Response to Westminster City Council’s draft Retrofit Policy

21 Dec 2023

On behalf of WPA members, the Association has responded to an informal consultation held by Westminster City Council on its draft Retrofit and Embodied Carbon Policy as part of its Partial Review of the City Plan.

In our submission to Cllr Geoff Barraclough (Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development at Westminster City Council) we restated our position for a “retrofit first, not retrofit only” approach, as set out in our research paper of the same name; asking the City Council to ensure that the policy does not preclude replacing buildings in some circumstances, as some are not suitable for retention. These buildings risk becoming un-used, or under-used if they cannot be replaced, leading to the unintentional, managed decline of Westminster as a key employment destination and contributor to the UK’s economy, which the WPA would not support.

The response also advised that the draft policy does not address this issue and WPA is concerned that the direction of travel may not be in general conformity with the London Plan.

Read our submission in full here

Further reading:

Consultation response: Draft Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document representations

Press release: Property sector calls for ‘Retrofit first, not retrofit only’ approach in collective drive to reduce building emissions

Report: Retrofit First, Not Retrofit Only: A focus on the retrofit and redevelopment of 20th century buildings

Read our letter to Michael Gove: Call for clarity on the approach to decarbonising the UK’s built environment

Speech: Retrofit First, Not Retrofit Only address by Jules Pipe CBE, London’s Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration & Skills