Published: 14 September 2021
Statement from Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning
We remain committed to supporting the future success of the nation’s favourite high street and its surrounding neighbourhoods. As everyone knows, the case for investing in this area is even stronger following the pandemic and we remain focused on doing everything we can to deliver on this alongside our partners.
We have already made huge strides in delivering some real improvements to Oxford Street and the surrounding district by working closely with the local community, including new greening and seating on Oxford Street itself, the exciting work on the new Soho photography quarter and improvements for cyclists and pedestrians across the whole area. Independent analysis has shown that by 2030 the Council’s vision for the district, including the £150m Council investment, could deliver an uplift of over £2bn in economic value creation and over 30,000 additional jobs that will benefit local communities.
However, we have always been clear that all improvements must benefit our residents as well as businesses and visitors and we want to make sure we consult openly and fully with local groups to ensure that their views can shape any of our proposals or schemes. Having listened to residents and reviewed the cost effectiveness of the proposal for a pilot for the Oxford Circus piazzas, we have decided that it’s better to move forward with a focus on permanent schemes.
Therefore, the temporary piazzas previously planned to open at Oxford Circus later this year will not now go ahead, along with all associated enabling street works. We’ll be focusing on engaging with residents and other stakeholders on potential permanent schemes for piazzas at Oxford Circus, along with associated enabling works. We will shortly share the engagement and consultation approach and timetable but in moving forward we are committed to meeting key tests of a clear business case, meaningful engagement, and complete clarity on impact on residents and costs.