Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Area

Submission to Westminster City Council

Here is the summary Consultation document that we submitted to Westminster City Council on 13th December 2013.

Outline of the various proposals

  1. Marylebone – An enlarged area covering Marylebone, Fitzrovia, Regent’s Park and parts of St John’s Wood – consultation period 20th May – 28th June 2013
  2. Fitzrovia – A cross borough approach covering Westminster and Camden – consultation period 31st October – 13th December 2013
  3. Fitzrovia West – The Westminster side of Fitzrovia – consultation period 31st October – 13th December 2013

The Fitzrovia West proposal was the last one to be submitted and took into account discussions that had already taken place on the other preceding applications.

The original Fitzrovia West application cited the following key reasons for a separate and distinct area:

  • Fitzrovia West is wholly within the City of Westminster and thus has for many years been regulated by Westminster CC planning and policies.
  • Fitzrovia West includes the whole of the relevant Conservation areas, but now excludes any part of the Regent Street Conservation Area.
  • Fitzrovia West has a unique and dynamic mix of land uses that have contributed to the economic and social wealth of Westminster.
  • Fitzrovia is a distinct and well recognised area, capable of designation as a Neighbourhood Area.

During the consultation period the Fitzrovia West Steering Group has conducted extensive consultation in accordance with Westminster City Council Statement of Community Involvement, focusing on media coverage, posters, leaflets and information via a website. Stakeholders have been consulted via questionnaires, public meetings and discussions groups.  Individual organisations have been consulted via one to one meetings with members of the steering group, wherever possible.

We have identified that:

1. There is a majority in agreement amongst the residents and businesses within the Fitzrovia West Area on the extent and nature of Fitzrovia West.  One or two organisations disagree with this.

2. The following issues have been identified.

  • Pressure for development
  • Space for small and local business
  • State of streets and pavements
  • Cost of housing
  • Impact of Crossrail

3. Over 150 people have put their names forward as wishing to support and/or be involved in the Fitzrovia West Forum.  Public meetings have been well attended and demonstrated consensus. Residents, business people, representatives of organisations and some of the major landowners in the area, have all been involved.  People have attended from across the area.  Opinions are not divided by location.

During the consultation and particularly at the two large public meetings we discussed matters of vision and objectives.  From this the Steering Group has published a draft document setting out its aims and objectives.

Our Vision
A vibrant, prosperous, creative and connected neighbourhood where people from all sectors and communities enjoy well-being and work collaboratively to ensure that their living and working needs and interests are met in an inclusive and equitable manner.

Our Mission
Our mission is to ensure that Fitzrovia develops as a habitable, sustainable and neighbourly community through all means available including planning, collaborative working and community enterprise.

We have published a draft constitution, based on four key principles:

  • There should be a majority of residents on the Forum and Steering Group
  • That membership of the Forum should be as open as possible, and not limited to 21 members
  • That anyone in the area should be able to attend Forum meetings, and take part in the discussion
  • That the Executive Committee will be annually elected by the Forum

Capacity of the Group
The progress and success of the consultation has demonstrated that the Steering Group and its supporters have the capacity to undertake the Neighbourhood Plan.  We include within these documents CV’s of the current steering group, to demonstrate the wealth of professional and community abilities we possess.  Within the consultation report there is a list of organisations and businesses that have already pledged support.  We would not have been able to achieve our objectives without the support of these organisations who have donated halls and lecture theatres, office services and technical advice.

Working with Landowners
We have already been able to meet with and discuss our plans with several of the major landowners and developers in the area.  All of them have proved sympathetic to our aims and many have already sighed up as supporters.

Letters of support
We are aware that many people have sent individual letters of support directly to Westminster City Council.  We also offered residents the opportunity to fill in blank support cards.  Some of those have been sent to the City Council independently.  We enclose here a further batch of 30 postcards that have been returned to us, to pass onto WCC.

We left a comment area blank.  It was important to us that people should express, in their own words, the issues that had led them to decide to support Fitzrovia West.

Examples of the views expressed include:

I want Fitzrovia to keep its heritage

I think we should be able to build a community for both residents and businesses and have the ability to be involved in our neighbourhood.

It is a unique cultural area and its character should be recognised.

Fitzrovia is privileged to benefit from a great sense of community and togetherness.  The designation as a neighbourhood will only enhance this sense of community.

I feel Fitzrovia has its own personality which should be protected, not amalgamated with another area.

I’ve lived and worked in Fitzrovia since the early 1960’s. There have been many changes, but the area retains its unique flavour.  We are distinctly different in comparison to Marylebone. Let’s work together to keep Fitzrovia’s character intact and to improve it.

If you didn’t get a chance to express your views there is still time to make a comment to us.  Please fill in the comment form below and it will appear on the website.