Have Your Say on the FitzWest Neighbourhood Plan

12 June, 2020 | Consultations | 2 comments

The Forum has submitted revised documentation on the FitzWest Plan and Westminster City Council has arranged a 10-week consultation period from 26 May to 4th August 2020.
We encourage all residents and businesses based in the area to read the Plan and submit their comments to the Council by the closing date.
The Plan’s main objectives are to integrate new development into the heritage of the area, create more affordable housing, support small shops and businesses, improve the environment and particularly air quality, promote greening through tree planting, green roofs and creating healthy streets by encouraging walking and cycling.
The draft Plan and supporting documentation are available on our Neighbourhood Plan page 
For full information on the consultation process click here:
After this consultation stage, an Examiner appointed by the Council will review all the evidence and recommend any further changes to the Plan. A referendum will follow for both residents on the electoral roll and business rate payers.
All Invited……….
We are planning a public meeting and AGM in July to discuss issues of greatest concern in the area. Full details to follow.


  1. Leslie Moran

    Thanks Fitzwest for all the hard work that has gone into this response. I have sent feedback to the City in the following terms.

    Dear Westminster City Council
    I am a resident of Fitzrovia and have lived in the neighbourhood for over 20 years. I welcome the Fitzwest neighbourhood plan.

    The COVID 19 public health crisis has offered dramatic evidence of how one of the major problems in the area can be changed for the better -the dramatic reduction of traffic and pollution in all its various forms. It offers an experience of the ‘new normal’ that should be one of the key goals for the development of the area.

    I heartily support the Fitzwest plan with regards to the proposals for improving a diverse portfolio of residential properties. The plan draw attention to the damaging effects of absent owners, short term accommodation, Air BnB, on the sustainability of the neighbourhood. I welcome their proposals for a more robust approach to planning and development. But would urge stronger measures to limit new developments. Repeated destruction of the fabric of the area through development and more specifically the development of new building institutionalises degradation of the area for short term profits. The mid term impact of COVID 19 will mean that Oxford St and its environs as an international shopping destination of central office location are fatally flawed objectives. Building a diverse and attractive neighbourhood that values smaller scale projects is something that urgently needs to be given priority. Neighbourhood not cookie cutter bland international brand led shopping emporia will make the area more attractive to visitors and more sustainable.

    With this in mind I disagree with the Fitzwest proposal that the area immediately north of Oxford St should be the area in which retail and entertainment developments are concentrated. In some parts entertainment is already over represented -the corner of Newman St and Mortimer St is an example. The push for longer opening hours, noise pollution, crowded pavements with drinkers making it impossible to pass on the pavement already threaten to kill residential use. A more active approach to planning to restrict concentrations of businesses and all the negatives that flow needs to be adopted. Building residential capacity with mix stock, building neighbourhood, with diversity are approaches needed to create a healthier and more sustainable area.

    One important weakness with the Fitzwest plan is the limited vision put forward for reimagining traffic flows through the area. Through routes need to be restricted. Road narrowing schemes need to be given a greater priority across the area as a whole. Parking provision needs to be shifted towards resident only use with due provision for parking relating to services and service providers. Connected to this is the need for a higher profile and greater sensitivity to the need to promote cycling. Again the COVID 19 experience has highlighted the massive potential of cycling in the area. More dedicated cycle parking for local residents who have little space for cycle storage is needed. Greening and pedestrianisation projects also need to be cycle sensitive and cycle aware.

    Another weakness of the Fitzwest plan is the limited vision for the greening of the area. Road narrowing and the incorporation of pop up flower gardens and smaller green areas needs to be promoted more. Pop up gardens funding by local businesses can be used to encourage a more positive street scape. They also provide opportunities for the creation of parking bays that will add more diversity to the streetscape especially in streets not suitable for trees.

    Now is not the time to reboot pre COVID 19 plans. A rare opportunity has been provided that has opened a window on new possibilities. Failure to acknowledge that and to take it forward will be a legacy that will haunt the area for many generations.

    • FitzWest admin

      Many thanks for sending comments and feedback on the Neighbourhood Plan to Westminster City Council. We appreciate your general support for the Plan.

      We note your comments about development north of Oxford Street and south of Mortimer Street. Our Plan is required to be in general conformity with WCC’s strategic policies and particularly the West End Retail and Leisure Special Policy Area which does direct retail and leisure uses to this area as well as a much wider area of W1. We included development and environmental policies designed to limit the adverse impact on residents as much as possible and will certainly emphasise these points when developments arise.

      We also fully support your comments on traffic and transport in the area. We strongly advocate making Fitzrovia a Low Traffic Neighbourhood and applying the Mayor’s ideas of ‘healthy streets’ where the emphasis is on walking, cycling, landscaping and improved air quality by reducing through traffic. We also support the idea of creating goods and parcel distribution hubs served by electric vehicles as online shopping is increasing rapidly and diesel vans are a major source of pollution.

      On greening we have policies on providing more green space and we advocate closing some roads in full or in part in order to achieve this. Our green strategy is designed to be indicative of what can be achieved if limited resources are targeted in the right way.

      We decided not to lay down a blueprint for traffic management and greening since we need the support and powers of WCC to achieve both these objectives and it may be that we need to focus more on small, incremental changes rather than getting a comprehensive plan in one go. The Forum can contribute to this process and will press for action but certainly can’t do it all itself. But we will continue to put the case for a comprehensive approach if this looks to be achievable.

      So we see the neighbourhood plan very much as a starting point to set out the priorities for the area and as a sound basis to press for the improvements outlined above. We hope we can count on your support.