Karen Buck MP

Working tirelessly for Westminster North

Karen Buck MP

Recent Activity

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Dear Westminster Planning Department,

I am writing to oppose the granting of permission for a change of use in respect of the former Prince of Wales pub, Maida Hill- specifically to enable these premises to operate as a betting shop..

As a local resident, with a local workplace, and as a frequent user of the shops and market at the ‘Prince of Wales’ junction, I am convinced that a betting shop on this dominant site will be harmful to the area.

Considerable efforts have been made in recent years to improve the ‘piazza’ opposite the Prince of Wales, which had been plagued by crack-dealing and street drinking. It was necessary to have a dedicated police team just to deal with the problems in the area. Despite the combined efforts of the Council, Local Area Partnership, traders and residents, this has not been a quick or easy task and whilst much progress has been made, the area still faces challenges In recent months, there has been a significant increase in levels of street drinking at the junction, and this is heightening concerns amongst residents and traders that long-term improvements may not be sustained. There is a high level of deprivation in the surrounding streets and estates and several services close by providing support for vulnerable people, including Westminster Drugs project, Central and North West London Mental Health service and City Living for people with learning disabilities, so additional ‘stress’ to the area should be avoided.

Whilst it is important that a betting shop in this location would be the 8th within a short radius (not least because recent figures indicate that £5m was lost to Fixed Odds Terminals alone in north Westminster last year) what is particularly significant is the importance of this site. Any sustained improvement in the area must start with the ‘corner’ premises of the junction- of which the former Prince of Wales is easily the most physically significant. This site becoming a betting shop sends a signal that we have ‘lost’ the square as a managed, mixed, safe and potentially vibrant part of the community.

I therefore very much hope that Westminster is able to act in the community interest and refuse a permission for a change of use.  premises.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Buck MP

Planning permission objection - Prince of Wales

  Dear Westminster Planning Department, I am writing to oppose the granting of permission for a change of use in respect of the former Prince of Wales pub, Maida Hill-...

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Best wishes for a very happy Eid

Karen Buck MP

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Happy Eid

Best wishes for a very happy Eid Karen Buck MP

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We wrote to all parties with an interest in the land requesting that the unauthorised use cease within 28 days. That timescale has now passed and the unauthorised use has not ceased. I have drafted an enforcement notice report which is currently being checked by our Legal Services department. Once agreed, Legal Services will be instructed to serve the notice requiring the unauthorised use to cease. It is not possible for the notice to require the public house use to re - open,  although that remains its lawful use, in my opinion. There will be a right of appeal against the notice, and I would expect the freeholder and/or tenant to challenge the notice.

An application for a certificate of lawfulness for an existing use has recently been received (ref: 15/05273/CLEUD), claiming that the current use of the site is lawful. Nathan Barrett is the Area Planning Officer dealing with the application in Claragh's absence - I have copied him in on this email should you need to contact him with any queries regarding that application. Again, the applicant will have a right of appeal if the application is refused. This application relies purely on legal arguments, and as such, comments are not normally invited from members of the public. That said, the application documents are publicly available on our website, where comments can also be submitted.

I believe the ACV status of the building will remain intact for 5 years from the date it was listed (February 2020). However, I am awaiting confirmation of this from Legal Services.

WCC response on the Star Pub

We wrote to all parties with an interest in the land requesting that the unauthorised use cease within 28 days. That timescale has now passed and the unauthorised use has...


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