Community hall ban for residents on estate where Sir Bradley Wiggins grew up
- Credit: Archant
The estate where Sir Bradley Wiggins grew up has been banned from using its much-loved community hall because developers fear it would “jeopardise” plans to turn it into housing.
Dibdin House owners Grainger shut Dibdin Hall in Kilburn, a year ago, saying residents could no longer use it because of “health and safety” concerns.
But residents’ suspicions were aroused when Grainger staff continued to use the hall.
Now correspondence between the developer and Westminster North MP Karen Buck has revealed Grainger is looking to turn it into “residential units”. The letter goes on to admit it cannot allow the hall to be used “as this may jeopardise any planning decision”.
Grainger would need to get permission from Westminster Council for “change of use” if it wants to build homes.
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The revelation left the community seething – and planning to fight every step of the way. Polly Robertson, who moved to the estate 28 years ago, had hoped to set up a base for Age Concern in the hall, as well as potentially using it for exercise classes and an after-school homework club.
The community was so desperate to get the hall back, it even offered to help resolve any health and safety issues so it could be reopened.
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Grainger’s Karen Burfield, responsible for the overall management of Dibdin House, said: “Following feedback from residents and a meeting with local MP Karen Buck, we are undertaking a review of possible spaces available for residents’ communal use. We must ensure that any venue is safe and secure and has the appropriate planning permissions and insurance coverage.
“Subject to that, we would –as we have indicated to Karen Buck MP and residents recently – be willing to provide a space to residents via a formal residents’ association.”
But Ms Buck remained sceptical:“Grainger are simply wrong on this. They need to listen to the community.”