Objective 1 Keep the area as an attractive place to live and work, for families and individuals from current and future generations.
1.0.1 In preparing this plan, the StQW Forum has gathered together information about what people like about the neighbourhood, what they like less, what they want to maintain and what they want to change.
1.0.2 The qualities and characteristics which people say they like about the area, its ‘friendliness’ and ‘neighbourliness’ will not always be directly amenable to planning policies. But indirectly they may be. For example, when responding to a survey question on ‘What are the main reasons that you would use shops in the local area? many residents cited ‘convenience’. But many also went on to say that supporting smaller independent local businesses was important to them because regular visits to their favourite shops, cafes, or hairdresser are also part of their social interactions and a way of keeping up with neighbours.
1.0.3 These ‘village’ qualities are apparent in many parts of London, and are widely seen as something under threat – from faster population turnover, car-based and internet shopping, rapidly changing demographics, and the takeover of independent shops and pubs by national chains. Helping to maintain the viability of local shopping parades is thus a social, economic and a planning issue.
1.0.4 The ‘walkability’ of the neighbourhood, with access to chemist, post office, and convenience shops are key attributes which local residents value highly. RBKC planning policies acknowledge that within high density London, perceptions of ‘walkability’ are more in the 300-500m range than the 500m figure often used for planning purposes.
1.0.5 Hence the first policy of this neighbourhood plan is a broad one, and consistent with the RBKC Core Strategy objective C01 on ‘Keeping Life Local’. The STQW Forum aims to help to achieve this borough-wide objective, and to support the effective operation of the planning system in the Royal Borough, through active participation in the continuing Partial Review of the 2010 Core Strategy/Local Plan, the preparation of Supplementary Planning Documents, and by providing local knowledge and input in responses to individual planning applications and appeals.
1.0.6 The Forum has tried to develop policies in this Plan with an eye to retaining those features and characteristics of the area which are most appreciated by local residents, while resisting some trends that are unwelcome. This is not an unthinking objection to all forms of new ‘development’. The Draft Plan identifies significant opportunities for housing development in particular. But the Forum also recognises that the qualities of a successful major city, and of sustainable neighbourhoods within such a city, are fragile and can easily be lost through inappropriate development.
KEEPING LIFE LOCAL: DRAFT POLICY StQW 1.
- To ensure that the StQW neighbourhood remains as a strong and sustainable part of inner London, within which families and individuals can flourish and support one another within a safe and attractive physical environment and a successful local economy, with an expectation that housing needs at different stages of life will be met and with local services, shops, and other amenities available within walking distance.
Responses to the StQW Residents Survey show the extent to which people value what they like about the StQW neighbourhood area, and also the fears and concerns they have for the future. The above policy is consistent with the over-arching strategic objective CO1 of the RBKC Core Strategy. It is about ensuring that the neighbourhood remains a sustainable residential area for all generations, with shops and facilities within walkable reach and with sufficient local employment opportunities to maintain a vibrant local economy
- i) As a neighbourhood forum, to play an active part within the planning system, ensuring that the policies of the local planning authority are implemented, monitored, and reviewed, and planning applications determined, with effective input from the neighbourhood level.
- ii) The StQW Forum to participate in the RBKC Streetscape Reviews of the St Helens and Dalgarno wards, and to contribute ideas for measures to improve walkability and pedestrian safety in the neighbourhood.