In a motion to be debated at the next Council meeting on 24th January, Labour say:
“The Council notes the recent Church Street Master Plan consultation exercise. It notes a number of positive aspects of the current proposals, including ideas to improve the local public realm and support the future development of the market. It however notes resident concern over the current housing proposals and the need to improve the Council’s offer to local people on this critical issue before any scheme proceeds.
The Council believes that the regeneration of Church Street is a strategic priority for Westminster and an important opportunity to improve the lives of our residents. It believes the regeneration must prioritise the needs of existing local residents, while also focusing on providing new opportunities for Westminster residents in housing need and for local people and families on or below average incomes as desired by a majority of respondents to the Masterplan consultation.
It further believes that if the Council is to deliver the number of social and genuinely affordable homes that the Westminster needs it is essential that the council maximises the proportion of public housing built on public land.
The Council resolves to urgently revise the masterplan in order to move swiftly forward with a plan that commands wider public support. The council resolves to:
- Redraft the proposals to better take into account concerns raised by the Church Street Ward Neighbourhood Forum and other residents during the initial consultation phase.
- Look at ways to limit the amount of demolition being proposed to levels more in-line with residents wishes.
- Review the current assumptions on the potential height of the proposed new blocks.
- Amend the housing mix in the development sites identified in the 2012 Futures Plan that are being brought to planning in 2018 in order to increase the amount of social housing in these schemes thereby expanding the amount of local decant opportunities to assist with the delivery of these new proposals.
- Enshrine a commitment to replace not only existing council homes but where possible any Westminster owned temporary accommodation units with a like for like replacement.
- Ensure that the plan requires at least 50% of the additional units built are social or genuinely affordable homes, at least 60% of which should be social units in line with Westminster’s existing policy framework.
- Develop an effective local lettings strategy that gives priority to Church Street residents.
- Ballot residents impacted by the scheme before the masterplan is implemented. “