Westminster alters planning policy to protect iconic streets

The new policy allows Westminster City Council to reject planning proposals which threaten the character of some of the city’s most iconic attractions, including the world famous Savile Row.

Westminster’s ‘Special Policy Areas’ ensures that five historically and culturally significant parts of London including Savile Row, Mayfair, Harley Street, St James’ and Portland Place remain home to the world leading industries that put them on the map.

“Like a good suit, planning policy should be made to measure,” said Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, Westminster City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment. “The 17.5 million people who visit London each year come to experience our capital’s distinctive character. It’s unthinkable that world renowned destinations such as Savile Row, which is synonymous with quality tailoring, could become indistinguishable from any other high street around the world.”

A number of antiques dealers have disappeared from Mayfair and St James’ in recent years with commercial pressure forcing traders to close their doors. The policy will help ensure that these areas retain their historic identity.

“I’m pleased that Westminster City Council have taken action to protect specialist traders on Savile Row,” said Mark Henderson, Chairman of Gieves and Hawkes. “As one of the area’s oldest tailors, we’re proud of our road’s unique status, which attracts the best talent and brings us clients from across the world.”

PICTURE CREDIT: Sam Garmon

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