Westminster Cycling Campaign News - May 2017
Neighbourhood Forums: what do they mean for cycling?
The powers to create a Neighbourhood Forum were
introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and
Neighbourhood Forums remain in their infancy.
Neighbourhood Forums don’t control highways, but
they are relevant to cycling for two reasons:
- Each Neighbourhood Forum will produce a
Neighbourhood Plan that will become development
planning policy in that area, which will then be
given weight by Westminster City Council town
planners when determining planning applications.
The Neighbourhood Plan must be in “general
conformity” with Westminster City Council and
Mayoral planning policy. But nevertheless each
draft Neighbourhood Plan consultation is an
opportunity for us to push for policies that
encourage new buildings to provide reduced or no
car parking, and to provide increased cycle
parking, particular for visitors/customers where
current policies fall short.
- Each Neighbourhood Forum will, in agreement
with Westminster City Council, decide how 25% of
the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money
from new buildings its area is spent. Each draft
Neighbourhood Plan consultation is an opportunity
for us to push for CIL money to be spent on cycle
parking such as residential bike hangars, which we
know are positively received by the local
Sixteen Neighbourhood Forums have been created in
Westminster. Often they are closely linked to existing
local amenity societies and resident associations:
- Church Street Ward
- Churchill Gardens
- Fitzrovia West
- Hyde Park & Paddington
- Maida Hill
- Notting Hill East
- St James’s
- St John’s Wood
Additionally there is Queen’s Park Community Council,
which is a Parish Council and differs in some respects
such as having more direct control over CIL money.
Neighbourhood Forums are ‘hyperlocal’, with their
neighbourhood area being typically a ward or just half
a ward. Consequently Westminster Cycling Campaign
must depend on its members in each neighbourhood
area to represent the interests of people who cycle. So
please, make your views heard in your local amenity
society, resident association or Neighbourhood Forum.
A supportive approach to cycling from these groups
could make things a lot better for local people who
cycle, and send a strong message to Westminster City
Council that your local community supports cycling.