The Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan has now passed its Examination Stage and is now ready for the referendum which will bring it fully to life
Importantly the independent Examiner has concluded that, with some modifications that she has set out, the Plan meets the requirements to proceed to referendum. As mentioned below the Plan aims to ensure the village feel of the area is maintained particularly in relation to the heights of any new buildings.
The Plan is required to
- set out policies for the sustainable development and use of land in the designated Forum Area,
- reflect the wishes of the local community after broad consultation both with residents and a wide range of interested parties notably Westminster City Council (WCC), and
- be in line with the WCC’s City Plan, the Mayor of London’s London Plan and National Planning Policy.
With some modifications to the final draft all these conditions have been met. In her overview the Examiner says
“I congratulate the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum for producing a Plan which covers an extensive range of issues for this intensively developed and historical area within Central London, with its vibrancy and diversity.”
The modifications required are to ensure the Plan is not in conflict with WCC’s City Plan. Indeed some had been negotiated between the Forum and WCC during the preparation for the examination phase and then accepted by the Examiner. All these suggestions are accepted by the Forum Steering Group who agree with the Examiner’s conclusion that the final Plan will be
“… sufficiently robust to influence and manage the development of Pimlico over the next 18 years.”
The Examiner’s report and the definitive Plan will be available on line and we will publish the links when available. In the meantime here are some key recommendations:
- The policy on building heights in Pimlico has been left as submitted with only minor textual changes. This means that, in considering developments within Pimlico, WCC must have regard to the average height of the locality as set out in the Plan and restrict development in excess of this, so that, in the words of the Examiner:
“… the character of Pimlico … is protected.”
- Mansard Policy – the Plan proposed simplifying the rules that apply when considering mansard development to existing buildings. The Examiner accepted WCC’s arguments that, being prescriptive, these rules conflicted with the City Plan – instead they will be factors to be taken into account in any particular case. While the rules, which were broadly welcomed by residents, have not been entirely lost, it remains to be seen how this will work out in practice.
- The Wilton Road/Warwick Way public realm policies have been agreed subject to modifications negotiated with WCC which strengthen them. This should be helpful in relation to ongoing discussions with WCC on this issue. The Examiner noted:
“Policy PIM 22 [concerning] Wilton Road/Warwick Way public realm, should enhance the Central Activity Zone Retail Cluster [this is the retail and hospitality area around Witon Road, Warwick Way and Churton Street] and make it a more attractive destination for shoppers and visitors. I strongly support the aims of the policy…”
Overall, we believe that the Plan, as agreed by the Examiner, will help to deliver for residents the Vision for Pimlico agreed at the outset whenever WCC has to decide local planning issues and is therefore fully fit for the purpose residents have endorsed.
Working with WCC we will include the Examiner’s comments to produce a definitive Plan. WCC will then set a date for a referendum of all the persons on the Electoral Register within the Forum Area. A positive vote will mean that WCC must take the Plan into account when deciding planning applications.
The referendum will hopefully take place in early Summer. We will keep you posted and whenever the referendum is held please VOTE YES for the Plan.