The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum, which represents residents and businesses on the Westminster side of Fitzrovia, has made good progress in preparing its neighbourhood plan. This will shortly be submitted to Westminster City Council and is then examined by an independent examiner. Subject to approval by the examiner, a referendum of both residents and businesses will take place later in the year. The Forum will be organising a campaign to make everyone aware of the plan and the opportunity to vote on it later in the year.
The plan emphasises increased control of development and the provision of more affordable housing. Support for shops, small businesses and improved air quality are also accentuated. A number of side streets are identified where control of traffic and improved landscaping could contribute to what the Mayor of London calls ‘healthy streets’. See the FitzWest Forum’s website for more information and the latest draft of the neighbourhood plan (fitzwest.org)
The Forum has also been engaged in improving the local environment by supporting Westminster’s project to re-landscape Market Place just to the north of Oxford Street, for which the New West End Company is taking the lead. The Forum is also promoting two greening projects: a green wall near the All Souls’ School and improvements to the pavement near Holcroft Court. It has also welcomed Westminster’s decision to consult local people on a scheme for Riding House Street near the primary school. The Council will also be consulting soon on a west-east cycle route down Foley Street and into Camden via Cleveland Street and Tottenham Street.
Other concerns to the Forum are the possible closure to the NHS medical walk-in centre in Soho Square, which is used by many people living and working in the area and the possible closure of the Crown Post Office in Mortimer Street. As is well known, this is heavily used throughout weekdays and Saturday mornings. We will also be commenting on Westminster Air Quality Action Plan.
Nick Bailey is a member of the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum executive committee.