Report of Executive Director, Growth, Planning and Housing
3.1 Barbara Brownlee, Executive Director, Growth, Planning and Housing, introduced the report. She summarised the outcome of engagement with stakeholders since the last Cabinet meeting in July to inform the development of the draft Place Strategy and Delivery Plan. She then outlined the direction of travel and key themes and features that had emerged and were set out in the draft strategy.
3.2 Barbara Brownlee informed Cabinet that the Council had commenced works on Phase 1 of the Oxford Street District Programme last week. These works will address a number of underlying footway and highway maintenance issues in readiness for the opening of the Elizabeth line.
3.3 Councillor Richard Beddoe, Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning recommended that Cabinet endorse the draft Place Strategy and Delivery Plan for public consultation. He stated that the case for change on Oxford Street is compelling. The Council had listened very carefully to the views of stakeholders over the summer. He explained that the overall ambition is to strengthen the world renowned status of the entire Oxford Street district. This includes securing the long term future of the retail sector which is facing pressures from online retailers. This will be achieved by enhancing the district as a destination zone with an unrivalled experience and visitor offer.
3.4 Councillor Heather Acton welcomed the district wide proposals and considered the scheme to be cohesive. She particularly welcomed the proposals for the 98 bus to continue running along the full length of Oxford Street. She hoped to see more than four bus routes remaining on Oxford Street. Councillor Beddoe advised that Transport for London is responsible for the capital’s bus routes and will ultimately make the decision on the routes and frequency of services running along Oxford Street.
3.5 Councillor Adams welcomed the proposals which he considered to be bold and ambitious. He stressed the important role that Oxford Street plays in supporting the wider UK economy as well as London. He suggested that the strategy should include additional provision for pedestrians to traverse the area around Marble Arch which was presently quite challenging. Councillor Beddoe agreed this would be a priority.
3.6 The Leader thanked Barbara Brownlee and her team for the considerable work that they had undertaken in a short space of time to develop the proposals.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
1. Endorsed the draft Place Strategy and Delivery Plan for public consultation commencing on 6th November.
2. Agreed to delegate authority to the Executive Director of Growth, Planning and Housing and the Director of Place Shaping and West End Partnership to approve the final public consultation materials for approval by the Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning.
3. Approved expenditure of up to £2.5m for the development of the strategy and the project as outlined in section 8 of this report. This will be funded via an Oxford Street/West End budget as per the Capital Strategy approved by Full Council in March 2018.
4. Approved the re-profiling of the existing Oxford ... view the full minutes text for item 3