Planning applications, Queen Mother Sports Centre, Warwick Way / Churton Street
Since the Spring, the Forum has been responding to a small number of planning applications, to ensure that the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan is taken into account in Westminster and Planning Inspectorate decisions. At this stage, we are focussing on those issues where policies in the Plan and the Vision are most relevant. It also enables us to get experience as to how the planning decisions are taken in practice. So we have responded on two cases involving retrospective consent for change of use or potentially noisy machinery as well as an application for House in Multiple Occupation use in a property more suited to less intensive residential use.
We have also engaged with Vitcorp (the owners of the Wilton Road section of the Queen Mother Sports Centre block) to hear about their plan. These are clearly at a very early stage and the Council has also said that its investment funds for sports facilities are fully committed elsewhere. We continue to monitor the situation carefully. It is crucial that the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan policies, regarding use and height of development are respected in any future developments on this block.
Finally, we were deeply disappointed that the Council removed the alfresco public realm and traffic arrangements in Warwick Way starting in 3rd April 2023, due to a technical legal challenge by someone outside the Pimlico Neighbourhood area, making the Summer more difficult for businesses, residents and other people in Pimlico. The Council is still keen to develop a permanent scheme for the area and we are now expecting a Statutory Traffic Management Order consultation – and then hopefully start of the work for a much improved public realm in time for Summer 2024!
- Westminster City Council and any promoters must ensure that any development of the Queen Mother Sports Centre and within the surrounding block is not too tall and doesn’t represent “creep” from Victoria (Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan Policy PIM 10 covers building heights).
- The existing role of the Queen Mother Sports Centre as a community leisure
facility should be retained. Redevelopment proposals must ensure that the
leisure facility continues to serve the local community and meet Westminsterʼs needs (Policy PIM 23).
- The surrounding terrace in Upper Tachbrook Street (in the Pimlico Conservation Area) and the listed terrace on Gillingham Street must be preserved or enhanced (Policy PIM 23).
- Proposals should explore opportunities to deliver a permanent public pedestrian route through from Wilton Road to Vauxhall Bridge Road, the provision of accessible open space and/or improvements to the public realm in Wilton Road itself (Policy PIM 23).
Full details of these and other policies are in the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan.
In January 2023, we heard about an organisation calling itself “Pimlico People’s Forum”. We want residents to be clear that this is not the same as the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum and that we are not linked in any way.
From its website and the Pimlico Post (a free newspaper circulated recently), it appears that this activity is all linked to Vitcorp Ltd – an international property development company that owns some of the properties in Wilton Road that back onto the Queen Mother Sports Centre.
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan was approved by a referendum of residents in September 2022 and now applies to any planning application within the Pimlico Neighbourhood Area:
- it includes policies that aim to keep the low-rise village feel that distinguishes Pimlico from the Victoria area to the North and thus is particularly relevant to any development on the block containing the Queen Mother Sports Centre;
- It calls for a sports centre to be retained on this block.
We will keep you posted.
Background and Vision
Over the last 20 years, Pimlico’s population has increased by a third, but our main shopping streets have had little public or private investment to keep pace with this. Residents told us they want to be able to do more of their shopping and dining in Pimlico, rather than having to travel outside the area.
The vision for Pimlico in the Neighbourhood Plan calls for improving the public spaces around the shopping areas to make the environment for our local businesses more favourable.
“improve the physical environment of the pavement and the areas immediately adjacent to it. Where possible, there should be a reduction in space dedicated to parking and utility clutter, increasing space for pedestrians or people sitting outside cafés whilst reducing the amount of stop-start driving and cars changing lane because of the road layout.”
In Spring 2022, the Council proposed options for improving some of the shopping streets in North Pimlico, improving on the hospitality scheme opened in June 2020. Since then, they have been carrying out studies and investigations, have come up with improvement scheme for Warwick Way/Upper Tachbrook Street and Churton Street and they are now consulting on a specific proposal.
The Forum Steering Group support this proposal as well as calling for further improvements to Wilton Road (which has had no investment in public space for over 20 years). We want an improvement in the range and health of the businesses in our area to meet the needs of all residents, without creating a major “destination” attracting too much traffic into what is primarily a residential area different from Victoria and Belgravia to the north.
Why you should support the scheme
The Council is consulting on a substantial investment (over £2 million) in hard landscaping. This is the biggest offer for Pimlico public realm for very many years and we are very lucky indeed to have the chance to get anything like this in our area.
We want better shopping streets, with a good mix of healthy, well-run businesses. Having a well-designed, high quality and welcoming public realm will help support our existing shops, encourage new businesses into the area and can reduce crime.
We need easy access for those who live in and visit our area, but we don’t need the vehicles that just drive straight on right through Pimlico. The Council’s traffic study shows that the current one-way scheme has diverted a lot of this unwanted ‘through traffic’ out of Pimlico completely and the proposals seek to improve on this further.
You can make sure that Pimlico’s view has the most weight. While there is strong local support, there is some opposition, including from outside Pimlico, but no convincing alternative proposal for helping Pimlico. So please support the scheme and respond positively to the consultation.
How you can support the scheme
The Council has provided a good consultation website with maps and pictures to show what the scheme would look like: www.westminster.gov.uk/warwick-way-public-realm-consultation.
The response survey is at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/warwickwayconsultation. It is very quick to complete. However, if you want, there are also comment boxes for any suggestions or concerns on specific aspects.
Specific details you may want to consider…
- Pavement quality: we really want to get proper natural (York) stone rather than concrete paving. This is important, so please consider putting this in the survey ‘comments’ box. We would not want Pimlico to be disadvantaged by having inferior quality materials to other shopping streets in nearby areas.
- Carriageway: there is an interesting suggestion that the road surface should be a lighter colour – some other streets in Westminster now have had a beige surface applied which both reduces heat and acts as a reminder to drivers that they are entering a zone with significant pedestrian traffic. Again, if you like this idea, please put in the comments box.
- The additional new trees: would be a good thing. The new trees will be sited in the new pavement extension area, so away from under pavement vaults. In Churton Street, we want Edinburgh silver birches to match the existing trees. Do you want the same type of tree in Warwick Way?
- Loading bays: obviously businesses will have a particular interest in the siting of loading and pay bays. Do you have a view on how many minutes should be allowed in the loading bays? The loading bays along Warwick Way currently allow at least 30 minutes, should some be reduced to 20 minutes?
- Anything else you feel the Council should know or would like to ask for? Now is the time to tell them and ask!
Don’t let Pimlico miss out!
Even if you have concerns over the specifics of either Churton Street or Warwick Way, please do support the scheme overall. There should be further consultation in 2023 on the final detailed plans, but we need a strong positive response to the survey now to get to the next stage.
You may remember that in Summer 2021, the Council held an informal poll on whether to continue the hospitality scheme which created more space for pavement seating for the cafes, pubs and restaurants as well as reducing through traffic in the “high street” of Pimlico. The result was overwhelmingly in favour and so the hospitality scheme was continued.
The Council has now come up with proposals for a permanent scheme which increases pavement space, keeping Warwick Way one-way westwards for motor vehicles between Belgrave and Vauxhall Bridge Roads, with no entry for them to Warwick Way at the junction with Belgrave Road. This will remove the current access for cars to Guildhouse Street from the junction with Warwick Way.
The scheme also includes plans to make Churton Street one-way northwards and to expand the public realm there.
The consultation can be accessed on www.westminster.gov.uk/warwick-way-public-realm-consultation which gives visuals for the public realm works as well as detailed plans for the road and pavement spaces, parking etc.
There is no doubt that this is a significant proposal for Pimlico which aims to improve the physical environment of the main shopping and dining streets serving Pimlico as well as a much wider area.
We would encourage everyone to respond to the consultation survey as it is important for the Council to understand the level of support and the reasons for it as well as any detailed concerns that some people may have about specific aspects of the scheme, such as the design itself, details of planting proposals etc.
The consultation closes on 9 February 2023.
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum and the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan emphasise the need to do something material to improve the quality of the public realm in this part of Warwick Way (as well as Wilton Road) which has had no significant investment in the last 30 years, during which time the population of our area has increased significantly. But it is important that the details should be got right, and the decision based on the evidence.
Approved by local referendum on 22 September 2002, the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan was formally adopted by Westminster City Council on 7 December and published in its final form (click on the picture to read / download).
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the statutory Development Plan and will be used alongside Westminster City Plan 2019-2040 and the London Plan 2021 when determining planning applications within the Pimlico Neighbourhood Area. The Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan includes policies on a range of matters including commercial and mixed-use development, design and heritage, housing and hotels, public realm and environment.
This marks the end of a 6 year long process and we would like to thank the many residents and other experts who helped us along the way. We’d also like to remember the contributions of Mair Garside and Edward Reeve, both very long standing Pimlico residents, who died in 2018 and were energetically involved in the steering group from the start of its work.
There have so far been 6 residential referendums on Neighbourhood Plans in Westminster. This is the highest vote for “YES” and the highest number of votes in total, with a high turnout.
The next step is for Westminster City Council to formally “make” (that means adopt) the Plan and to apply it to planning applications in our area.
We’d like to thank everyone who voted yesterday (either way) and everyone who contributed to the debate by posting on social media or to residents groups.
Voting is between 7am and 10pm. There are three Polling Stations – click on the map to see where you should cast your vote.
Vote YES if you want to:
- preserve Pimlico’s character and village feeling;
- restrict new development above the characteristic height of buildings nearby;
- protect and improve our public realm and our open and green spaces;
- ensure new housing meets the needs of families in Pimlico and
- support and enhance our retail areas.
Areas with a Neighbourhood Plan in place keep 25% of their Community Infrastructure Levy.
The Council collects money for infrastructure from new developments through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). This is a planning charge based on the floorspace of new developments.
Areas without a Neighbourhood Plan only keep 15% of the money and it is subject to an annual cap. In places with a Neighbourhood Plan, this increases to 25% and is uncapped.
It can be used on a wide range of local projects, for example:
- Road and footpath improvements
- Tree planting
- New or improved play spaces and facilities
- Community safety measures (eg CCTV, lighting)
- New or improved cycling facilities
- Traffic calming measures
- Improvements to school grounds and buildings
- Improvement of local facilities such as libraries, community centres or sports halls
Residents want to be able to enjoy thriving shops, cafes and restaurants and live happily alongside these.
People wanted a better range of shops so more of their needs can be met in the ‘village’ without having to leave the area but avoiding it becoming a major ‘destination’ in its own right, attracting too much traffic, parking and other impacts that are unsuitable for a primarily residential area.
The Plan aims to support commercial activities, while protecting residential amenity and avoiding any harm to heritage. Policies include limiting the locations of new businesses to existing town centres, putting strong limits on locations for new hot-food takeways, and ensuring that changes to buildings to support businesses put residential amenity, design and heritage first.
Pimlico has a large proportion of historic architecture that is consistently lower in height than that of neighbouring areas.
The plan ensures that proposals must preserve: protected townscape and views, the setting of any listed building or unlisted building of merit, and the setting and key features of our conservation areas (Pimlico, Peabody Avenue, Dolphin Square and Lillington and Longmoore).
The Plan makes clear that the Pimlico Neighbourhood Area is generally not suitable for buildings out of scale with those in their close vicinity and has specific policies for our area which are stronger than Westminster’s City Plan.
People like the gardens, parks and green spaces. They want them protected and ideally would like more.
Aside from their amenity and use by residents, the open and green spaces are important as they help contribute to an ‘open feel’ – they open up or contribute to views. We knew this in 2016, when we started our work, and the last two years have really proved it!
We need to protect these spaces and even smaller bits of public realm as well as creating more spaces for any larger development that might be proposed. We also need to improve public realm used by pedestrians accessing the shops, pubs and restaurants. Finally we must keep Pimlico Gardens as a crucial green space that enables locals to access and enjoy the riverside.
This is the second of 5 brief posts about the content of Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan that people living in the Neighbourhood Area (only) will be voting on on 22 September 2022. Find out more:
Residents told us they wanted to keep the village feel: the local independent businesses, the historic well designed buildings
The Plan has been written with 23 policies to achieve this: from policies about the sort of business in the central area around Wilton Road and Warwick Way, about open and green space, historic buildings, building heights and the well designed estates. It will also put the local community in a strong position to respond to future planning applications, as well as marking out why we are different from Victoria to the North.
This is the first of 5 brief posts about the content of Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan that we will be voting on on 22 September 2022. Find out more:
The referendum for the Pimlico Neigbourhood Plan will be on Thursday 22 September 2022.
In brief, our plan:
- sets out policies for development and use of land in our area
- reflects the wishes of the local community
- will be used by Westminster City Council to help decide planning applications in Pimlico
Reasons to vote YES
- preserve Pimlico’s character and village feeling
- restrict new development above the characteristic height of buildings nearby
- protect and improve our public realm, and our open and green spaces
- ensure new housing meets the needs of families in Pimlico
- support and enhance our retail areas
- increase our share of CIL money (the Capital Infrastrucure Levy the Council sets on new developments)
We will send a short update on each of these reasons in the run up to the referendum itself.
Read, download or print the plan at: https://pimlicoforum.org/wp-co…
More on the plan and the referendum
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:
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!
Warwick Way / Wilton Road / Denbigh Street public realm
Following last Summer’s hospitality scheme for Warwick Way and Wilton Road, which has been reinstated this Summer, Westminster City Council has started to consider how the public realm in the central area of Pimlico – Warwick Way / Wilton Road / Denbigh Street and adjacent streets – can best be improved. This is within the context of a larger piece of work on “Pimlico placemaking”.
For the central area, as we see it there are three core objective and priorities:
- Improving public realm to make the shopping and dining experience of the central area more attractive and to improve the environment for business;
- Reduce harmful effects of through traffic in our area, in particular improve air quality, because it is very largely residential; and
- Better manage and reduce antisocial behaviour which businesses have told us is a serious concern of theirs at the moment.
Beyond the central area, we are keen to see improvements in public realm and planting which enhance the four conservation areas and the green and other open spaces while respecting our special architectural heritage. Westminster has committed to consult on specific options for the central area and to consult on and develop a range of projects for wider Pimlico (including Churchill Gardens) before anything is implemented.
Formal Neighbourhood Plan Consultation 28 June to 23rd August
On 29 May we told you that the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum had submitted the revision of its Neighbourhood Plan to Westminster City Council. The Plan is intended to deliver the vision for Pimlico with policies particularly suited to ensure development conserves and enhances the “village” and its amenities. Westminster is now consulting formally on the Plan under Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012 (as amended). Representations should be made by email no later than 5pm on 23 August 2021 (we would be grateful if you could also send us a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org).
We expect the next steps to be:
- Late August: Independent Examiner appointed by Westminster Council
- Around End 2021: Examination concludes
- February / March 2022: Referendum of residents in the Forum Area. If adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan will become part of Westminster’s statutory Development Plan and will be used alongside the Council’s own planning documents and the Mayor’s London Plan in determining planning applications in the Pimlico Neighbourhood Area.
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.
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.
We were just about to write to our members with a “save the date” for early May for our Annual General Meeting…. that now seems premature in the light of the latest Government advice, so…..
First of all, we hope that you and your families are well and coping with these exceptional times.
Secondly, we will in the next few weeks be finalising and circulating the reports including an update of progress in the last year that we had hoped to be able to present to you at the AGM. In particular, we wanted to share with you how we were dealing with the responses we received in our consultation last Summer and the updating of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Thirdly, we recognise that many of our members are in those groups who have been asked to take particular care to avoid contracting Covid 19/Coronavirus and that some of you will be limiting your contacts. Westminster has a web page with more information and contacts should you need help or be concerned about anyone who might need help. There are also links to the NHS pages containing advice on who should stay at home and what that means in practice.
We know that many of the residents’ associations are organising their own contact arrangements and setting up networks to enable assistance with shopping and other matters should the need arise. This newsletter can also be found on our website, and we may update this 18 March 2020 Announcement with other useful links.
Pimlico’s special quality is that it is a village and we are sure that the village will want to offer both practical and moral support, so do please volunteer if you can or ask for assistance for yourself or a neighbour if you think it may be needed.
For the Steering Group
Peter Ruback, Chairman
We have received over 100 responses from local residents and from statutory consultees: thank you!
Our consultation on the draft of the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan started on 31 July and ended on 10 October. We delivered postcards to residents in our area and posters in shops and public places helped to raise awareness about the plan. Thanks go to the shopkeepers and other local businesses for putting up our posters. Members of the Steering Group also held briefing meetings with local residents’ associations.
The overwhelming majority of the responses supported the preparation of the Plan and the vision for our area developed by the Neighbourhood Forum.
The Steering Group is now considering the detail of the responses and how they will be reflected in the Plan and the policies contained within it. We will report back early in the New Year.
We are also pleased to announce that as a result of the consultation, we now have 50 more members of the Forum. Welcome to all!
This is to confirm that the first statutory consultation on the draft Plan is open until Thursday 10 October 2019.
Comments can be made by emailing to email@example.com.
It would be helpful if you could input either to the draft Plan in general and/or by reference to the such of the specific Policies on which you wish to wish to comment.
Thank you for your interest and support!
We are delighted to be able to launch our first formal consultation on the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan today.
We have been working since 2016 on a Plan for our area which sets out our proposals: see this page for more details. We want to see our area keep its village feel with its fine architecture of all periods, while enabling the shops and other business based here to prosper.
We need to know your views about our priorities and about the policies set out in the Plan (browse or download the 68 pages document here)! The consultation lasts until 10 October and responses should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you!
Since it started in 2016, Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum has been hosted by the independent community network 5Fields.org. The Steering Group would like to thank 5Fields’ editor Ken Sparkes for his help and support in the launch of our Forum, letting us use his site, developing our membership and promoting our activities.
The Forum is opening a new chapter with the publication shortly of its draft Neighbourhood Plan and a formal consultation. It now seems the right time to launch our own website pimlicoforum.org.
For convenience, articles and posts about the Forum previously published on 5Fields.org are shown in the Announcements section of this website. Forum Members and others will continue to receive updates from the Forum by email as well.
In the meantime please have a look!
We look forward to seeing you at 7.30 on Wednesday 1 May for the 4th meeting of the Forum at St Saviour’s Church Hall, St George’s Square and to update you on progress withe developing a Plan for our area. Please find our documents on these links:
PNF Steering Group
The 3rd meeting and Annual General Meeting of the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum (PNF AGM) was held in St Saviour’s Hall, Pimlico, on Wednesday 25th April. 37 members of the Forum and local Councillors were present.
The Chairman gave a report on the work on the Forum in the past year and the full PDF is available on Google Docs.
The principal activity of the Forum is to produce a Neighbourhood Plan that will set out Westminster Planning policy specific to our area. The Plan will aim to have policies that preserve the quiet village feel, while facilitating a more vibrant local economy and enhancing the local environment.
The steering group has come up with the idea of “Key Business Areas” in which the small local shopping centres in the residential areas should be preserved for retail activity or other commercial activity, rather than being lost to residential. Otherwise residential areas should be protected.
The steering group has also been thinking about how to improve the public realm generally, especially in the area around the Warwick Way/Wilton Road junction. This needs improvement because it is the principal commercial centre of our area, but does not present an attractive face.
We will also be proposing a greater degree of scrutiny of the design for major projects to enable review earlier in the planning process.
We’ve received funding from central Government and from the Ward Budgets of all 3 Council Wards and expect to be able to have sufficient consultancy support for the drafting of our Plan.
We hope to go out to further consultation in the Autumn with more detailed proposals for planning policies.
Following the PNF AGM, which she attended, the Steering Group is very sorry to report that Mair Garside died suddenly on 28 April. She had been a wonderfully supportive and active member of the Steering Group, and a Pimlico resident for over 60 years. She will be sorely missed. Mair’s funeral takes place on 6th June, 2pm at St James the Less church, 4 Moreton Street, SW1V 2PS. No flowers please.
Chairman, Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum will be holding its 3rd meeting (and Annual General meeting) on 25 April at 7.30pm at St Saviour’s Hall, St George’s Square in Pimlico (Entrance on Pimlico Academy side of St George’s Square).
The meeting is open to all members of the Forum and Councillors of Churchill, Warwick and Tachbrook wards.
Please come along to hear about the work we have been doing to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for our area and to take forward our Vision for Pimlico. The Plan will deal with such things as housing, transport, the environment, public realm and design and heritage issues.
We look forward to seeing you on 25 April.
Please find here the meeting papers:
Chairman, Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum
The Pimlico Forum needs to know your views about some key issues that will affect our area so they’ve produced a leaflet that expands on the ideas in the exhibition and an online survey to find out what you think about it.
Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum was set up to develop a Neighbourhood Plan that will influence how development will happen in Pimlico. The Pimlico Forum is now setting out its thinking about how the area might develop in the future. It is seeking views of residents and local businesses to help develop the plan to the next stage.
There will be a drop in consultation event on Wednesday 8 November 3-8pm at Dryburgh Hall in Alderney Street, SW1V 4ET with a small exhibition.
The Pimlico Forum needs to know your views about some key issues that will affect our area so they’ve produced a leaflet that expands on the ideas in the exhibition and an online survey to find out what you think about it.You can view and download the leaflet here (PDF ∼500Kb).
The Pimlico Forum is keen to get your feedback on the Plan via their online survey. Please take a minute to tell them what you feel about it – it’s vital that Pimlico residents and businesses have a say in the future of their neighbourhood.
The survey will run to 30th Nov 2017.
The Neighbourhood Plan
Introduced by the Localism Act 2011, Neighbourhood Plans enable communities to have a say in the development of their areas. When adopted, a Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the Local Plan and the policies contained within it are then used in the determination of planning applications.
Developing the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan
Everyone’s ideas are sought in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, and the result is subject to a referendum of residents across the area – in this case Pimlico (The area designated by Westminster City Council shown on the map overleaf. It excludes the Churchill Gardens Estate, which has its own Neighbourhood Forum). Our plan is being shaped by the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum, which holds public meetings to discuss it; the detailed work is done by a Steering Group which the Forum elected.
In response to an earlier stage of consultation, the Steering Group has begun to assess the priorities of Pimlico residents, from the feedback received. It would now like to know what you think about the policies that will help shape Pimlico over the coming years.
So, please take a look at the Leaflet and use the Online Survey to have your say. And please tell your Pimlico neighbours about it!
Queries and comments are welcome! If you’d like to send a message to the Pimlico Forum, if you’d like to get involved, please write to email@example.com
About the Pimlico Forum
Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum was proposed by Pimlico FREDA (Federation of Residents Associations of Pimlico) and designated by Westminster City Council with the main aim of developing a Neighbourhood Plan.
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum area is the area of Pimlico bounded by Vauxhall Bridge Road, Gillingham Street, the Railway and the River, excluding the Churchill Gardens Estate which has its own forum.
Neighbourhood Planners website hosts events for Neighbourhood Forums and has useful resources & background info.
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum is developing a Neighbourhood Plan in order to influence planning decisions in the local area. After the Plan is adopted by Westminster Council it will shape decisions in the area.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
The Plan is a planning document that will influence what planning applications for new buildings can be passed, aspects of their design, what conditions for example on affordable housing will be applied, where residential or commercial development can take place and it will also affect how certain taxes (the “Community Infrastructure Levy”) are spent in the area.
The Plan has to be in general conformity with National planning policies and with Westminster’s Strategic planning policy, but there is considerable scope within this and can add detail to gaps in existing policies.
Developing the Pimlico Neighbourhood Plan
A steering group was elected last Summer and a meeting of the Forum was held on 21st March 2017 (Read a report of the meeting here).
The last meeting of the forum agreed a vision for the plan:
- Continue to maintain the quiet village atmosphere and its largely residential nature.
- Improve the quality of life of current and future residents by bringing about a more vibrant retail and commercial sector and enhancing leisure and cultural facilities.
- Development that respects and enhances the form and setting of the conservation areas.
- Protecting the squares and green spaces and where possible add more of them.
- Improve the local environmental quality by continuing to limit and if possible reduce the harmful effects of traffic.
Since we last reported at the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum meeting in St Saviour’s Hall on 21 March, we’ve been making progress in developing our Neighbourhood Plan:
- We’ve met Victoria and Belgravia forums and local housing associations.
- We’ve also met residents’ representatives of some of the local estates.
- We’ve also set up several workstreams to develop the plan, led by local residents and members of the forum.
We envisage the plan covering the workstream areas of:
- Design and Heritage.
- Economic/Non residential development.
- Environment, leisure, open spaces and Transport.
- Maintaining our infrastructure.
We’re planning to brings this work together in an exhibition and more detailed consultation event on 8th November (afternoon and early evening) in Dryburgh Hall, Northern end of Alderney Street on the Abbots Manor Estate, so please save the date!
Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum was proposed by Pimlico FREDA (Federation of Residents Associations of Pimlico) and designated by Westminster City Councilwith the main aim of developing a Neighbourhood Plan.
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum Area
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum area is the area of Pimlico bounded by Vauxhall Bridge Road, Gillingham Street, the Railway and the River, excluding the Churchill Gardens Estate which has its own forum.
The second meeting of the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum took place on Tuesday 21 March 2017 at St Saviour’s Hall, Pimlico.
Present were the Steering Group as well as Councillors: Nickie Aiken, Christabel Flight, Jacqui Wilkinson, Angela Harvey, Shamim Talukder and Murad Gassanly and 67 Pimlico residents.
The meeting approved Andrew McCarthy, a retired solicitor living in Pimlico, as an additional member of the Steering Group. It also agreed that the Forum should be incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee, a corporate form that limits the liability of members to £1 and the necessary changes to the Constitution will be put to the next meeting for formal approval.
The Committee has been asking local residents groups what they like about Pimlico, as well as what would make it better and what the priorities should be for the Neighbourhood Plan. It has also been finding out from the most recent Census data the characteristics of the households in Pimlico:
- There are about seventeen and a half thousand residents in Pimlico, living in nine and a half thousand households, almost all of them flats.
- 30% own their own homes, 30% live in council or housing association homes and 36% rent privately.
- There has been a 21% increase in the number of residents living in Pimlico between the census of 2001 and 2011 and a 64% increase in people living in private rented homes.
Without much new build, this huge increase in population has happened without any major increase in street frontage or indeed increase in infrastructure provided.
We have also been asking the local residents associations:
- What did they like about the area,
- What would make it better,
- What buildings or services were needed in the next 20 years
- And what policy areas should be given priority.
In the light of the responses the meeting agreed with the Committee’s view that the “Vision” for developing the Neighbourhood Plan at this stage should be:
- Continue to maintain the quiet village atmosphere and its largely residential nature
- Improve the quality of life of current and future residents by bringing about a more vibrant retail and commercial sector and enhancing leisure and cultural facilities
- Development that respects and enhances the form and setting of the conservation areas
- Protecting the squares and green spaces and where possible add more of them
- Improve the local environmental quality by continuing to limit and if possible reduce the harmful effects of traffic
PNF Steering Group
Peter Ruback (Chairman)
James Ingham (Vice Chairman)
Edward Reeve (Treasurer)
The Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum will hold a meeting on 21 March from 7pm-9pm at St Saviour’s Hall St George’s Square SW1V.
- Chairman’s Introduction
- Minutes of the last meeting
- Matters Arising
- Report back from Steering Group to cover:
Activity so far
Feedback from initial Community Engagement
ideas for Vision for the Neighbourhood Plan
- Proposal for New Steering Group Member: Andrew MacCarthy
- Motion to approve incorporation of Forum as Company Limited by Guarantee
- Main themes of Neighbourhood Plan
- Budget and Financing – Treasurer’s Report
- Any Other Business
- Minutes of last meeting
- Steering Group members and Andrew MacCarthy – biographical details
The meeting was held at St, Saviour’s Hall Monday 26 September 2016 at the invitation of the Pimlico Federation of Residents Association
Directors of Pimlico Freda: Mr Edward Reeve (Chairman), Mr Richard Gayner, Lady Scott
Westminster Councillors: Angela Harvey, David Harvey and Nickie Aiken
Guest Speaker: Mr Simon Birkett from the Knightsbridge Association
+ 50 Pimlico residents
Edward Reeve, acting as Chairman, welcomed Simon Birkett from the Knightsbridge Association (KA) to the meeting. He then outlined the main purpose of a Neighbourhood Forum which is to create a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). This Plan can include not only planning matters but it can also cover such issues as trees, open spaces, hotels, short-term tenancies, cultural and sporting provision for the area etc. Once approved, it will carry significant weight in planning decisions for Pimlico during its five-year life span. The Localism Act 2011 defines the hoops to be jumped during the process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan and states that NPs must cohere with both national and local policies.
Simon explained to the meeting that he had recently formulated Knightsbridge’s Neighbourhood Plan with the help of a professional planning firm. Their Plan runs to 140 pages and has cost the Kensington Association £100,000. It will soon be the subject of a public consultation, followed by a local referendum before it becomes active. He finished by generously saying that he would be happy to help us formulate Pimlico’s Neighbourhood Plan and to share any relevant chapters which feature in the Knightsbridge Plan.
The Chairman decided to set up a Steering Group, totally separate from Pimlico FREDA, which would manage the PNF membership, create the Neighbourhood Plan and raise funds for any professional help that might be needed. Raising funds was considered to be the biggest challenge in our area which has no big businesses.
The PNF Steering Group was then formally elected by the meeting as follows: Peter Ruback as Chairman, and Clive Aslet, Edward Reeve, Mair Garside and James Ingham as members.
The Localism Act 2011 gives local communities the right to shape development in their areas through the production of a Neighbourhood Plan, led by a Neighbourhood Forum. Join the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum and make your community a better place to live and work in.
The Localism Act 2011 gives local communities the right to shape development in their areas through the production of a Neighbourhood Plan, led by a Neighbourhood Forum.
Our Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the Local Plan and its policies will be used in future planning applications. Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders will allow Pimlico to grant planning permission either in full or in outline for the types of development they want to see in their areas.
The policies cannot block development that is already part of the Local Plan but it can shape where that development will go and what it will look like.
“The Federation of Pimlico Residents Associations (Pimlico FREDA) has been facilitating an application from 30 residents/business people to the Westminster City Council to be recognised as a Neighbourhood Forum as provided for under the Localism Act 2011.
The Council has now granted such status so Pimlico NF is now officially in being.
These Fora are open to all residents and people in business in the designated area we are now seeking applications from anyone who qualifies, either by being a resident of the designated area or working in that area, to join the Pimlico NF.
A map of the designated area is shown below with some further information on NFs and an application form should you wish to join and become a member. We are especially seeking members who are prepared to be active in running the PNF.”
Edward Reeve, Chairman, FREDA.
Apply for Membership
Joining the Pimlico Neighbourhood Forum is your chance to decide how Pimlico develops over the coming years – come in and make a difference!
If you’d like to get more involved with shaping the Forum and its Neighbourhood Plan, please get in touch. The first public meeting will be held at St. Saviour’s Hall on Monday 26th September 2016 at 7 pm.