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 email@example.com
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.
University of Westminster Archive
Soho Poly Theatre – a contribution to funding the renovation of the theatre on Riding House Street.
Greening Carburton Street – a resident-led project for funding to continue planting around this street and the planting will be maintained by local residents.
Full details of all CIL projects are available on Fitzwest Forum website
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here.
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.
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 City Council has launched a new brochure setting out plans to create piazzas on two sections of Oxford Street either side of Oxford Circus. All traffic going east-west will be diverted northwards through Marylebone and Fitzrovia via John Princes Street, Mortimer Street and Great Portland Street.
Changes to traffic flows are also proposed in Fitzrovia West with part of Mortimer Street being made two-way and the direction of traffic in part of Great Titchfield Street and all of Newman Street and Berners street being reversed. A number of new pedestrian crossings are being installed.
There is no mention of any provision for cyclists nor improved arrangements for servicing and deliveries.
All these changes are being introduced for six months on an ‘experimental’ basis which means the Council is not required to carry out full consultation before beginning work later this year. It will, however, ‘carefully consider input from residents, businesses and other stakeholders’ once the work has been completed.
Full details are set out in the Oxford Street brochure:
The FitzWest Forum has written to West End ward members and Cllr Caplan, Deputy Leader, arguing that full consultation should be carried out now because of the potential impact of these changes on Fitzrovia, as well as Soho, Marylebone and Mayfair.
FITZROVIA WEST GOES TO THE POLLS ON 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021
Your time has come to vote in a referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan on 2nd September 2021. Everyone registered to vote will be able to say whether they want the plan to influence planning decisions and create an improved environment for all those living in, working in and visiting the area. All businesses in the neighbourhood which pay business rates will also get a vote. The Fitzrovia Centre in Foley Street will be the polling station but you can also apply for a postal vote through this link:
For more information have a look at our website Neighbourhood Plan
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