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Plans aims to secure long-term future of Oxford Street

Plans have been announced by Westminster City Council’s Cabinet to remodel the entire Oxford Street District to secure its long-term future as a retail and commercial hub.

The draft Place Strategy promoted a set of 15 overarching place-based principles and 96 projects to help deliver the ambition for the district.

The Council has already set aside £150m of funds from its capital budget to kickstart world class improvements throughout the area.

The Place Strategy was subject to public consultation from 6th November 2018 to 13th December 2018 and the analysis of the responses has been shared with the Cabinet in order to inform a decision about what will happen next, with headlines of the consultation as follows: 

  •   There were a total of 2,154 completed consultation responses
  •   66% of overall respondents said they supported the Place Strategy principles
  •   73% of resident respondents said they supported the Place Strategy principles
  •   The majority of stakeholders (resident and business groups) responded positively to the strategy

As a result, the Cabinet is being asked to acknowledge the results of the public consultation and to approve the updates to the Place Strategy and Delivery Plan as a result of the feedback. The most frequent comments provided via the consultation survey were:

  •   Support for the district wide approach
  •   Support for effective traffic management and for the strategy to strengthen related proposals
  •   Support for initiatives that would improve air quality and for the strategy to be stronger on this issue
  •   Support for the Marble Arch proposals to be more ambitious
  •   Requests for more detail related to design / traffic management overall and in key locations
  •  Concerns raised regarding management of the district and requests for more work to be done

As a result, the following changes have been made to the draft strategy:

  •   The principles have been revised and presented to emphasise that all are equally important
  •   Further information has been added to the elements section, particularly improving air quality

Cllr Richard Beddoe, Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning, said: “As proud custodians of the Oxford Street District, the council is determined to make sure it retains the crown as the nation’s high street in the face of huge challenges and online competition.

“We’ve carefully looked at every response received and made changes to the strategy as a result. We’ve always said that we will listen carefully to those who live, work, visit or have a business in the district so we develop the best scheme that will future proof this vital and iconic part of Westminster and the West End.

“Whilst there’s broad support for our approach, we will keep the dialogue and discussions going through any future technical stages required to deliver our ambitious strategy.”

Jingle bells, as Selfridges opens Christmas shop

Selfridges has opened its Christmas shop with the theme for 2017 being ‘With Love From.’

The move has been met with a mixture of surprise, excitement and bewilderment by customers passing through the fourth floor of London’s Oxford Street store, with fake fir trees and a jolly Santa greeting people months ahead of the big day.

Opening the Christmas shop last month, the store featured a curated range of London inspired Christmas products, with Christmas food items rolling out last week.

The full 130,000 product range, including 51,000 baubles and 65 light and tree options will commence withy phase two in September.

Speaking about the early opening of the Christmas shop, Selfridges Christmas and home buyer Eleanor Gregory, said: “We’ve been opening the doors to our Christmas Shop during the summer for years now and have become a real destination for fans of Christmas and festive decorations within and outside the UK.

“Some customers return to us year after year, excited at the prospect of discovering the new ranges and adding to their collections.

“They include a large number of domestic customers who love to Christmas shop very early in the year to get it wrapped and taken off their to-do list.

“This new extension to our usual offer is addressing this growing demand for convenience – domestic customers who love to Christmas shop very early in the year to get it wrapped and taken off their to-do list.”