Crown Estate Paving Commission
|Headquarters||12 Park Square East|
|Region served||Regent's Park|
The Crown Estate Paving Commission (CEPC) is the body responsible for managing certain aspects of the built environment around Regent's Park, London. It was established by statute in 1824. It fulfills some local government functions, and is one of the few bodies in the United Kingdom still empowered to levy rates on residential property. Although it has local government functions and tax-raising powers, its members are not elected but are appointed by the Lords of the Treasury. It is a separate body from the Crown Estate, which holds the freehold of Regent's Park.
The CEPC was established by statute in 1824, when it was given responsibility for care and maintenance of the Crown Estate from Whitehall along Regent Street to Regent's Park. Improvement commissioners each set up under private acts were a typical 18th and 19th century solution to improving the built environment outside of the usual parish vestry system, and were empowered to levy their own rate to fund paving and improvement works.
Subsequent statutes extended its responsibilities to include the maintenance of Crown Estate properties in Westminster, but under the Crown Estate Paving Act 1851, the Commission lost responsibility for managing the Regent Street, Whitehall and Westminster properties. It has retained responsibility for the Waterloo gardens in Carlton House Terrace.
The 2010 London Festival of Architecture sought permission from the CEPC to lay a new pathway in the park, as part of the construction of a London Las Ramblas, designed by noted British urban architect Sir Terry Farrell, after the original in Barcelona. CEPC commissioner Sir John Ritblat was also on the board of the festival.
Since 1851 the area of the commission has been Regent's Park between the Outer Circle and, clockwise from Gloucester Gate, Albany Street, Marylebone Road, Allsop Place and Park Road to Hanover Gate. The eastern section is in the London Borough of Camden and the western section is in the City of Westminster, with the boundary between them running north–south through the park.
The commission's responsibilities include maintaining street lighting and street furniture in the park, maintaining the roadways of certain streets immediately surrounding the park, regulating parking in those streets, collection of domestic refuse and opening and shutting the park gates. The Commission also maintains the terrace gardens adjacent to the public park. It also regulates requested modifications, such as pathways. The public park itself is managed by The Royal Parks.
CEPC has statutory authority under the 1851 Act to collect rates from the occupiers of buildings in the streets which it manages numbering about 1,200. The rates pay for matters which elsewhere are funded by Council Tax, but the occupiers are also liable to pay Council Tax to Camden London Borough Council or Westminster City Council without relief for the CEPC rates assessed on them. Before 1990 residents in the CEPC area paid lower General Rates to the councils. The introduction of the Community Charge brought this to an end. CEPC applied for a Council Tax Local Discount, which would reduce the Council Tax of residents in the CEPC area and increase it in the rest of the London boroughs, but it was refused.
- "Commissioners". CEPC.org.uk.
- "Our History". CEPC.org.uk.
- "Constitution". CEPC.org.uk.
- Metropolis Management Act 1855
- "Scottish M.P. Fined". The Glasgow Herald. August 10, 1944. p. 6.
- Bill, Peter (24 July 2009). "£200 billion of gloom- but it looks good for the vultures". London Evening Standard. (WebCitation).
- "Press report". Financial Times. May 31, 2004.[dead link]
- Council Tax Local Discount Submission from the Crown Estate Paving Commission, 13 June 2005, Westminster City Council