Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

Elections 2017

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Westbourne Forum Committee Meeting

Westbourne Forum exists to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Westbourne and to influence planning and development of the neighbourhood.

We strive to be representative and accountable to everyone who lives, works, studies or has an active interest in Westbourne.

On the 7th October we will be holding elections for the management committee.

If you are interested in applying to become a Forum committee member please download the .pdf, fill out the application form, then send it to us by the 31st August 2017.

The Westbourne Forum has served Westbourne for 12 years

People from across different parts of the ward have engaged with each other on common issues and in building a stronger sense of community, including organising the annual Westbourne Summer Festival.

Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 1 Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 2 Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 3 Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 4

Under the Localism Act 2012, local communities are encouraged to have a Forum designated by the local Council, to enter into dialogue with the Council, particularly for matters of local planning.

Westbourne Forum gained its’ designation from Westminster City Council in 2015.

Over the last year we have been continuing to consult with local people to develop a neighbourhood plan in line with the needs of local people. The plan will set out principles and criteria to inform planning and development in order to promote:

  • a good mix of facilities and amenities, including those that bring people together and foster community
  • an attractive character and identity
  • a more healthy environment
  • a good quality physical environment
  • a low carbon footprint
  • local employment and enterprise
  • good place to live for people of different ages, ethnic & cultural groups

The plan will need to be agreed by a public vote, to be recognised by Westminster City Council, which we aim to do in 2018.

So we are looking for local people who are committed to supporting the work of the forum in building a stronger community and with influencing local planning and development.

Is that you?

If so, please download and fill out the form, then send it to.

Westbourne Forum, Stowe Centre,
258 Harrow Rd, London, W2 5ES

by the 31st August.

Alternatively email the requested details ( or scan the form and send the file ) to the Forum Secretary.

We will not be able to accept any applications after this date.

The elections will be held at the Stowe Centre
from 2-5pm on 7th October 2017.

A New Community Resource at Westbourne Park Baptist Church

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Westbourne Park Baptist Church - Architect's Visualisation

The building work is progressing well at Westbourne Park Baptist Church and we are so looking forward to returning to the new building (illustrated above) in the Autumn of 2018.

We are also looking forward to welcoming back many of the previous people and organisations who used the building before and hope to welcome many new people and groups.

Paddington children’s library will be re-provided in an attractive, and well-lit space. Westbourne Park Family Centre will return from its dispersed venues and continue to run early years stay and play, children’s out of school clubs and youth projects. With the new income generated by bookings we also hope to expand this charity work to address some of the growing social needs.

The building will have a large reception area where people can meet and have refreshments before or after attending activities, meetings or the children’s library.

In the building, there will be a large hall that can seat 300 people with full PA and Video projection support, a sports hall that can seat 150 with a large kitchen to serve both areas. There will also be 4 offices, and 4 other rooms seating 15-50 people. There will be different rates of booking for business, community and partners.

The new building is funded through our partnership with Dolphin Living who will provide 32 ( 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats ) that will be rented out at an affordable rate see www.dolphinliving.com for details.

If you have any questions please contact Geoff Biggs, email: geoffbiggs@westbourneparkfamilycentre.org.uk or come and visit us when we are open and find out more.

Westminster Fairer Housing Conference on 11th April 2017

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Westminster Fairer Housing Conference

Date:

April 11th 2017, 7pm-10pm. (doors from 6.30pm)

Venue:

Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES. (near Royal Oak tube)

Speakers include:

  • Karen Buck MP, Westminster North
  • Tom Copley AM, Labour GLA Housing Spokesperson
  • Joanna Kennedy, former Chief Executive of Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K)
  • Steve Hilditch, Red Brick Blog
  • Heather Spur, Policy and Campaigns, Shelter
  • Genesis Residents
  • Andy Watson, Chief Executive, Walterton and Elgin Community Homes (WECH)
  • Cllr Adam Hug, Leader, Westminster Labour Group
  • Cllr Tim Roca, Labour Shadow Cabinet Member for Housing

Further speakers to be confirmed shortly!

The Westminster Fairer Housing Conference, supported by Karen Buck MP and Westminster Labour Group, is a public meeting for anyone interested in the finding out about how to tackle the housing crisis in Westminster and beyond.

The event will look the lack of social and genuinely affordable house building, Westminster’s unfair homelessness policies, the pressures facing truly independent resident representation, the closure of estate offices, what government policy means for rents and repairs, the lack of proper regulation on standards and rents in the private rented sector and lots of other housing issues that matter to local people.

The event is free and open to all.

Refreshments will be served

Planning Committee decision this Tuesday 13th Sept on the Hathaway House Tower Proposal, Woodfield Road W9

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Reduced floor view from Harrow Road - computer graphics. Click to enlarge.Please lodge your comment today – see below for how.

The developers Meadow Real Estate have recently slightly revised their planning application for Hathaway House, a 16 storey tower & mixed use building next to the canal (at the back of the old Harrow Road Police Station) and have resubmitted it. Westminster’s planning committee will decide on the application this Tuesday 13th September.

Reduced floor view from canal bridge - computer graphic. Click to enlarge.Meadow Real Estate has reduced the tower to 14 storeys, and included two more ‘affordable’ flats so there would be 19 flats out of 74 at 80 % of market value. This is still less than recommended by planning policy.

Computer Generated Image - view from above. Click to enlarge.To date, Westminster Council has received 144 objections. These focus on the height and bulk of the proposed building. Objections also refer to the lack of social housing and insufficient affordable housing; and loss of an open car park by the canal that has potential as a pocket park. There are 5 comments in support, including praise for the design, and desire to see more affluent spenders living in the area.

Westbourne Forum believes that the site could be developed in a much more positive and creative way. We are concerned that if the current proposal gets permission, this could open the way to more high-rise buildings nearby.

Reduced floor view cgi from Woodfield Road. Click to enlarge.A few members of the Maida Hill Forum Committee and Westbourne Forum met with the Meadow Real Estate team in July, to discuss possible compromise. But the Developer’s agent rejected the suggestions from local people for a revised scheme.

If you wish to submit an objection or supporting comment, please do so ASAP as it will still be considered by the Committee this Tuesday 13th.

If you submitted a comment on the original proposal, it is advised that you send in another brief comment on the new proposal.

To comment please click on this link:
http://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=O3QCT6RPITY00

Or use the postcode W9 2BA to search planning applications on the WCC website.

Westbourne Green regeneration vote

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The result the public vote in June on the Westbourne Green regeneration proposals was:

Yes: 414 (48.6%)
No: 438 (51.4%)

Westminster Council has stated that the proposals will not now go ahead.

Based on discussion at its July meeting, Westbourne Forum has written to the council about the result, stating its disappointment. The scheme had its weaknesses, and certainly needed more work. But in the Forum’s view it was a lot better than nothing, and if done well, with the involvement of local people, it would have brought many improvements that the neighbourhood needs.

The Forum believes that the scheme was closer to the aspirations of the local community than a ‘no change’ option. This view is based on:

  1. the Forum’s years of experience of working with residents from right across the Westbourne Green community on a host of issues;
  2. the community consultation carried out during 2011-2012, which identified a majority of roughly two-to-one who felt that change was needed.

However, the end result was ‘no’. According to the Forum this was because:

  1. The benefits of the scheme were not explained well enough.
  2. A number of known concerns were left unanswered, or at least the message that they would get serious attention after the vote was easy to miss.
  3. Community engagement in the year up to the vote was not as skilful or effective as it needed to be.

The Forum’s concern now is that the area should not suffer neglect in the years to come.

Regardless of the vote there are pressures for change which will only increase with time. In terms of population the wider Westbourne ward is one of the largest and youngest in Westminster. With wellbeing measured at 612th out of 625 wards in London it inevitably remains a focus for public services.

Meanwhile its location adjacent to Paddington – at the knot where Westway, railway, canal, and the Harrow Road meet – creates a dynamic for development. Given these social and economic realities, it is important that Westbourne remains at the heart of the council’s programmes.

In the immediate future any impetus for change and improvements may depend more on the community, and the continuing work of local organisations like the Forum. But the council has a key part to play, and the Forum’s letter to the council stressed that notwithstanding the vote, its involvement in Westbourne Green is needed as much as ever.

A new era for the Forum

Monday, July 28th, 2014

These are exciting times for Westbourne Forum… through years Westbourne Forum has continued to reflect on the future of the community and to work with local people and organisations to improve the quality of life in Westbourne, but new things are to come.

The Localism Act 2012 provides for local communities to create their own Forums, with recognised planning competences which will make sure that local people always have a strong say in any building work, renovation or public realm changes that require planning.

The first step towards the birth of our new Westbourne Forum was taken in March, when our neighbourhood area was defined and recognised by Westminster City Council. The second step took place in April, when a group of local residents and representatives of local community organisations accepted to become founding members of the new Forum

A Constitution was drafted and, together with a mission statement explaining what the founders proposed the new Forum to be in the community, was sent to the Council, and our accreditation as the new Neighbourhood Forum for Westbourne was officially announced on 25 July. The next step is for the new Forum to prepare a neighbourhood plan to be submitted to the local community for approval as a statutory document which will inform all future planning procedures.

In the autumn, all members of the existing Board will step down, and there will be a call for candidates to stand for election to the new steering body, the Forum Committee. This is planned to happen at a Community event, and preparations for that will begin presently.

We hope to have as many candidates as possible, and we wish to have a diversity of backgrounds represented, to reflect the multicultural character of our area and ensure that the Forum continues to work effectively for greater community cohesion.

Preparations will soon be on their way. So… watch this space!

Decision time!!

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

It’s not every day you get to decide the future of your neighbourhood!

Westbourne will be voting at the end of June on the most important changes to the neighbourhood since the Warwick and Brindley estates were built 50 years ago.

Westminster Council’s plans aim to deliver new housing, new community facilities, upgraded parks and open spaces, and changes to improve the Westbourne stretch of the Harrow Road.

The council has promised that it really is a decision for residents. If residents vote no, the plans won’t go ahead. If they vote yes, work will begin on the real detail, and change will follow.

Look out for the vote information coming through your door, and at the Vital Regeneration office at 284 Harrow Road.

WHATEVER YOUR OPINION, MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!!!

For more information call Vital Regeneration on 020 7245 2861.

Last week’s Westbourne Meet-Up…

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Make sure you don’t miss the next one in November!

Westbourne Meet-Up September 2013 collage