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Times' letters: Granville garden and Stonebridge Adult Centre

PUBLISHED: 08:30 28 April 2019

Image of how the Carlton and Granville in South Kilburn could look. Picture: BRENT COUNCIL

Image of how the Carlton and Granville in South Kilburn could look. Picture: BRENT COUNCIL

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times' readers this week.

Our views 'ignored'

Anne Neale, chairman, Kilburn Housing Co-op, writes:

At the scrutiny committee (Contentious plans in South Kilburn sent “back to cabinet”) and last week's cabinet meeting, Kilburn Housing Co-operative gave evidence opposing proposals to build housing in the garden of the Granville and impose devastating cuts to the Granville/Carlton.

We have been based in Kilburn for 40 years, providing quality, low rent accommodation; our offices were in the Carlton Centre. Our members and their children are longstanding users of the nursery school, café, community kitchen, youth clubs, and meeting spaces, several of which have been cut through regeneration. The centres were strong on arts and youth projects, much needed in the current climate.

With austerity cuts it's even more urgent to preserve community spaces like the Granville/Carlton and its garden, where people can get information, and come together to improve the quality of our lives.

Local people have not been fully consulted by the council or South Kilburn Trust. Many have heard nothing of these plans, and those who oppose them have been ignored.

Building council homes is urgent but there is no guarantee of this: Brent's strategic director of Regeneration & Environment refers to “shared ownership and/or private housing” on the site. At Peel Precinct, a few steps away, 308 planned homes, include only 42 “social” housing units. These are for existing council tenants displaced by other development. In effect, no new housing will be on the site; instead 250 homes are likely to be sold or leased – more gentrification, more crisis for low income communities.

Over 30 per cent of wage earners in Brent get less than London's Living wage. Given high rents we are most likely to be priced out of the area. People in Brent are evicted at a higher rate than any other London borough except one. On-going community input and consultation is key to plans that meet community needs, not developers'.

Have say on adult centre changes

Margaret Pratt, secretary, Willesden Local History Society, West Ella Road, Harlesden, writes:

It is sad to hear news of changes planned for the Stonebridge Adult Education Centre, Hillside, NW10.

A new centre and about 80 homes are planned for the site. This will involve the demolition of the present building, one of the villas built in 1876, designed to attract city businessmen to the new Stonebridge Park. The house, known as Altimara, was once home to the Harlesden Services Rendered Club.

The demolition of this handsome villa will change forever an historic corner of Stonebridge. Local people regard with affection the “four corners of Hillside,” ie St Michael and All Angels Church (1891), Stonebridge School (1900), the Stonebridge Park Hotel (1876), now called the Bridge Park, and the Altimara. Now one of these corners might disappear in a cloud of dust, and the small area will be crammed full of new builds.

Proposed plans can be viewed and commented on, at the Stonebridge Education Centre, 1 Morland Gardens, Hillside, on Tuesday April 30 from 4pm to 8pm.

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