Bayswater Matters March 2017

Action on Gloucester Terrace rogue landlord 

Councillors Brian Connell, Richard Holloway and Suhail Rahuja have been involved in issues across the ward. Of particular note is the news that a landlord on Gloucester Terrace has been served with a Criminal Behaviour Order after being convicted at Westminster magistrates’ court for breaching the Housing Act. The flat was found by council inspectors to have no mains-connected fire alarm, a lack of fire-proofing in the lobby, an outdated fuse box and no fixed heating. The landlord has been banned from managing any property in Westminster for a decade. This is the first time that a Criminal Behaviour Order has been used in this way in London and only the second time in Britain. It should send a clear message to all landlords that they have a responsibility to their tenants and bad practice will not be tolerated in Westminster.

Victory for residents as new Botts Mews application is rejected

The application for Botts Mew/Bridstow Place 16/09953/FULL was refused on Tuesday at the council planning meeting.

The application for 7-9 Botts Mews was submitted before Christmas. The intention of the application was to knock down the existing structure to build two new houses, instead of retaining the current exterior. It’s an application that SEBRA has covered in extensive detail before.

Following conversations with officers the recommendation from the planning team was that the application be refused on grounds of design, amenity and due to the level of basement excavation.

Councillor Richard Holloway said "We’re extremely pleased with this outcome, as it vindicates the long pressure that we’ve been exerting to tighten basement rules to protect residents."

Your Bayswater councillors sent the below objection to the planning committee: 

Bayswater Councillors have long-maintained that a development that is considerate to the nature of the Mews and the conservation area can be achieved, but the latest proposed development does not meet the high-standards that our residents and the council requires of buildings in the Westbourne Conservation Area.

We welcome planning officers recommendation to reject this proposal and furthermore, wish for the committee to consider in particular:

    • The proposed development is contrary to the City Council's guidance for the Westbourne Conservation Area.
    • The double basement is contrary to Policy CM28.1 of the Westminster's City Plan.
    • The objections from SEBRA and many other residents locally.

     

    New leadership at Westminster Council

    Your Bayswater Councillors ushered in 2017 with a new administration on Westminster Council. As part of the changes, Councillor Richard Holloway has been promoted to the Cabinet, in charge of Children, Families and Young People. The role involves leading on a whole host of vital pieces of work the council does for young people, such as schools, early help, gangs, special educational needs across Westminster.

    Porchester Spa Consultation

    Another local issue that has seen wide press coverage has been the proposed renovation of the Porchester Spa. Councillor Richard Holloway attended one of the consultation meetings and has been in contact with the managers of the Spa and the users. Westminster Council owns the Spa, with the services of the leisure centre and spa managed by Everyone Active via a contract with the council. We want to ensure that the Grade II listed Turkish spa retains its unique heritage and that any changes to attract new spa users are not at the expense of the existing community of spa users.

    Recent Planning issues

    A significant planning applications from recent years is the Grove House Sainsbury’s in Westbourne Grove and the Botts Mews updated application. The Sainsbury’s application was granted, but no work has been undertaken and permission will expire in 2018. We’re keeping a close eye on the development. Councillor Suhail Rahuja is leading and we expect to hear more at the beginning of April. 

    Westminster’s secondary schools in the top 50 for GCSE grade progress

     

    Three Westminster secondary schools are among the top 50 schools for improved GCSE grades according to a new measure of progress used by the Department for Education.
     
    Westminster’s Ark King Solomon Academy Paddington Academy and Westminster Academy all rank within the top 50 for Progress 8, which captures the GCSE grade progress of the pupil from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school compared to other students with similar prior achievements.

    Councillor Richard Holloway, Bayswater Councillor and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People said: "It is encouraging to see our schools playing such a leading role and helping young people in Westminster to reach their potential.
    "I want to especially congratulate the pupils and teachers at King Solomon on ranking 5th nationwide. Our GCSE results are among the best in inner-London and we are very proud of all the young people, teachers, parents and countless others who combine to make our schools so successful."
    Among local authorities in inner London, Westminster is ranked 3rd for Progress 8, while placing 2nd for average student grades (also known as Attainment 8). Nationwide, Westminster ranks 5th and 10th in the same respective categories.