Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum Steering Group has submitted the revised draft of the Neighbourhood Plan to Westminster City Council. This means that we have started the home run to get our Neighbourhood Plan completed.
This is the culmination of four years work with local residents and businesses and you can find the revised draft Plan and associated documents on a new page of this website.
We expect Westminster to begin its formal consultation on our Plan by the end of June 2021 and hope that we will be able to get to the referendum stage by February/March of next year.
We’d be delighted to come and talk further to Residents Associations about the Plan and its policies (email us) and would like to thank you all for your help in getting to this stage.
As you may have noticed, Westminster City Council has recently (January 2021) withdrawn the one-way system and removed the outdoor seating arrangements for pubs, cafes and restaurants in Warwick Way.
This was done in the light of the need to consider certain knock-on traffic impacts and taking account of the winter weather, the second lockdown and the requirement to relocate Tachbrook Market temporarily.
Residents and businesses have told us that the interventions last year were a big success in the extremely difficult circumstances of the aftermath of the first lockdown. The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum is working with the Residents Associations and local Councillors to help the Council devise a plan to repeat this success as soon as circumstances permit. Following the success of the temporary arrangements the same groups are working with the Council to look at what could be done permanently to reflect the Forum vision of a vibrant commercial area supporting our community.
In the meantime, it would help the Forum if members could quickly give us some feedback about what worked and what didn’t work with the Summer 2020 arrangements and what improvements would help (bearing in mind that the barriers were very much what was functional and available at short notice). Please get in touch via email@example.com.
1st MARCH UPDATE
Thank you to all members of the Forum and readers of this announcement who sent us their feedback! We forwarded all the responses (suitably anonymised) to Westminster City Council to help inform their thinking, along with a summary position from the Forum.
Despite Covid-19 and after one more technical consultation, we hope to be able to finalise the Neighbourhood Plan for approval by referendum in the second half of 2021!
We are delighted to announce that Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum has been re-designated for a further 5 years. This means that your organisation will be able to continue its work on finalising the Neighbourhood Plan.
We have revised the draft Plan that was consulted on in Summer 2019 and we expect to start a technical “screening” consultation with statutory bodies very soon, ending in late February. We hope that the Plan will pass muster at this stage and that following that process we will be able to submit the Plan to Westminster for consultation with the local community so that it can proceed to examination by an independent examiner and then to a referendum of voters in our area.
The Plan will help deliver the Vision for Pimlico agreed by the Forum in 2017.
While the environment for the businesses based in Pimlico and those serving our Neighbourhood has changed in the last year, we think the vision still holds good and if anything even more describes what we aspire to for our “village”.
The Steering Group would be very pleased to talk to any residents associations or individual residents or businesses in our area to explain more about the Neighbourhood Plan and the process it has to go through: please drop us an email!
Finally, in these very strange and challenging times, we would like to send wishes for a Happy Christmas, and a healthy and safe New Year!
Because of Covid-19 we have been unable to hold our Annual General Meeting in person, as we had hoped, and we now want to update you on progress with the Forum since the last AGM.
The 2019-20 Annual Report is now published on this website and is also available as a PDF. We also publish our Annual Accounts.
Here is a very short outline of the Annual Report’s content:
Progress with Developing our Neighbourhood Plan
In late July last year we launched our first draft consultation of the Plan. It was met with general approval from residents and local Councillors. The Vision, and in particular the emphasis on vibrancy of the commercial centre, as well as protecting our heritage, the conservation areas and the preservation of the very limited amount of green and open space was strongly supported.
We are currently revising the Plan to take on board detailed comments and the next stage is a technical consultation with statutory bodies (e.g. Natural England and Historic England) to find out whether we need to undertake a full Strategic Environmental Appraisal or a Habitats Regulation Assessment. This is, we hope, a largely theoretical exercise given that Westminster will have done similar analysis in developing its own City Plans.
We would then hope to submit the revised Plan to Westminster around the end of the year for a further consultation and independent examination with the referendum taking place in Summer 2021.
Planning applications and other developments
The Forum can’t comment in detail on planning applications, but following the consultation on our Draft Plan, we may respond to major applications where there is already a clear and relevant view expressed by Forum members and the agreed Vision. Policies in the Plan will only have force after a successful referendum, but we have commented on the major application for the Wilton Road block opposite Sainsbury’s in respect of the height of the building and the extent of public realm (which is in short supply and in poor condition in that area).
In that vein, when the Council asked Neighbourhood Forums for their suggestions for transport and public realm improvements to help the hospitality and retail sectors recover from lockdown, we put forward an idea for discussion for Warwick Way/Wilton Road produced by one of our members. The issue of resolving competing demands for road and pavement space is accepted by our local Councillors and there is clearly a need for some significant improvement. The temporary scheme that the Council has delivered seems to have facilitated a re-opening of business which was far from certain and to have helped the small independent operators that are key to the character of Pimlico.
For the Steering Group
Peter Ruback, Chairman
The PNF Steering Group is pleased to report that Westminster City Council has now engaged with the ideas submitted by the Forum for a temporary transport scheme in the Warwick Way / Wilton Rd area to help local business recover from the Covid-19 lockdown.
In May the Council sought ideas to help the bounce back from lockdown. Our suggestions (23 May) were well received by the local community and our local Councillors have supported the sense of urgency about needing to widen pavements and reduce traffic to provide better conditions for shops and restaurants, customers, residents and local businesses.
On 16 June, the Council came back to the Forum with proposals that take into account and build on our ideas with their own plan: they want to remove one lane of motor traffic from Warwick Way between Guildhouse Street and Upper Tachbrook Street, allowing larger pavements for shops and the hospitality sector.
We welcome the move and look forward to a rapid roll-out of a scheme that helps Pimlico. We understand that in stage 2 of the Council’s Movement Strategy, which aims to help the hospitality sector recover from early July, there may be further developments and improvements across Westminster.
Supporting local businesses
Now more than ever it is important that we give the independent businesses that make up the Pimlico Village our support. Many restaurants and cafes have takeaway or delivery options and the market stalls and shops have stepped up to offer home deliveries. The most comprehensive local website with details of what’s on offer is here (scroll down to the shops). We also encourage businesses to sign up for the Shop Local map.
For the Steering Group
Peter Ruback, Chairman
Temporary transport schemes for Pimlico
– Our Draft Neighbourhood Plan has already identified that improving public realm in the Warwick Way and Wilton Road business area is a priority to help the area best meet the needs of residents, shoppers and diners. The lockdown is likely to end in early June for “retail” and early July for “hospitality”, but social distancing means action is needed even more urgently to help shops and restaurants reopen successfully and businesses and the community to bounce back.
The Department for Transport has helpfully set the way for local authorities to fast-track temporary measures to accommodate growth in pedestrian and cycling traffic. Westminster City Council has already published its thinking about the general steps it might take, but there are no specific proposals in Pimlico as yet.
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum Steering Group has put forward its own ideas, based on feedback when we consulted last year on our draft plan. We are very grateful for help from a Forum member who is a professional Transport Planner and modeller.
We wanted to tell members about this idea and seek your support and ideas on how to move it forward.
Temporary scheme proposal
The main idea is making Warwick Way one way – allowing only eastward journeys between Guildhouse St and Upper Tachbrook St (or Vauxhall Bridge Rd) for motor vehicles – and widening the pavements for pedestrians and restaurants and shoppers, perhaps separated from the road by planters, while allowing space for loading/delivery and cycling which is bound to increase. Wilton Road pavements, which are narrow near the junction, would also be widened. This would deal with the pressures from social distancing in our area as well as reducing through traffic (both starting and ending outside Pimlico).
This is not a final worked up scheme, but we think something like this could help deal with what will be serious pressures on public realm in the coming months.
We have sent the attached proposal to Westminster City Council officers so that Pimlico’s voice is heard as they develop their strategy and would be delighted if you could let us know what you think so we can continue to ensure input from our area. Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.