Westminster City Council's draft City Plan confirms that developers of new hotels in the area could have to include the provision of affordable housing.
The draft proposals were released for consultation yesterday and reveal plans to force smaller hotel developments (750-999 sq m) within the Central Activities Zone (the majority of which lies in Westminster) to make a financial contribution to the Affordable Housing Fund. Additionally, 35% of the floorspace of larger hotels would have to be affordable housing.
The policy would not apply to changes of use between commercial uses unless there was an extension that increased the hotel floorspace by 750 sq m or more.
The council is targeting 1,850 affordable homes by 2023 and for at least 30% of new homes in the area to be affordable. While some developments require the provision of affordable housing, no obligation is currently placed on hotels.
The documents also reveal that new hotels of more than 2,500 sq m would be banned within a designated Soho Special Policy Area.
However, the draft plan also suggests a "strong level of protection" for existing hotels and recognises that "any significant decline in the extent of visitor accommodation in Westminster would have significant impacts on strategically important central London activities and levels of employment."
The consultation will close on 21 December and adoption of the plan is expected to take place in late 2019. The draft plan can be downloaded along with more information on the consultation process here.