Sunday 6 March 2016

Marylebone Boys Free School 'land grab' condemned as open space fenced in

As well as causing ripples with its planning application for a temporary school in Queens Park LINK, Marylebone Free Boys School, has upset residents near its present site at the former College of North West London Building in Priory Road, Kilburn.

Wednesday's Planning Committee will hear an application LINK to erect a 2.4m fence around the open space in front of the building to provide a play area for the free school's pupils.

The space was the subject of a right of way application by Brent Eleven Streets Residents Association  (BEST) which the officer's report say did not progress due to lack of information submitted. The report states that BEST are not going to pursue the application and that anyway a decision on the planning application would not prejudice a future right of way application.

Residents report that a fence has gone up anyway without permission and some see this as private acquisition of public land.

Officers make the following comment to the Planning Committe:
Your officers agree in principle that this area can be enclosed by fencing: it is not a public space and it
does not serve any particular purpose as an area of visual amenity
The following resident's comment is listed on the Planning Portal:
Is this consultation a scam? Temporary or not - there is a fence going up today 20th Feb 2015 at the Marylebone Boys School/North west London College ?Surely they don’t have permission for this as this consultation is in progress ??? The link area /road /walk through, is a well established right of way and has been for many years going back to at least the early 70s, even before. 

Evidence in the form of plans and drawing sent electronically and hard copy to John Fletcher Team Leader - Development Control proves this clearly. The right of way was well established prior to the new North West London College building being erected (2005) and has always been used by local residents. The right of way is clearly shown on the sales information on page 4 of the Knight Frank sales information that handled sale of this property to the now Marylebone Boys school. The existence of the link road /path area was considered in the planning application to this building and it was considered important to ensure an open view.

 This right of way was always and still is considered as very important to stop crime. The Terrace becoming a narrow passage that is closed in without an open perspective, will leave it vulnerable to crime and the fear of crime (muggings, drug use and rubbish dumping, making The Terrace and walkway between St Julian’s Road and Kilburn High Road a no go area. 

I , alongside residents of Brent Eleven Streets local Residents wish to add that over the last 7-8 years, the residents of Priory Mansions (a homeless hostel) have established a use of Link Road as an open space for children’s play and as a much needed recreation area for families who are housed in cramped conditions in the hostel. For me personally it is a joy to see them playing in this open space and I feel for the families housed in this building who have no immediate space in which their children can play that is close by to keep an eye on them. This use of this important open community space happened over the entire year particularly in the summer months, weekends, evenings and school holidays. With the arrival of the fence they have lost this space and have no voice to gain it back as children never get asked what they need or want. This space has been removed from all of us also .

 The images sent hard copy to John Fletcher Team Leader - Development Control show people using the area as a right of way. Original plans for the college clearly show that the public were not to be kept out. The bike racks were always open for general use. The Knight Frank link to the sale information of the premises clearly shows that the freehold sold did not include the link land. See page 4 the white red and black map where the boundary line clearly shows a path through to the terrace that does not belong to this property This route through has always been there in our memory and in that of many others who have lived in this area for over 25 years and more. 

Residents very much object to this land grab away from local residents and we strongly object to the fence that has been erected by Marylebone Boys school taking over this space we feel without legal permission to do so. This area is not suitable for a school . It is suitable for a sixth form or FE College such as North west London College where no PRIVATE illegal exclusion zone area is needed . This open design will then fit all as was its intended purpose. Please give back this buildings use to adult education as was intended and as agreed with local residents . This building was a useful resource to community now its just a private no entry, high walled castle for people that are not even local or living in Brent.

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