Residents fight to save Kensal Rise corner shop from closure
PUBLISHED: 11:36 16 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:36 16 October 2014
Residents in Kensal Rise are fighting to save a beloved corner shop from being turned into housing.
C&D Food & Wine on the corner of College Road and Clifford Gardens, has had a planning application placed on it by its landlord for conversion into a one-bedroom flat.
It could see the much-loved and highly-valued grocery store run by Pritish and Jaymini Patel closed for good if Brent Council agrees to the plans.
Margaret Bailey, director of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library, fought to save the branch in Bathurst Gardens from being closed in 2011. It is being converted into several flats and a community space.
She said: from being said: “No-one’s happy about this, there’s a lot of anger about it. People think in an area so densely populated we don’t need more flats, we need more facilities. We’ve already lost the library; we really do not want to lose the corner shop.
“A family have been there for 15 years and they really are part of that community and they provide a really good service. It makes the area safer and it provides that important link for the neighbourhood needs.
“So it’s very dumb to move what that shop is for the creation of one flat. It’s such a dumb proposal I think it’s got no chance.”
More than 60 residents from streets served by the grocery store have taken to Brent Council’s website to object to the plans, passionately defending their “well-used and much-loved shop” saying it will be a “disaster” if it is turned into more residential units in the area.
“I cannot believe the council will allow this to go ahead. Stop it now,” said a resident from Bathurst Gardens.
“The local community has already suffered the loss of Kensal Rise Library; the loss of this local community shop would be a massive blow to an area already very dense with local housing, and a disaster for its residents,” said another objector, of Hiley Road.
Objections have been also been registered from residents in College Road, Leigh Gardens, Purves Road, Clifford Gardens, Victor Road, Doyle Gardens and Harlesden Gardens.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Labour councillor for Queen’s Park ward, said: “We are all really keen to make sure it stays. Clearly we have a housing crisis in London and a real need for housing but this will create only one additional flat. Balance that up against the loss of what is clearly such a well-loved community shop, and hopefully the strength of feeling means we can stop it happening.”
Mrs Patel, who would not give her first name, is the daughter-in-law of the shop’s freeholder.
She said: “It’s a bit farcical really because the property on the other corner of the road, which was the library, will be converted into flats and I don’t think there were as many objections for that.
“There is a flat already upstairs and I think my dad wants to realise the potential for the property.” The planning application will be decided in two weeks.
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