There will be no more skyscrapers
in Westminster if planning proposals in the City
of Westminster Council’s
City Plan, just opened for consultation, are adopted.
The proposals will mean the
height of new developments will have to match their surroundings. However,
airspace development – increasing existing buildings by one or two storeys –
could be encouraged. The council has previously declared an intention to
restrict the building of so-called mega mansions.
Soho will also be subject to a ‘protective policy’ to
‘stem the invasion’ of high street brands and encourage smaller retailers and
Other proposals include building
1,495 new homes annually with 1,850 new affordable homes by 2023, 6 in 10
affordable homes to be intermediate housing and creating new business floor
space for 63,000 jobs.
Westminster City Council
Cabinet Member for Planning and Place Shaping, Cllr Richard Beddoe said:
“Building the right type of homes for people to live in is the cornerstone of
our plan for the city. We cannot shy away from the fact there is a national
crisis. We’re determined to pull our weight by creating more homes for average
earners and middle income families with aspirations to build their lives in our
“Our plan covers every
aspect of modern life, from laying the groundwork for electric vehicle
infrastructure to protecting our unique neighbourhoods like Soho.
not a museum and our new plan strikes a balance between conservation and the
need for growth – cementing our position as one of the world’s most exciting
places to live, work and visit.”
Council’s proposals to protect the character of central London, or at least what is left of it, seem
admirable they also seem at odds with what many expect in a major global city
centre. It will be interesting to see which proposals make it through into
policy and how developers react to them.