Big Is Not Beautiful Westminster Council Says

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 creative businesses.

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 city.

“Our plan covers every aspect of modern life, from laying the groundwork for electric vehicle infrastructure to protecting our unique neighbourhoods like Soho. Westminster is 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.”

While Westminster 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.

Source Westminster City Council
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