Matthew Bennett

Soho Neighbourhood Forum

Lived in Soho all my adult life and been a member of the Soho Society since its inception in 1974.

Chaired its planning committee for many years commenting on all planning applications in Soho. In business I owned a Soho restaurant and also an environmental company. Involved in local issues e.g. secretary of early 70’s Save Piccadilly Campaign, chaired governors of the local primary school, ditto Soho Housing Association, CAB liquor licensing project. I was a member of the West End Commission and now on the West End Partnership Board.


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London Planning Summit


London faces enormous demands to deliver new housing, workspace and infrastructure in order to meet its predicted population growth over the next decade and beyond. But how far is our planning system geared up to deliver this growth while responding to local needs?


London needs wider south-east plan


A string of measures brought in by Government to improve planning have made little difference to the volume and certainty of major applications, while permitted development rights have resulted in the loss of employment space and affordable housing as well as a ‘tension’ with localism. But London could be improved by a review of the Green Belt and the creation of a wider south east regional plan that the GLA revealed it is aiming to publish by 2019.