Tourism And Events Building Density

Westminster is an inner London borough with the status of a city that occupies most of the central area of Greater London and this includes West End (pg. 7). It is considered as one of the most densely populated English districts. This report explores Tourism in Westminster and lists the different uses and densities of any such activities that are in any way related to tourism. That is accompanied by descriptions on the different land use types. Across the whole of London, the concentration of historic landmarks and visitor attractions in Westminster is one of the highest. That includes landmarks like; Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Palace of Westminster. Westminster has been the home to the England Government`s permanent institutions continuously for very many years.

Hotels and Conference Facilities

Westminster has over 430 hotels which provide up to 26% of the hotel bedrooms in London. During the lifetime of the Westminster City Plan, Westminster will with no doubt continue to be one of the premier visitor destinations in the globe. Additionally Westminster also provides both conference and accommodation facilities and is as such an important location for business visitors. Policy S23 Hotels and Conference Facilities requires that new hotels are to be directed to the Tottenham Court Road Opportunity, Victoria and Paddington areas. These streets in which hotels are directed to lack predominant residential characters (pg. 109).


Any new conference facilities are to be directed to the core Central Activities zone, Victoria and Tottenham Opportunity Areas and to the Paddington. Further, in line with this policy, existing hotels are to be protected in the event their effects on residential amenities are not adverse. This policy also encourages a change of use from using hotels to residential within Bayswater, Pimlico and Queensway. The existing hotels in these areas are not purpose built and tend to have adverse effects on residential amenities. Proposals that would see the improvement of the range and quality of hotels are encouraged. This proposal would support the role of Westminster in global business and would see Westminster continuously make contributions that are significant to London`s visitor accommodation.

Tourism, Arts, and Culture

Westminster`s range and combination of hotel accommodations and visitor attractions is unrivalled being at the heart of London`s visitor economy. Westminster attracts up to 55 million trips each year. The most iconic sites here include; Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament. Additionally, being home to London`s theatre district, there are 60 cinema screens, 38 theatres and four concert halls in Westminster which have the capability of sitting up to 50,000 people. Up to 6.8 billion was spent by people who visited Westminster in 2007 (pg. 108).

There is also a lot of cultural diversity in Westminster, with quite a number of both international and national institutions being based there in addition to having numerous community and local groups all which promote cultural expression. The arts and cultural facilities there include live music venues, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, art galleries and museums all which have both national and international importance attached to them.

Policy S22 Tourism, Arts and Culture calls for protection of tourist attractions already in existence and other arts and cultural uses. Any new tourist attractions, arts and cultural uses are only to be accepted within the Strategic Cultural Areas, the North Westminster Economic Development Area and the Core Central Activities Zone. Arts and cultural uses have to be of benefit to the local communities and of a local scale if they have to be accepted outside those areas. This is aimed at strengthening Westminster’s strategic role within the local tourist industry of London.

Entertainment Uses

Westminster is considered to be London`s entertainment heart and that is particularly West End with up to 2,800 entertainment uses and more licenced premises compared to any other local authority. There are up to 1,000 restaurants with licences to serve alcohol, 500 pubs, bars and wine bars, 136 night clubs and dace venues that are licenced, up to 60 traditional private member`s clubs and 20 casinos. Policy S24 on entertainment uses requires any new entertainment uses to always demonstrate their appropriateness in terms of scale of activity, size and type of use, relationship to any existing concentrations of entertainment uses and any cumulative impacts and that their impacts on health and safety, residential amenities and qualities of local environments are not adverse (pg. 110). Within Westminster, any new large scale late-night entertainment uses of over 500 sq. will be considered inappropriate.


Being England’s cultural and administrative centre for many years, Westminster`s archaeology and built heritage is a reflection of its national and international importance and rich history. Within this heritage, there is; over 11,000 listed structures and buildings, Westminster Abbey World Heritage Site, the Palace of Westminster. Most of Westminster actually lies within its conservation areas which are 56 in total. Additionally, Westminster has 21 registered historic gardens and parks. The historic fabric of Westminster is one of the cities defining characters and that makes it necessary to always consider that as the starting point whenever coming up with any new developments (pg. 114).

Policy S25 titled Heritage posits that, in recognition of the wider historic environment of Westminster, conservation of its extensive heritage assets will be carried out and that will include its areas of conservation, buildings that are listed, world heritage site, historic parks like squares, royal parks and any other such open settings, their settings and its heritage archeologically. There is a need to sensitively upgrade historic buildings so as to improve their performance in environmental terms while also making them accessible easily.


The policies provided in this plan are not substantive for management of the city. It will be necessary to revise the plan so as to incorporate city management policies that are detailed. That will go a long way in creating a policy framework for Westminster that is comprehensive.

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    • Westminster City Plan Consolidated with all changes since November 2013. (2016). City of Westminster.
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