As the formal consultation on Westminster’s draft City Plan 2019-2040 closed this week, New West End Company submitted its formal response, supporting certain key elements but seeking clarity and change in others to ensure that the West End can continue to prosper and grow.
Our response welcomes the geographic defining of the West End International Centre which will allow a range of future national and local policies to be targeted at the district. We also welcome the insistence that design and public realm should be of quality befitting of an International Centre.
While we support the Council’s aim of providing sufficient additional commercial space to accommodate agreed job targets in the West End, we are concerned that policies insisting on up to 35% of affordable housing in major new commercial developments (to be provided on site outside the International Centre) and high restrictions in the West End will seriously limit the ability to deliver the Plan’s ambitious job growth targets.
We also support the proposals for more flexibility of uses in the International Centre, complementary to retail. This should allow future developments in the West End International Center to respond to evolving global retail consumer trends and demands. However, we argue that some of the restrictions put on this flexibility are too limited and are thus seeking amendments to them.
Over the coming months New West End Company will work with other relevant organisations to promote our issues as the City Plan moves to public inquiry.