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Place Strategy & Delivery Plan Consultation

25th February

Cabinet approve plans to future-proof the iconic Oxford Street District

Plans to future-proof Oxford Street District have been given the go ahead following a recent public consultation.

Westminster City Council’s Cabinet has approved changes to the Place Strategy and given the green light for proposals that will deliver much needed work to improve the district. A recent consultation showed strong support for the council’s fresh approach with design and modelling work planned to start in Spring and physical works getting underway in Autumn 2019. 

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The Approach

The draft strategy sets out a series of ambitious, exciting and also deliverable recommendations to significantly improve the district as a whole, with 96 projects across 87 different streets and spaces. We’ve also identified nine zones that reflect varying character from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. The strategy was developed from previous consultation responses, proposed plans and a process of engagement in order to identify and understand concerns and ideas.

All of the proposals are our ideas as to what could be done to improve the area. Subject to the feedback we receive in the consultation, the council will then carry out the detailed technical work that would be needed to turn those preferred proposals into reality.

Our consultation on the Place Strategy and Delivery Plan runs from 6th November to 16th December. You can find the full strategy document here, a summary of the key points here and our survey at the end of this section or here. 

If you would prefer to view the document in pdf format then please click here.

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Challenges facing the district

Not enough space for pedestrians

It can be very busy for pedestrians using Oxford Street and parts of the surrounding district

Poor quality public realm

The current pedestrian environment is not pleasant

Poor air quality 

Oxford Street and the surrounding district is one of the most polluted areas in the UK

Poor road safety

With the expected increase in pedestrians, it is critical that the road safety issues on Oxford Street and throughout the district are addressed

Rapidly changing retail trends and fierce online competition for shops

Oxford Street’s reputation is declining and high street retail is increasingly moving away from traditional shopping, towards leisure, entertainment and experiences

More flexibility required in our planning rules

The district and the wider West End faces a shortage of employment floorspace which needs to be addressed


It can be difficult to get to and move around the district


Key Principles for the district

What we want to achieve:

We have developed twelve area-wide principles which, taken collectively, will work together to create a great district. There are also three principles specific to Oxford Street. 

Key Principles for the District


Make the district inclusive, accessible and liveable

For example, have easy access for all to a beautiful, safe, clean, well-managed and improved district.


Support economic growth across the district and promote innovation and experimentation

Investment in the Oxford Street District is important to protect and develop the area as a major employment district.


Design for flexibility

For example, design each space for elegance and comfort in both extremely busy periods and quiet times.


Build from existing and connect the whole district

For example, enhance the area’s remarkable assets and improve connections in the district.


Prioritise pedestrians and value every space

Prioritise walking as the main form of movement within and across the district.

Key Principles for the District


Make the district better for cycling

We support cycling as an active, zero-emission mode of transport and are committed to making it practical, enjoyable and safe.


Create beautifully designed streets, gateways and a diversity of public spaces across the district

We seek to unlock the full potential of the existing urban realm and its built fabric; to reveal, connect and upgrade the environmental conditions.


Enrich the cultural life and identity of the district

We will build on the district’s cultural and artistic assets whilst developing a programme of events which gives a reason to celebrate – and to visit – all through the year.


Take every opportunity to add additional trees and planting, creating new green spaces and revitalising the garden squares

Creating linked green spaces through the district will enhance biodiversity, increase local amenity, create valuable habitats for wildlife and improve the environment for all.


Take immediate steps to address management

A management plan will be produced and implemented which will set out the arrangements for all aspects of safety and management within the district.

Key Principles for the District



Improvements in safety will be fundamental to the perception – and experience – of the Oxford Street District as a place which is inclusive, liveable and welcoming, and a pleasure to visit by day or by night.


Improve air quality and manage freight and servicing movements

We will promote the reduction of freight and servicing vehicles on the streets to improve air pollution and congestion.

13 (Oxford St Only)

Diversify land use and extend the life of Oxford Street

For example, offer a wider range of attractions beyond traditional shopping.

14 (Oxford St Only)

Make Oxford Street spectacular

Our aim is to celebrate the daily urban theatre of its existing retail and leisure uses whilst creating settings for events at every scale.

15 (Oxford St Only)

Embrace Oxford Street’s role as an important transport corridor for the West End

Oxford Street transports people and traffic within, to and from the West End, either to visit Oxford Street or the surrounding district.

What we are proposing to do

Some Highlights:

  • Oxford Street will maintain two-way vehicle movement and will prioritise pedestrians, by reducing the width of the road and increasing pavements 

  • More space for pedestrians throughout the whole district

  • Major improvements at key locations, including a new public piazza-style space at Oxford Circus and a reinvigorated gateway to the West End at Marble Arch

  • Manage traffic in a flexible way to respond to conditions, e.g. parts of the street could have restrictions at different times

  • Work towards a future in which all commercial vehicles that are not zero emission are banned and introduce a 20mph limit across the district

  • Retain buses on Oxford Street 24 hours a day and ensure they are zero-emission
  • Encourage cycling and develop proposals for new cycling routes across the district

  • Celebrate and revitalise the historic garden squares in the district, such as Cavendish Square

  • Have more trees, planting and pop-up parks

  • Provide special lighting and promote world-class architecture throughout the district

  • Encourage a year-round programme of amazing cultural events and activities

  • Change our planning policies, through the City Plan refresh (subject to a separate consultation), to give greater flexibility to encourage different and diverse uses such as leisure, offices, hotels and restaurants, without affecting resident amenity

Key Proposals – Elements of the Place Strategy

Challenge: not enough space for pedestrians and
poor road safety

Our strategy proposes giving pedestrians priority and addressing safety
issues, while also balancing the needs of others using the district,
without moving traffic to residential streets

Challenge: poor air quality

Our strategy supports a greener and less-polluted environment for the whole district.

Challenge: poor quality public realm

Our strategy will create beautiful and inspiring spaces and places across
the district.

Challenge: rapidly changing retail trends and focus on experiences

Our strategy will create an amazing experience for residents, workers, visitors and businesses as well as improving the physical surroundings.

Challenge: it can be difficult to get to and move around the district

Our strategy will create a district that is accessible and seeks to balance
the needs of different users.

The elements of the draft Place Strategy show how the principles will be put into practice in the district. To read about the elements (listed below) in more detail please read pages 44 to 69 of the draft Place Strategy.

  •  Mix of land uses
  •  Streets and spaces
  •  Proposed operational approach
  •  Transport:   
                      - Walking 
                      - Buses 
                      - Cycling
                      - Vehicle access
                      - London taxis
                      - General traffic
                      - Goods vehicles, servicing and deliveries
                      - Road safety
                      - Coaches
                      - Air quality
                      - Management
                      - Accessibility for all
  •  Wayfinding and legibility
  • Amenity
  • Play
  •  Architectural quality
  •  Materials
  • Lighting
  • Landscape
  • Culture and public art

Delivery Plan

To achieve the vision set out in the strategy, we have identified 96 projects across 87 different streets in nine zones, which will each contribute to the improvement of the whole district.

The nine zones reflect the diverse historical heritage and varied range of uses and can be seen below. 

The full delivery plan can be viewed here.

Zone A

Marble Arch, a historic asset for the district, is the gateway to Oxford Street, Hyde Park, and the west, playing a critical role in movement through the centre of London

Zone B

A number of flagship stores are located here, as well as hotels, connecting with neighbouring residential areas

Zone C

Home to the world famous Selfridges department store, Oxford Street connects Baker Street and the Mayfair streets of Duke Street, Orchard Street and North Audley Street

Zone D

Connects south Marylebone with the heart of Mayfair, Bond Street and the new Elizabeth Line, it is characterised by a network of historic streets

Zone E

The Cavendish Square to Hanover Square connection – providing links to green spaces and the new Elizabeth Line

Zone F

Oxford Circus, the set piece adjoining Oxford Street and Regent Street is an iconic destination and unique arrival point for many visitors to the district

Zone G

Characterised by the concentration of flagship stores it also provides connections through its side streets to East Marylebone into the north and Soho in the south

Zone H

This zone plays a key role in connecting Soho and Fitzrovia, and facilitating movement across the district and beyond with its new connections to the Elizabeth Line, with a diverse range of smaller shops and cafés

Zone I

This is a primary gateway to Oxford Street and arrival point from the new Elizabeth Line, linking the district with Tottenham Court Road and Bloomsbury, New Oxford Street, Holborn, St Giles, Seven Dials, Covent Garden and Charing Cross Road

WCC 17th oct press release img

Example Sites

While you can see the full delivery plan here, Westminster City Council also plans to bring forward a range of projects, which should make the district more attractive, enjoyable and accessible. 

There are ten example sites in total which can be found in the link below or on pages 77 to 117 of the draft Place Strategy and Delivery Plan.

All Example Sites

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The Oxford Street District place strategy consultation has closed.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken time to submit a response, attend a consultation event or meeting and given their feed-back on our draft Oxford Street District Place Strategy and Delivery Plan. We have had lots of really constructive discussions about our proposals, including some new ideas for us to consider. We will now need to take some time to analyse all the results but they will be published in full when the Cabinet meets in early 2019 to agree what next steps will be required to future proof this iconic destination and vibrant neighbourhoods.

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