The redevelopment is nearing its completion and details of the latest aspects of the work being undertaken is in the attached Newsletter.
BH newsletter 23 -
Archive for April 2011
An application for the refurbishment and redevelopment of Walkers Court is being made by the owners, Soho Estates Limited, to the Council.
Walkers Court forms an important link between Brewer Street and Peter Street and into Berwick Street.
As the plans for Berwick Street develop the opportunity of providing a longer link between Oxford Street in the north and Piccadilly Circus in the south, via Berwick Street, Walkers Court and Rupert Street can be explored to provide an attractive and pedestrian friendly route through the heart of Soho.
Currently, Walkers Court is characterised by its narrow aspect, dark pavements and preponderance of sex shops.
The proposal includes the covering over of the gap between the buildings to provide a more protected environment by the use of cantilevered structures. The proposal also anticipates a reworking of the floor surfaces to provide lighter and a more welcoming aspect with lighting at ground level. More importantly the proposal anticipates that the sex shops will be replaced with restaurants and other retail usages, thereby changing entirely the character and use of Walkers Court.
In addition the developer proposes to redevelop the properties on either side to make them more affective for modern usage.
One, possibly controversial, aspect of the proposal is to replace the old Raymond’s Revuebar neon sign which was on the Brewer Street frontage (on the right hand side) with a more modern LED advertisement panel which could vary the images portrayed upon it. The sign itself had become part of the iconic aspect of although it has been disused for many years.
Attached is a copy of the developer’s proposals so that those affected can review them in detail. This is currently out to public consultation and, as ever, I would urge you to make your views felt to the planners so that they can be taken into account as part of the process of consideration of this application.
Walkers Court Plans -
It is not possible to analyse all the reasons that have led me to this position here. However, I want to draw attention to one particular side of the argument against the alternative vote that has a particular resonance for the West End.
West End is the home to London’s main gay village around Old Compton Street in Soho. There are many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual residents here and dozens of businesses that thrive on the ‘pink pound’.
If AV prevails the door will be opened to parties whose views include intolerance to communities such as that which exist in the heart of the West End.
This is because AV undermines the fundamental principle of One Person, One Vote, and rewards people who vote for fringe candidates by making them the first to get another vote counted.
In some seats, BNP supporters could get at least six chances to have their vote counted, while mainstream voters would only get their vote counted once. Because the other parties would need extra votes in later rounds of counting, they would have an incentive to pander to the extremists to try and win their second preferences.
My greatest concern is that if AV prevails it would allow extremist political parties such as the BNP to get a foothold in mainstream national politics. While we hope that AV would not lead to extremist parties winning seats, it would certainly give them more influence.
I will not support a voting system that will benefit parties who want to create a climate of hatred and fear in this community.
One vote is enough for everyone – that is the foundation stone of our tried and tested democracy. This is why I will be joining thousands of activists across the country this weekend in a national NOtoAV action day by campaigning in Soho to make sure this wonderful, fun-loving and decent community is aware of what is at stake.
West No to AV Final 3 -
Major progress can be seen on the re-construction of Park House. The structure now stands at level 4 with levels 5 and 6 in working progress. Please see the April 2011 Newsletter which provides detailed information on the works that have taken place over the last month.
Over the next 15 weeks working hours on Saturdays will be increased on Davies Street in order to complete demolition works of 65 Davies Street. This will be of concern to businesses and residents particularly in the longer summer evenings.
For further updates on Crossrail at Bond Street please follow this link.