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.
Tuesday 15th February 2022 – Fitzrovia Community Centre, Foley Street – 6pm
All residents, businesses and community groups in Fitzrovia West are invited to come along and share ideas for projects that will improve the infrastructure of Fitzrovia. We will collect all the suggestions together and then a selection will be put forward for funding application from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). There will be more information about CIL at the meeting. To give you an idea, here are the kind of projects that have been funded by CIL in other areas:
- Prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour, such as CCTV installations;
- Public Realm enhancements;
- Transport/highways, such as junction improvements to improve pedestrian safety, electric charging rollout, cycle docking stations, bridge refurbishment /corrosion protection;
- Open Spaces, such as WCC parks, landscaping and play facilities and upgrades;
- Health facilities;
- Sports & Leisure facilities;
- Utilities/Waste, e.g. deep drainage improvements, Street Markets utilities and improvements.
- Feasibility studies and research to enable the identification of eligible infrastructure projects.
If you are not able to attend but have a project you want to suggest then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will look forward to seeing you then.
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.These three locations would create a real impact and are close enough together to be a noticeable improvement to the greening in the area.
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
Your chance to be involved
We want an opportunity for the wider membership of the FitzWest Forum to have an input into the Council decisions around planning and licensing and we are aware it is difficult for residents and businesses to keep track of the many applications that affect Fitzrovia.
So we are creating a small committee of local residents to keep an eye on applications and draw attention to ones that are important. The committee will meet every 4-6 weeks, currently by Zoom, and discusses the implications of various applications. It’s an opportunity to have a real input and affect on Council decisions, and great for people who don’t have a lot of time but want to be involved. This committee will then influence and shape the response of the Forum to the applications.
If you would like to be on this committee please contact email@example.com
As part of our aim to include more members in important decisions, we have added a new page to our website
Planning and Licensing
Here you will find links to Westminster Council Planning and Licensing applications, a list of applications curated by Fitzrovia News and information about particular applications that affect the area and that you may want to comment on directly to the Council.
From FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum
FAO Emily Starkie (Review Officer)
Thank you for consulting us regarding the review of Westminster warding arrangments.
We do have some observations regarding our own area that we would like to put forward. This revolves around the area known as Fitzrovia, which is now commonly marked on maps, such as google maps, but has no continuity in the ward boundaries.
I am a representeantive of The FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum, an active neighbourhood group that has been set up since 2013. On 10th April 2018 our executive group agreed that we should write to you and this letter representes the views we consider our members to hold and those of the executive meeting last night.
I enclose a link to a map which outlines where the area is located. Our area has been designated a business forum, becasue of the number of businesses in the area.
We would like to see the whole of FItzrovia within Westminster being within the West End Ward.
Historic parish boundary now irrelevant:
Currently most of our area is located in the West End Ward, while a small amount – North of New Cavendish Street – is located in Marylebone High Street Ward. This is an anomaly reaching back to the days when ward boundaries were linked to parish boundaries. However today the reality is that the West End with its vibrancy of mixed uses – as opposed to simply residential – extend from Oxford Strreet in the south of our area, right up to Euston Road which forms our northern boundary.
Electorate numbers in FItzrovia:
We note the electorate is expected to rise in West End Ward and Marylebone Ward – much of this expansion is due to large multi-storey blocks of luxury flats which have recently been given permission in Fitzrovia. This can be confirmed by reference to CIL forecasts.
Different nature of West End and Marylebone:
Fitzrovia is currently split between Marylebone High Street and West End Ward. We do not feel an affinity with the rest of Marylebone High Street Ward, which is a different area, having an older, more stable population and less commerce. Marylebone High Street is focused around the local shopping High Street called Marylebone High Street. While Fitzrovians look towards Great Titchfield Street and Great Portland Street as twin local shopping streets.
It should also be noted that over the years the West End has migrated east. Current regeneration projects always link Camden’s areas of Bloomsbury and Tottenham Court Road in with the rest of the wider Westminster West End, which includes Covent Garden. No longer does Oxford Street have the prevelance it once enjoyed. Bond Street and Totternham Court Road are also now equally, if not more thriving shopping streets. This reflects a national move away from shopping in department stores, to smaller nich stores and shopping neighbourhoods, which also offer office accommodation, cultural facilties, cafes and restaurants. This mix of use defines FItzrovia.
Strong community views:
When we set up Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum there was some controvery between our area and Marylebone regarding boundaries. At a public meeting in 2013 there was unanimous support for keeping FItzrovia as a separate entity to Marylebone and this has been a continuing theme throught our work:
“A show of hands revealed that there was a considerable majority in favour of pursuing a FitzWest application, though some people regretted that a Camden/Westminster joint neighbourhood forum seemed unlikely. There was no support for merging Fitzrovia with the Marylebone proposal.” Report of a meeting 8th October 2013,
“At this meeting, just like at the first meeting, a show of hands was taken. Only one person, who lived or worked in the area, out of over eighty people present, expressed the view that they would like to consider the Marylebone proposal, while the rest wanted to pursue the Fitzrovia West proposal.” Report of a public meeting, 13 November 2013
Better representation from West End Councillors:
Throughout our work we have received far more support and engagement from the West End councillors than from Marylebone High Street councillors.
This is demonstrated in that West End councillors regularly attend our executive meetings (all attendance is recorded in our minutes on our website)
In addition we have been far more generously funded by West End Ward Budget than by Marylebone: Between 2014 and 2019, West End Ward has funded FItzWest to the tune of £7300, while we have received only £500 from Marylebone Ward, excluding a £1742 grant for a greening project managed by FItzWest, but not part of the Neighbourhood Forum process. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/ward-budgets
FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum