The HPEA Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday 21 October at 7pm at the Lancaster London Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY. Formal notification of this meeting has already been sent out to members and you can read a copy below.
After the formal business there will be a panel presentation and discussion on ‘Public Services – Challenges Ahead’ led by our Chairman, our MP, local Councillors and the Police.
The HPEA, Paddington BID (Business Improvement District) and the Paddington Waterside Partnership have got together to apply to become a Neighbourhood Area under the Government’s new localism opportunities.
This means, if we are successful, that we can then set up a separate Neighbourhood Forum, giving you an independent say in local planning decisions and more control over how we spend the Community Infrastructure Levy – the special development tax charged when development takes place.
This could make a really important difference to some of our run down areas – and particularly in Praed Street and Edgware Road – where we want to see big improvements. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and could lead to a better, cleaner place to live and work, with more business choices, better shopping options and better investment.
We need your support to achieve this. Please have a look at this short information note Information on Neighbourhood Area, and give us your help by writing to the Council to get this agreed. We have until 28 June to let the Council know that this is what people in Hyde Park and Paddington want.
You can use one of the template letters we have prepared, or send your own letter to: Councillor Robert Davies DL, Planning Delivery Unit, Westminster City Council, 11th Floor West, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP, or by email to LDF@Westminster.gov.uk.
At our next pub evening we will be discussing the very current issue of short term lettings. As you may know, Westminster City Council does not allow short term lettings (less than 90 days) without planning permission. Such short term tenancies can lead to problems in neighbourhood areas, and in some cases may be linked to benefits fraud.
We are therefore very pleased that David Whitehouse-Hayes, Counter Fraud Manager at Westminster City Council, who deals with housing benefit fraud and illegal sublets, has agreed to attend our March pub evening and speak to us about this problem.
Please join us on Wednesday 13 March between 6.30 and 8.30pm in the Upstairs Theatre Bar of the Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place.
The next pub evening on Wednesday 10 October will have as its subject ‘Neighbourhood Forums’. Tom Kimber, Principal Planning Officer at Westminster City Council, will be our speaker and Nick Johnson will chair the evening. Tom will speak about the Neighbourhood Forum initiative and its implications for neighbourhood planning.
As usual we will meet in the Upstairs Theatre Bar at the Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place, from 6:30. Normally the speaker will start at 7pm and we aim to finish questions by around 8pm so that there is time for informal chat, drinks and food if you want to stay around!
The issue of nuisance sub-letting is a concern for a number of HPEA members. It is a complex issue, with many different groups and organisations involved, and responsibilities are not clear.
The Westminster City Council policy is that you need planning permission to let your property for less than 90 days. Without it you could be fined and have an enforcement notice registered as a legal charge on your property.
The requirement for planning permission exists so that the Council can control the amount of property which is for temporary accommodation, recognising that this can generate more nuisance than permanent residential property – for example: overcrowding, rubbish, comings and goings at unsocial hours, noise, and other issues caused by tenants being unfamiliar with local laws and customs.
In order for the HPEA to support members affected by this issue, and also to evaluate its effect on the area as a whole, the committee has arranged for a brief fact-finding report to be prepared. Research will include face to face meetings with a selection of campaigning and affected members, as well as representatives from key organisations. Sarah Clifford (communications committee member) will be drafting the report during early October. If you would like to input, please contact Sarah via the membership mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org.