The Grosvenor Estate is engaged in a controversial bid to redevelop Newson’s Timber Yard on Pimlico Road, Belgravia which now trades as a branch of Travis Perkins.
The developer plans to convert the 175 year old timber yard into high-end residential and large retail units. This will also mean the closure of six independent retailers and will put more than 30 local jobs at risk.
Newson’s Timber Yard is of particular historic interest and is described as a “crucial component of the heritage of the area”. It is the oldest functional timber yard in the UK still operating on its original site, and those campaigning to save it say it should be protected as a national architectural asset.
The Belgravia Society, The Belgravia Residents Association and The Pimlico Road Traders Association are all against Grosvenor’s redevelopment and have also written letters in support of the Belgravia Society’s application for Newson’s Timber Yard to be made an Asset of Community Value — an application Westminster City Council have yet to respond to.
Travis Perkins has engaged with the local community to set up the ‘Save Newson’s Timber Yard’ campaign. A spokesperson said: “We have played an important role in maintaining the continuity of the Pimlico Road timber yard in its original function from its inception 175 years ago and want to continue this service.
“It is unsustainable planning policy to push out successfully operating businesses from communities that need them. The yard plays an integral role in supplying local craftsmen, businesses and independent retailers in Belgravia and should not be forcibly closed in favour of large retail units that are not wanted locally.
“Travis Perkins has engaged with the local community and in response set up this campaign to save the timber yard — urging people to sign the petition, write letters objection and support the Belgravia Society’s application for the yard to be listed as an Asset of Community Value.”
The consultation period for Grosvenor’s proposed redevelopment began in May 2015 before a full planning application was submitted in May 2016. It is argued that Grosvenor’s offers to relocate the businesses affected by the proposed redevelopment are “wholly unsuitable” and Travis Perkins has declined the suggested alternative site.
A decision on the site is now “most likely” to be made on 18th October by Councillor Robert Davis’ planning committee.
More information about the campaign can be found at www.savenewsonstimberyard.co.uk