We are delighted to announce that the long talked about and frequently delayed planters have finally been installed on Hanson street, Great Titchfield Street, and Gosfield Street at the junctions with New Cavendish Street.
These planters are funded by Neighbourhood CIL and the Tesco Bags of Help scheme.
Rebecca Heard of Fine Line Garden Design has done a wonderful job of sourcing hardy and attractive British plants and creating a very appealing planting design. It is designed to look great now, but also to grow and fill in as the months go by.
Lots of volunteers worked hard to get the planting done – including planting lots of bulbs which will come up in the spring.
We are very conscious that maintenance of these planters is incredibly important to keep them looking as good as they do now and we have a whole roster of volunteers who are watering , clearing rubbish that might appear and doing any other maintenance.
Children from All Souls School will be helping as well and it’s great to see all ages keen to be involved.
If you would like to help out and volunteer, then please do email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The various locations for the planters were chosen after a public consultation. They needed to be in places where there was space away from utilities and that didn’t get in the way of passersby. It was also hoped they will serve an additional purpose of discouraging on-street dumping. We are aware this may take a little while to settle in but hope that residents and businesses will help by only putting their rubbish out at the time and in the place stipulated by WCC. The times are available here.
Hanson Street Planter
Thanks again to the many people who have helped and supported this project.
Rubbish dumping and problems with waste are big problems for us all in Fitzrovia – and are certainly issues that come up with regularity at all of our meetings.
So we are pleased to share with you some of the steps that are being taken by Westminster Council to deal with this issue.
Here is a communication from Rob McCrae, the Senior City Inspector at Westminster Council about what is happening this week:
I would like to update you on the upcoming plans for a Waste Action Squad to tackle the challenge of dumped waste and littering. The Waste Action Squad will be a multi-agency team working with the community to identify effective solutions to address dumping hotspots through a trial programme, across Westminster.
This will start on Monday 24th October 2022 with a week of action focused on hotspots within the Fitzrovia ward area.
The key objectives for the team are:
· To provide a highly visible operation that shows this is an area of focus and that we are acting against persistent problems.
· To engage residents in a meaningful conversation about waste problems in their neighbourhood. To gather insight into how these could be tackled together and educate on the best ways of disposing of their waste to keep their streets clean and tidy.
· To create an action plan following the engagement to tackle these issues.
Below is a timeline for the week of engagement, the Waste Action Squad will be available at various different times on different days throughout the week, from 11am through to 9pm around the area providing education and enforcement on street and engaging with our residents and businesses.
Day & Time
14:00 – 16:00
19:00 – 21:00
AM: James Street j/w Oxford Street
PM: Bird Street/Barratt Street
11:00 – 13:00
15:30 – 17:30
AM: Great Portland Street Gazebo
PM: Great Titchfield Street
10:00 – 12:00
AM: Wells Street
PM: Market Place (South) Gazebo
12:00 – 14:00
16:00 – 18:00
AM: Langham Street
PM: Foley Street
12:00 – 14:00
16:00 – 18:00
AM: Hanson Street
PM: New Cavendish Street
Thanks to everyone who attended the public meeting on 15th February 2022 at the Fitzrovia Community Centre.
The purpose of the meeting was to hear ideas and to inform residents and local organisations about the Community Infrastructure Levy and how it works.
We were delighted to see lots of people there and to hear many ideas of how to improve the infrastructure of Fitzrovia West using the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Amit Mistry, Principal Policy Officer from Westminster Council addressed the meeting and took questions about CIL, the kind of projects it funds and how it works.
There were lots of suggestions for projects from people at the meeting and via email beforehand. A summary of the subjects is here:
- Cycle racks modelled on Banja Luka
- Planters with cycle racks attached
- Planting around the tree on Carburton Street
- Replacing the planters near Holcroft court.
- Upgrading the cycle racks near the Almost Saturday cafe.
- A children’s playground (if a location could be found)
- Green walls
- Benches with green walls built into them (solar powered)
- Small on-street waste bins
- Rain gardens
- Trees on build outs
- Cultivation of tree pits
- Opening up the school for the benefit of the community
- A corridor through the Fitzrovia Centre to the garden behind
- Refurbish the old swimming pool behind the Fitzrovia Centre (expensive)
- Notices on bollards giving the times of collection of rubbish
- A study for a low traffic neighbourhood
- An air quality survey
- Refurbishing local benches
- Road bollards.
- Pop ups of various kinds
The full minutes of the meeting are available here – CIL Public Meeting 15.2.22
The time scale to come up with a project and apply for CIL funding is ongoing. The Westminster Council CIL committee meets every 3 months to assess the applications, so there are plenty of opportunities for people to create an application. All details are here:
Any comments or suggestions then please email us on email@example.com or leave a comment here.
After consulting previously with residents and businesses, we identified various locations which either have a lot of pavement space or are prone to rubbish dumping – or both! The idea is to position planters in these locations to brighten up and green our streets – but also we hope to deter dumping. We have funding that we successfully applied for from Tesco. The disruption of Covid has meant all plans were put on hold, but now we are keen to use the money to improve the area. Please let us know your thoughts.
Westminster Council have agreed in principle to the locations, so this is about making sure that residents and businesses know what is going on and have had a chance to have their say. Can you help? We are also looking for anyone who would be able to help maintain the planters, e.g. by watering, particularly in the summer.
We are very much hoping that this will lead to further greening projects as there have been many locations suggested by residents and businesses.
Click on this link here to fill out the survey: Fitzwest Greening Project 2021 Survey
Westminster Council are asking for your views on their plans for temporary works designed to support social distancing and enable the safe reopening of Oxford Street when restrictions are eased. You can comment directly to the Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Management:
“It was agreed at the meeting on Monday, 25th January, with Amenity Societies and Neighbourhood Forums that Westminster City Council would share further information and invite comment on our plans for temporary public realm improvement works, proposed to begin towards the end of this month.
The first phase of the overarching Oxford Street District (OSD) strategy involves our proposals for installing a temporary scheme on Oxford Street itself, to showcase innovation, sustainability, culture and diversity.
We think quick-win interventions could be delivered by late Spring 2021 and present an exciting opportunity to test and experiment, as the first potential step towards the longer-term revitalisation of the district.
The temporary scheme would be delivered via a Temporary Traffic Order (TTO) for 18 months. We would plan to start these works at the end of this month.
These temporary proposals would see increased footway space on Oxford Street to enable safe, socially distanced access to the district, complemented by streetscape changes designed to improve the look and feel of the area. These plans are designed to enable the safe reopening of Oxford Street, when permitted, following the easing of national regulations and ensure visitors will be able to successfully socially distance. It has recently been reported that social distancing may remain in place until 2022, although there is no current guidance as to when that rule may change.
We will ensure that any works that take place are Covid secure and we think it would be beneficial to carry out these works during lockdown to ensure that any disturbance would be kept to a minimum. As with all schemes, we would keep it under constant review once established to ensure it is working effectively.
Our proposals for temporary improvements include:
- footway enhancements: extended pedestrian space and footways
- ‘street dressing’: a significant increase in plants and green areas, new contemporary seating, particularly in ‘pocket’ spaces along the street, colourful, themed banners which will be designed to create a sense of place and continuity
- ‘urban theatre’: spaces for outdoor performance, features that create a sense of enlivenment, with ‘smart’ technology-based installations, and concept lighting
Initial locations for the temporary scheme including footway widening have been identified for the following locations:
- West Oxford Street: Marble Arch islands, Bird Street junction, Davies Street junction, outside Selfridges
- Oxford Circus: Hills Place junction, Great Titchfield Street/ Market Place, Winsley Street junction, Old Cavendish Street junction, Holles Street junction
- East Oxford Street: Newman Street junction, Rathbone Place junction and Soho Square (north).
You can see further details of the proposed works at www.westminster.gov.uk/osd and we would be grateful if you could share your views on our plans or ask us any questions via our dedicated e-mail
We will also be launching our full vision and framework document later this month that will set out all of the ambitious and complementary improvements we wish to deliver with our partners for the benefit of residential communities, businesses, workers and visitors.”