Report of the Executive Director, Growth, Planning and Housing
11.1 Councillor Rachael Robathan set out the background to the Luxborough Street Kickabout site and referred to the planning permission for a mixed use scheme which was granted in 2014 which included a community space in a form of a library. She explained that due to a change in requirements the approved scheme did not proceed. This decision released the site for a future alternative use and that the site had been boarded up since 2014.
11.2 She thanked organisers of the petition who wished to see it remain as open space. She stated that alongside the public consultation the petition demonstrated the strength of varying opinions regarding the future use of the site.
11.2 Councillor Robathan stated that early engagement on progressing a new scheme had taken place with local residents and stakeholders in October 2018. She stressed that the Council is committed to developing a mixed-use site incorporating affordable housing and community space. She referred to the late representations that had been submitted by the Marylebone Forum which recognised that the emphasis would be on delivering affordable rather than luxury housing. She advised that there is a significant need for affordable housing for low income families and those requiring social rented properties in Westminster and in particular in this area.
11.3 The Executive Director for Growth, Planning and Housing advised that the Council is exploring a range of community functions in developing proposals for this scheme.
11.4 Councillor Iain Bott stated that as one of the local ward Councillors he was aware that the development of this site is a major issue in the ward and that there are differing views on the future of the site. He stated that he looked forward to working with the Cabinet Member to represent the views of the local community in order to achieve the best outcome.
(a) Noted the submitted petition and acknowledges the concerns of those who have signed it regarding the Luxborough Street site.
(b) Acknowledged the need to consider development opportunities on this site as it is currently an under-utilised space and provides the potential to deliver much needed homes in the area, contributing to the Council’s City For All priorities to deliver an increase in levels of affordable housing for the residents of Westminster.
(c) Supported the continued investigation into a provision of community space as part of this development project.
(d) Committed to engaging with the local community and ward members on any proposed development and the next steps.
Reasons for Decision
(a) A balance needs to be made between the protection of open space within Westminster and the need for more housing within the borough.
(b) There are clear advantages to assess development opportunities on this site as, on balance, it is considered that the potential benefits of the scheme, notably the delivery of new homes including affordable homes, may substantially outweigh the policy conflict with regards to protecting open space.
(c) The development supports the overall key objectives of Westminster City Council’s adopted City Plan.