Quality Eco-Friendly Housing Solutions in Westminster

Quality Eco-Friendly Housing Solutions in Westminster

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Petition to
City of Westminster Council and

Why this petition matters

City of Westminster Council have gone ahead with plans to build a 5-story block of 21 residential units on what was previously a car park attached to an existing block of flats directly adjacent to the North end of the Maida Vale Conservation Area. This is despite a number of objections and significant concerns raised by local residents regarding the environmental impact on the surrounding neighbourhood caused by over development of the site. (No Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out as the Council decided that 'the proposed development is of insufficient scale').

While we fully support the Council's initiatives to provide more affordable housing in the Borough, we believe this infill project sacrifices quality for quantity and will have a detrimental impact on the area and on the quality of life for its residents in the following ways:

  • negative impacts on the Right to Light of neighbouring residents; a 5-story block will result in a significant loss of natural light to several existing residential units in Torridon House and Dibdin House as well as to residents in neighbouring buildings on Randolph Gardens and Andover Place.
  • lack green space or children's play area included in the plans even though these units are intended for families;
  • insufficient parking resulting in overspill to the surrounding streets which are already ; the new development will have only 13 parking spaces for 129 residential units. The Highways Manager objected to the loss of these spaces during a Planning Sub Committee meeting on 12th May 2020, 'on the grounds that it would result in increased pressure for on street parking in the surrounding streets';
  • lack of / insufficient charge points for electric vehicles; the Council is providing free lifetime car club membership to existing residents but this fails to consider the increased popularity in hybrid and electric cars which will only increase with manufacturing advancements and lower prices.
  • lack of / insufficient storage facilities; the council have removed 52 residential storage sheds which will be replaced by only 11 sheds despite the increased number of residents needing these facilities;
  • insufficient bicycle storage facilities; there is already a shortage of bike storage for the needs of the existing residents without the addition of the needs of the 21 additional residential units. The plans do not address this;

The above points and more have been raised by local residents during the consultation period and the Council acknowledged them in their own meetings and reports but have decided "the proposals are considered acceptable in land use, design, amenity grounds. It is considered that the provision of much needed affordable housing outweighs the loss of existing parking and the losses of light to a small number of neighbouring windows." (quote taken from City of Westminster
Planning Application Sub Committee report dated 12 May 2020). In other words, achieving their numbers is more important than the quality of life for the residents of North Maida Vale. The 'small number of neighbouring windows' referred to are 86 windows according the Council's own reports.

The residents of the surrounding area continue to voice our objections and concerns to this infill project. We have requested to meet with the Council to express our concerns and to explore viable alternatives for a building that is proportionate to the land available. We have commissioned our own natural light survey and other documents to support our position and we are now petitioning for:

  • an amendment to the build plans to reduce the height of the building so that surrounding residents do not lose their right to natural light. We are proposing to replace 5-story block of flats with a line of town house style buildings in keeping with the local architecture green space considerations in the form of a communal garden (or similar) for the new block as well as the existing Torridon House residents
  • Additional parking and charge points for electric vehicles to meet current as well as increased demand and which would be in line with the Council's climate change agenda;
  • Additional storage facilities, including increase in number of bike storage spaces on the site itself and on the surrounding streets;
  • We would like an Environmental Impact Assessment to be carried out to ensure the development is in harmony with the local area;

We are asking the Council to be good neighbours and to respect the local residents and their quality of life. We are asking the Council to stand by its promise of 'Quality Homes for All'.

Please help us by signing our petition to show your support.
Thank you,

178 have signed. Let’s get to 200!