Westminster announces full review of local plan

Westminster City Council has announced a full review of its key planning document, pledging to place a 'particular focus' on increasing housing targets and the delivery of affordable homes.

Westminster City Council's offices in Victoria
Westminster City Council's offices in Victoria

In March 2015 the council announced that it would be making a number of separate revisions to its existing City Plan document.

In a statement late last week, the council said that, following the completion of three of these revisions in 2016 (relating to basements, mixed-use, special policy areas/policies map) and a change in leadership and key cabinet member positions at the council, it now intends to carry out a review of the entire plan.

The council said that the revision will be known as the "Westminster City Plan Full Revision" and would cover the period up to 2035.

"This is an opportunity to reconsider the strategic vision and objectives and the direction the plan should take on a number of important areas. It also provides an opportunity to update figures and projections and progress remaining and previously consulted upon changes as a single comprehensive revision to the plan", the council said.

Among areas due to come under "particular focus", the council said it would look at "increasing overall housing targets and the delivery of affordable housing on site, and, where appropriate, off site; in preference to a payment in lieu".

It will also look at "changes to the calculation of payment in lieu" and introducing "post-permission reviews of viability where larger schemes are not providing policy-consistent levels of affordable housing".

There will also be "clarification on the policy position on tall and higher buildings", guided by the outcomes of a consultation on the issue launched earlier this year.

The council said that it intends to have the new local plan in place by the third quarter of 2018.

More details on the consultation can be found here.

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