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'Yes' to Gaumont State plan

PUBLISHED: 12:44 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:42 24 August 2010

PROPOSALS to transform a beloved theatre venue have been given the green light. Brent council approved plans for the Gaumont State in Kilburn High Road to be turned into a church subject to certain conditions. This means the currently vacant building w

PROPOSALS to transform a beloved theatre venue have been given the green light.

Brent council approved plans for the Gaumont State in Kilburn High Road to be turned into a church subject to certain conditions.

This means the currently vacant building will undergo extensive construction work including the demolition and replacement of the WC block and mezzanine meeting rooms, the installation of a metal mesh screen at the rear, the creation of a new side entrance and vehicular access, and re-landscaping of the site to include extra spaces for bicycle and car parking.

Ed Fordham, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, said: "It's great, I'm beside myself with delight. It's a turning point for Kilburn as the Gaumont is such a significant building.

"It is a stunning building of architectural and historical importance and this decision means that Kilburn is back in business."

The planning permission was granted on September 16, providing the owners, the Ruach Inspirational Church of God, fulfil terms of a legal planning obligation, termed a Section 106 agreement.

The church has already indicated that they will let the building to the borough's community groups at an affordable price and that the lobby area will be open every day as a coffee shop and bookstore.

However, the legal agreement means they must commit to giving the community access to the building's meeting rooms and main hall for at least eight hours a week, as well as free access to the heritage archives at least one day a week.

Cllr Mary Arnold, Kilburn ward, said: "We welcome the approval for the Gaumont's restoration and the agreements to be put in place with the Ruach Church, including public access and affordable letting.

"Local people have long been keen to see some performing arts training provided for young people and others in the community.

"We look forward to continuing the productive partnership with the church on these common goals within a year."

Glenda Jackson, MP for Hampstead and Highgate, added: "I am pleased that Ruach Ministries have cleared the planning hurdles and look forward to seeing the commencement of work to bring the Gaumont back into use.

"The Gaumont is a centrepiece of Kilburn's physical heritage and I profoundly hope that its regeneration signifies a step forward in the renewal of Kilburn's High Road."

More controversially the church must pay the council £20,000 towards a review of controlled parking zone (CPZ) operational hours in the area.

The review may result in CPZ hours applying to evenings and weekends.


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