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Is this Little Venice's unloveliest corner?

Well Westminster City Council certainly seem to think so -- they've identified the area around Warwick Avenue tube station as ripe for improvement under phase one of their recently published Paddington Public Realm Strategy. They point out that the area should be a natural centre for the neighbourhood & a green gateway down to the canal that gives Little Venice its name -- instead it's marred by poor lay-out & a clutter of bike stands & recycling bins.

At a meeting with Westminster's "place-shaping" teams in early March local residents made clear they shared the Council's concerns. Among their biggest bugbears: the cafe for taxi-drivers which often appears unwelcoming towards regular punters; the ugly brick vent up from the tube below;the shabby state of St Saviour's Church which often acts as a magnet for homeless people & the down-at-heel appearance front & back of the -- four-star! -- Colonnade Hotel. They suggested any new proposals could take inspiration from a Parisian square with benches & maybe a little cafe or regular market -- & even a gravel surface to allow for the playing of boules! A statue of eminent local residents the code-breaker Alan Turing or the poet Robert Browning were also discussed.

Public consultation on the initial design phase of the project is expected to take place in June but meanwhile you can have your say by visiting the Citizen Engagemeent Platform Commonplace.


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