Policy Seminar With Westminster City Council

Wednesday 26 April 2017 

The Westminster Property Association was delighted to welcome over 120 members to today’s policy seminar with Westminster City Council hosted by Savills. Members heard speeches from the senior councillors responsible for planning and housing, followed by a panel discussion Chaired by WPA Chairman James Cooksey with the councillors and key officers.

Councillors Daniel Astaire (Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Realm), Richard Beddoe (Chairman of Planning) and Rachael Robathan (Cabinet Member for Housing) began the session by explaining their new roles and changes to councillors’ portfolios. They spoke about the key priorities of the administration in terms of planning and development, namely, affordable housing, greater transparency and policy clarity. The councillors explained that demographic changes within Westminster requires a new policy approach to support housing delivery, especially affordable and intermediate homes.

There will be consultation on policy changes before revisions are made to the City Plan. WPA members were encouraged to respond to the council’s current consultation on building heights and growth (the deadline for comments is 21 May 2017.)

Council officers John Walker (Director of Planning) and Barry Smith (Head of City Policy Strategy) joined the panel for questions from the audience and an engaging discussion on a range of topics including mixed-use policy in the Central Activities Zone, family housing, parking spaces and the need for bespoke elderly accommodation.