We have now heard about our Forum area designation. The full decision is available on Westminster’s Council’s website here.
A map of the designated area can be see by clicking here. It will be noted that this covers a smaller area than that applied for. Regents Park has been removed as that and the other Royal Parks will be outside the Neighbourhood Forum set up. We failed to secure east Marylebone so the boundary will be along Great Portland Street. Further, the buildings along both sides of most of Great Portland Street will be lost to us, which is disappointing as there was much support in this area for the Marylebone Forum. On the plus side we have the additional area applied for to the north of Marylebone Road, the area around Marble Arch and the area east of Oxford Circus to Great Portland Street.
Westminster undertook an analysis of the Forum area and found that, on floor space, 61% is occupied by business and others and only 39% is residential. This result means that Westminster have decided that we should be a business area. This is a somewhat misleading term as it simply means that business would get a vote on any neighbourhood plan that might be eventually submitted to a referendum in our area. It does not alter the makeup of the Forumitself, neither does it make it a business forum. Indeed there is no such thing as a business forum and all neighbourhood forums, regardless of their location, should consist of a representative mix of those who live and work in the neighbourhood area and involve a genuine partnership between all the occupants of the area.
Now that the scope of our area has finally been decided we can move on towards designation of our Neighbourhood Forum and finding representatives and other volunteers to act on behalf of that Forum. We are actively looking for people to help in this regard so, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel that you can be of assistance in this project, or if you just wish to find out more about it.
Michael Bolt, Chairman The Marylebone Association