A new planning application has been submitted for the temporary installation of a viewing platform, landscaping, walkway and staircase, and other associated works, at Marble Arch for a temporary period of six months.
The bold, new ‘Marble Arch Hilll’ temporary visitor attraction at Marble Arch will be a catalyst for Oxford Street’s climb back to global acclaim and success.
The proposed new `Marble Arch Hill’ temporary visitor attraction will enhance the historic Marble Arch, bringing the beauty and tranquillity of Hyde Park a little closer to neighbouring Oxford Street. Subject to attaining planning approval, it has been estimated that the 25m high attraction could be enjoyed by up to 200,000 people whilst it is operational, subject to whatever Covid restrictions remain at the time. This would support millions of pounds in incremental spending for the local economy across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in the West End.
This week the Council’s Leader, Cllr Rachael Robathan, unveiled a blueprint to reinvent the high street for a post-pandemic recovery and for the long term.
Some highlights from the framework’s proposals for longer-term improvements include:
1. Focusing investment in the district on three strategically defined areas (Oxford Circus & Bond Street, Marble Arch and also East Oxford Street), with benefits rippling out across the whole District and West End.
2. Cleaner air across the District through world-class sustainability initiatives to tackle climate change, with a huge greening programme, a pedestrian first approach and zero-emission transport network
3. Exploring new models of living and working, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises to establish themselves and reusing and reimagining existing buildings
Delivering a world-class public realm with a strong focus on play
4. Strengthening the area’s positioning as a global centre for culture, arts, leisure and creative industries
5. Westminster has already committed £150m to kickstart the OSD programmes and attract inward investment, taking full advantage of the Elizabeth Line opening in 2022 and the area’s links to the wider West End and beyond.
Work will also begin within weeks on a proposed range of intensive, interim improvements on Oxford Street to deliver additional pedestrian space, pop up parks, new lighting, landscaping, greening projects and cultural space to create an attractive, Covid-secure, environment for visitors post lockdown.
Westminster City Council Leader Rachael Robathan commented: "This ambitious and comprehensive framework is the blueprint for how we will work with our partners to reinvent successfully the Oxford Street District for decades to come. This is something we’d committed to long before the pandemic, but the last year has underlined why it’s so important.
"The West End is the engine of the London economy and a huge employer which has been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. We are confident that our bold plans will secure the District’s long-term success, running alongside our creative, interim plans to boost the capital’s post-pandemic recovery. We want to focus attention on this iconic centre of our city which has been increasingly overlooked and cement its status for the future as a key central London destination."
"Our proposed Marble Arch Hill temporary visitor attraction at Marble Arch signifies our ambitious approach to the District. It will be important for bringing in visitors to support the local economy. However, it will offer so much more. We hope it will give people an opportunity to look afresh and with wonder at this well known, but sadly increasingly overlooked, area to recognise its beauty and importance. We want visitors to appreciate the wider context of this iconic location and its close connections to Oxford Street and Hyde Park, as well as other key destinations in the West End and beyond."
Planning application ref. no. 21/01005/COFUL.