Decoding the Marylebone Fitzrovia Border Decision

Fitzrovia Marylebone Neighbourhood Planning Challenges

Planning for Marylebone & Fitzrovia

Fitzrovia West proposed in November 2013 to include a significant patch of land West of Great Portland Street, long been considered part of Marylebone, into its area of neighbourhood planning influence.   Many local residents objected especially to the idea that parts of Portland Place, Hallam Street and the West side of Great Portland Street would be lost to influence from streets further East.

Fitzrovia Bites Into Marylebone... Issue Area Shown

Fitzrovia Bites West… Issue Area Shown in Red Box

On 17 March 2014, the  City of Westminster made some decisions:

  • Fitzrovia West had requested to take control of planning decisions on parts of Portland Place.
  •  Fitzrovia West had at one stage put forward the idea of including over half of Hallam Street into their Forum.
    • Result:  NO – All of Hallam Street is designated as within the Marylebone Forum’s area.
  • Fitzrovia West wanted to take control of planning decisions over all of  Great Portland Street which locals see as the agreed border between Marylebone and Fitzrovia.
    • Result:  Mixed – Some sections of the West side of Great Portland Street are in Fitzrovia West’s zone of interest.
    • Other sections of the West side of Great Portland Street remain in the Marylebone Forum area – see map below for great detail.
Neighbourhood planning on GPS

Where are you now on Great Portland Street? Marylebone Forum Area lies below the red line.

  • Locals will now have to see how Fitzrovia West (with as yet little support on Great Portland Street) will work to improve this thoroughfare in cooperation with the likes of Sammy Tak Lee’s Langham Estate (see how Langham’s footprint on Great Portland Street matches border line in map above) and Great Portland Estates.
Langham Estate Properties around Great Portland Street

Langham Estate Properties run along Great Portland Street (source Langham website)

  • Despite being major stakeholders on the Great Portland Street, The Langham Estate does not seem to share the same aspirations as the Howard de Walden or Portman Estate for real area improvement.  As such, there is a real risk that Great Portland Street will likely continue to languish.
  • Westminster also assessed that 83% of Fitzrovia West’s floorspace is ‘commercial’ while only  17% is residential.  As a result, the Fitzrovia West neighbourhood will be viewed as a ‘business area’.   Any Fitzrovia West plan for the area will now be subject to an additional referendum of businesses and residents.
  • It remains to be seen how Great Portland Street will prosper should the Fitzrovia West Forum be unable to work with other stakeholders in the area — especially the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association.

NOTE:  Regardless of the details of these outcomes the Marylebone Association is the amenity society that continues to represent the West side of Great Portland Street.   Please remain vigilant and actively engaged.  Local residents and businesses should continue to address their local concerns to the Marylebone Association.