford Circus information session
Dear Members All members of the Forum are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 18th May at 6pm at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, 25 Howland Street, W1T 4JG which will also...