We still have some time to oppose the development as the council has postponed determination of the application until 18th October 2016.
You can submit objections directly to the Council: http://bit.ly/savenewsonstimberyard Newson’s Yard development has also been featured on BBC London news and can still be viewed online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DNyx16nvkI
I stressed to the reporter the impact on the community if Travis Perkins were to close, in that any tradesman working locally would need to drive to Battersea for local supply...more time and more traffic pollution and not to mention the loss to the landscape people at Chelsea Flower show each year who use this local store as a vital back up when setting up their gardens etc. Also what would the tradesman charge for collecting supply and being away for an hour from the job collecting the paint and/or nails, etc!
I also told the BBC our members were opposed to this change, for it would simply mean another well used local shop would disappear from Belgravia. The BRA on behalf of our membership see it as essential to preserving our community to maintain these staple shops throughout Belgravia...chemists, newsagents, coffee bars, etc. Grosvenor seem to be ignoring the very community on which they have built their fortunes in this particular instance and it is not appreciated by our members or by local traders in the immediate vicinity.
Sadly Grosvenor were not prepared to listen to local residents or local traders and have chosen to ignore the feelings of the local community. Instead they want to plough ahead and impose a “word renowned design street” in our midst. We are not Bond St and do not want a Bond St or Sloane Avenue in our midst. This is all about adding value to Grosvenor’s rent roll and nothing to do with respecting the local community and its local vibrancy. We believe local staple shops like this should remain and if necessary be subsidised by Grosvenor to ensure a vibrant community which needs nearby access to these facilities. Indeed these independents are vital to the character of Belgravia and it is one of the reasons why myself and other BRA committee members give of our time to preserve and enjoy what we know as Belgravia. For these reasons the local amenity group, in the BRA, vigorously oppose this scheme and the closure of the Timber yard. In many other regards we work with Grosvenor and they do have some admirable good and worthwhile initiatives such as the current Radstock House and Eccleston Place schemes in which we offer positive input. This area is crying out for redevelopment to bring back substantial dwellings and yard space into the public realm which has been lost to the local community. Fresh impetus will hopefully regenerate a lost area of land for the betterment of Grosvenor’s rent roll and to the community in adding vibrancy to a neglected pocket of Belgravia, some of which most people would be oblivious existed. #
That is not the same as getting rid of a perfectly viable and well used local amenity for what seems merely a case of attempting to generate a greater rent roll but will be of no benefit to the local community.
The BRA feels, in this case Grosvenor, have got it badly wrong and its sad that the top brass at Grosvenor appear to want to steamroller this through to the detriment of the local traders and the residential base at large in Belgravia and surrounds. This is in our opinion a major PR blunder by Grosvenor and we would like them to withdraw this application before it causes further embarrassment and discord in the community. James Wright