Plans have been announced by Westminster City Council’s Cabinet to remodel the entire Oxford Street District to secure its long-term future as a retail and commercial hub.
The draft Place Strategy promoted a set of 15 overarching place-based principles and 96 projects to help deliver the ambition for the district.
The Council has already set aside £150m of funds from its capital budget to kickstart world class improvements throughout the area.
The Place Strategy was subject to public consultation from 6th November 2018 to 13th December 2018 and the analysis of the responses has been shared with the Cabinet in order to inform a decision about what will happen next, with headlines of the consultation as follows:
- There were a total of 2,154 completed consultation responses
- 66% of overall respondents said they supported the Place Strategy principles
- 73% of resident respondents said they supported the Place Strategy principles
- The majority of stakeholders (resident and business groups) responded positively to the strategy
As a result, the Cabinet is being asked to acknowledge the results of the public consultation and to approve the updates to the Place Strategy and Delivery Plan as a result of the feedback. The most frequent comments provided via the consultation survey were:
- Support for the district wide approach
- Support for effective traffic management and for the strategy to strengthen related proposals
- Support for initiatives that would improve air quality and for the strategy to be stronger on this issue
- Support for the Marble Arch proposals to be more ambitious
- Requests for more detail related to design / traffic management overall and in key locations
- Concerns raised regarding management of the district and requests for more work to be done
As a result, the following changes have been made to the draft strategy:
- The principles have been revised and presented to emphasise that all are equally important
- Further information has been added to the elements section, particularly improving air quality
Cllr Richard Beddoe, Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning, said: “As proud custodians of the Oxford Street District, the council is determined to make sure it retains the crown as the nation’s high street in the face of huge challenges and online competition.
“We’ve carefully looked at every response received and made changes to the strategy as a result. We’ve always said that we will listen carefully to those who live, work, visit or have a business in the district so we develop the best scheme that will future proof this vital and iconic part of Westminster and the West End.
“Whilst there’s broad support for our approach, we will keep the dialogue and discussions going through any future technical stages required to deliver our ambitious strategy.”