Demonstration on the 22nd of March at Parliament square.

The SaveSoho committee and the proposed demonstration on the 22nd of March at Parliament square.

This proposed demonstration has no authority or agreement with us and although we understand the motives, it is not a Save Soho Committee event.  We applaud this well-intentioned demonstration and we understand the passion that Save Soho has released with our campaign to save the few remaining performance venues left in Soho. We have stated from the start that we want to work with all interested parties to achieve this, and are doing so with Boris Johnson Mayor of London and the GLA as well as Westminster City Council leaders and members, the developers and many others, but we have to state that  the proposed demonstration on 22nd of March is not a Save Soho Committee event.

More information abot the march can be found here

CHANGE NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK

Dear Save Soho supporters

The Good news

Since the Mayor voiced his concerns about the government’s permitted development rights, Westminster are now consulting on changes to their Local Plan to try and safeguard some of their office space. The consulatation ends in 2 days.

You and I have until this friday to put in objections on the government’s National Planning Framework. This is the legislation that is curently threatening all bars, clubs, entrtainment venues and creative spaces in Soho.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Please write a letter of objection to the Government’s new Permitted Development Rights. These rights are at the heart of what is threatening the character and spirit of Soho.

Send your objection to: planningpolicy@westminster.gov.uk

Please see our own letter of objection below

More information

The time is now.

Save Soho

Objections with regard to Government policy relating to the change of use concerning previous office usage into residential units

We strenuously object to the current policy of allowing commercial premises to convert to residential usage. We find the premise this is based on has not taken into consideration the very real consequences this has on already existing premises with regards to specifically Music and entertainment venues that are already established, with residential units being either placed above or beside such venues it allows for the developers to create conditions using current enforcement legislation to force the existing business either to ruinous expense in relation to sound proofing such a venue or in the worst case forcing their closure. It seems to us that this is grossly unfair and a curtailment of an established venue by a developer who in the past would have been unable to change the usage of commercial properties without local government approval.

This is especially pertinent to Soho that is world famous for its venues, bars, restaurants and clubs that make up the fabric and define the area, rather than new residential developments that are now being proposed which are above these premises, which prior to the government policy change would remain as offices for this very reason.

To allow developers to change the usage into residential with no consultation and then allow them to object to noise from existing venues and to allow enforcement of legislation seems to be destroying the very unique character and spirit that is Soho. It also allows for the development of these venues into residential properties by exploiting this.

With trepidation for the future.

The Save Soho Committee
Stephen Fry, Actor and writer – Chairman
Tim Arnold, Singer Songwriter – Founder of Save Soho (Soho resident)
Guy Hamilton, Partner at BHB Agency Ltd – Founder Member
Benedict Cumberbatch, Actor – Founder Member
Colin Vaines, Film producer (Soho resident)
Alexander Parsonage, Theatre director
Howard Raymond, Chairman of Raymond Estates