Westminster City Council has just confirmed that the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan can go to a referendum with the Plan being modified in line with the independent examiner’s recommendations.
This is the last step on the path to making our Plan a reality.
The modified Plan has 23 policies covering everything from the uses of commercial premises and improving the public realm in the central commercial area, protecting heritage in the Conservation Areas, protecting green spaces and open spaces, maximum building heights and ensuring that any major development is of high quality sensitive to the local area.
The supporting commentary in the plan has been developed after lots of work with the local community and gives a clear account of how the Forum’s members want to guide any development and new investment in public realm and green spaces in our area.
We expect the referendum to take place in September 2022.
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.
Update on progress of the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan
We are now getting closer to the referendum on the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan aims to deliver the Vision for Pimlico agreed in 2017.
- In October 2021, the Independent Examiner, Jill Kingaby, was appointed to consider the draft Plan and whether it conformed to National, London and Westminster City strategic planning policies.
- On 10 February 2022, PNF and Westminster City Council jointly submitted a “Statement of Common Ground” responding to comments made on the Plan when it was consulted on last Summer.
- We expect shortly to receive the Examiner’s report and we hope and expect her to say that the Plan is fit to proceed to a referendum, subject to any specific modifications that she has decided. This is standard for a Neighbourhood Plan that has reached this stage.
- We would then expect a referendum to take place in June.
Every resident in the Forum Area on the Electoral Roll will be able to vote and we hope that you will support us in getting people to vote for the Plan.
As announced in the previous newsletter, our 2021 AGM will be held on Tuesday 5 October 2021 at 7.30pm at St Saviours Church Hall in St George’s Square
We look forward to seeing our members there and to updating them on progress with developing a Plan for our area. Here are the papers for the meeting:
- Minutes of the 1st May 2019 AGM
- 2020 Annual Report
- 2020-2021 Accounts
If you are a member and haven’t done so already, could you please confirm by email whether you expect to attend, so we can make suitable arrangements for social distancing?
Subscribers who are not members also receive this newsletter for information only. If they live, work or own a business in the Pimlico Area they are welcome to join the Forum.
Latest news on Pimlico Planning!
A short update on 3 areas of interest for our Neighbourhood Forum.
Consultation on draft Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan
Westminster City Council’s Reg 16 Consultation on the draft Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan ended on 23 August. The responses received can be found here; we were pleased and grateful for the many supportive messages of residents. The Forum steering group is now considering these responses, in particular whether and how any comments require any change. The next formal stage is the appointment of an Independent Examiner to consider the Plan in the light of the consultation.
Public Realm scheme in Warwick Way
Having launched a study as part of a wider “Pimlico Placemaking” on a longer term vision for the central area of Pimlico, the Council is now consulting on whether to extend the temporary al fresco dining arrangements in Warwick Way beyond the end of September as a further temporary measure. It is also consulting on continuing arrangements in those areas outside Pimlico where there is interest in longer term schemes.
The draft Neighbourhood Plan makes clear that the public realm in Wilton Road and Warwick Way (our central shopping and dining area) has not received significant investment or capital maintenance and needs improving to support the environment for shops, restaurants, pubs and other businesses.
The consultation ends on 26 September and we would like to encourage residents and local businesses to take part.
We intend to hold our 2021 Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 5 October at 7.30pm at St Saviours Church Hall in St George’s Square: please hold the date, members will receive soon the full agenda and papers for the meeting. In order for us to make suitable arrangements for social distancing, could those expecting to attend please let us know by email? Thank you!