Westminster council has proposed a new planning policy which looks to stop large property developments from inundating Soho. The new policy would prevent companies from knocking down adjoining smaller shops to build larger ones in their place.

The proposal aims to protect smaller local businesses and start-ups while preventing larger chain stores from being built in the area. The proposal will also restrict new-build hotels from having more than 40 rooms.

Westminster’s cabinet member for planning, Richard Beddoe told the Evening Standard: “By using our planning powers to create an environment where the creative industries can thrive, we’ll create more space for modern independent retailers or new start-ups, making sure Soho remains special.”

Some, however, think that the move could further harm the already fragile retail environment. James Ebel, boss of retail property agent Harper Dennis Hobbs, said: “I do not think Westminster should place further restrictions on planning...This is not the time to discourage any type of investment in London.”

 

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