Saturday 3 September 2022

Plans for Boxing Club, Cafe and Toilets in King Eddie's Park Pavilion. Comments by Friday 9th September.


The Pavilion this week (top hidden in the surrounding trees, bottom, side view)

The long dis-used and vandalised Pavilion in King Edward VII Park, Park Lane, Wembley could be transformed into a home for Stonebridge Box Club and a community resource.


The Planning Statement for Planning Application 22/2526 states:


The proposal is to alter and extend the pavilion building and to repurpose it for use by Stonebridge Boxing Club, including gym and physio facilities and showers. A small café and external seating area would also be provided at ground floor, and office at first floor. The Building would upgrade the building by using renewable energy where possible such as Air Source Heat Pump (“ASHP”), Photovoltaic Panels (“PV Panels”).


Rather optimistically it is claimed that revenue from the cafe would help subsidise the maintenance and management of the building.  There would be two members of staff.


Opening hours would be 8am to 9pm in Summer and 8am to 7pm in Winter. 




There are some beautiful mature trees close to the building and new Brent Principal Trees Officer, Julie Hughes, takes a welcome tough approach in her report, proposing several protection measures after stating:


The site falls within a public open space owned by Brent Council. None of the trees on the site are protected by TPO however this does not mean that they are not important, merely that because the Council are considered to be a responsible landowner, that a TPO is not really justified.

The proposed extension to the pavilion building will effectively double the current extent of footprint to the SW. I would ideally like to see the extension moved to sit wholly outside of the Root Protection Area of T10; a category B Lime tree. 


When I visited the park earlier this week and chatted to people, I was told that the police had been called to the pavilion recently after an incident and the area was used for drinking, drug taking and other activities. There is currently just one CCTV camera in the pavilion vicinity and no lighting. People were adamant that lighting would be required if the pavilion is to stay open after dark as it is sited some 200 metres from the Park Lane entrance in the centre of the park and party concealed from the road by trees and vegetation.


Young people walking through the park on dark evenings after using the Boxing Club facilities might be in some danger unless adequate preventative measures taken.


Overall, those I spoke to were keen on the idea of a cafe and welcomed the availability of toilets. One person said that was much better than children (and others?) having to 'go behind a tree.' I was told that since the new residential developments in the High Road, Wembley, and the enclosure of Copland Fields, the park was very busy in the afternoons and this was likely to be the peak time for the cafe.


The present state of the building and the uses it has been put to is evident from these photographs.

The question posed was, "Will this new project discourage current ‘anti-social' behaviour or would such behaviour pose a threat to the success of the £1.6m project?"


Thinking about the 'broken window' theory it might help if the notice-boards at the entrance to the park were properly maintained. The information about local councillors is out of date and a poor impression is given for anyone visiting for the first time.  Only one person I spoke to knew (vaguely) that there were plans for the pavilion. Everyone else was surprised. There were no planning notices around the pavilion area and none on the notice boards.




The Bowling Green and its building remains locked up behind fencing and the previously immaculately kept green is now a sun scorched meadow.



I understand that Fields in Trust, who have an interest in the park going back some years, will be added to statutory consultees and members of the public can submit their views on the Brent Council Planning Portal.  Neighbourhood Consultation closes on Friday 9th September 2022. LINK


Anonymous said...

Martin if it was not for the poorly maintained notice board in Preston Park I would never have known I had a female ward councillor - she never attended any events, never canvassed nor replied to emails.

She might as well stay on the notice board even though she has lost her seat as her replacement female councillor is never seen in the ward either, didn't canvass in the election, doesn't come to community events or answer emails.

I am a woman and I am all for gender equality in candidate lists but where do Labour get these people?

Love the blog.

G.Lee said...

Does this mean the Stonebridge Boxing Club will run the cafe? Or will it be Brent (doubtful that is likely ) They did try and tender it out as a cafe before...about a year ago, but there were no takers. There is also of course the unused Bowling Club, and green which has been empty now for several years...any plans for that? The old head of Parks house at the top is also empty and has been for years. Such a waste these empty buildings and spaces could be put to good use by the community if the Council didn't try to screw so much money out of local groups for the privilege of running things!

doug said...

13 hours opening summer 9 hours winter will need more than two staff . For the cafe to work the car park must open . It was closed for a couple of weeks to stop anti social behaviour and over 20 years later is still shut !!!!this also means no access for disabled vehicles .

Unknown said...

We don’t want extra lighting in the park disturbing wildlife and potentially damaging trees.

This is such a stupid idea to have a boxing club here, isn’t there room to host this within one of the hundreds of new developments in this area?

The buiiidng would be better used to host a community centre for use by all residents.

Anonymous said...

In response to Unknown at 21.52
The wildlife will not be disturbed by a few extra lights, as someone who has walked their dog around this park late at night, once you reach the half way point, any movement triggers all the surrounding houses PIR Lights on their vast extensions, it's like "Blackpool Illuminations" and like the rest of us they are used to "Light Pollution" they live in an Urban environment.

Jaine Lunn said...

Best news I have heard in a long time. Having a permanent presence in the Park SBC, housed in the Pavilion will go along way to eradicating some of the issues this park has suffered since losing the Park Keeper/Wardens. Issues such as the Street Drinkers who seem unable to use a Bin despite being surrounded by them. The ever present Drug Dealers, who have no respect for families and children as they openly smoke "Skunk" as the smell wafts over everyone that passes by. The Idiots who think that the wildlife wants to eat their "Leftovers and Take-aways" which by the way the Squirrels and Birds don't touch, they leave for the Rats and Pigeons and Seagulls to feast on.
The added bonus of a Cafe and Toilets for users of the Park will be a welcome sight, for users of the Outdoor Gym, Tennis Courts, Basketball cage, who will be able to have a Hot Tea/Coffee a cup of soup on the cold winter mornings, or in summer buy an Ice-cream for the Kids, Bottle water instead of having to walk to the High Road. I can't wait to see the benefits.

Anonymous said...

The whole of Wembley is being ruined by lights at night - wildlife ARE disturbed by lights at night - when Wembley Stadium had those huge lights on the pitch at night last winter the birds were kept awake all night I know for sure d
some were singing as early as 2.00am as they thought it was dawn - but hey let's kill of all wildlife then you can cut down all the trees and concrete all over the park!

Anonymous said...

Do you honestly think this will deter the drinkers - the only thing that will do that is enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Good news. A working class sports club in the park.

Philip Grant said...

How long will it take to make the building usable for Stonebridge Boxing Club, if the application is approved?

The club is currently in "meanwhile" occupation of part of Ujima House, which the Council plans to demolish during its Wembley Housing Zone development, which was supposed to get underway by the end of this year.

Of course, work could begin on the other site, the former Copland School, across the road. This has had full planning permission since February 2021, for 250 new Council homes.

Unfortunately, just over a year ago, Brent's Cabinet agreed that 152 of the new homes on this Cecil Avenue site would be for its "developer partner" to sell privately for profit.

Of the 50% "affordable" housing proposed for the Council's Wembley Housing Zone, most of these homes on the Cecil Avenue site (61 out of 98) would be for shared ownership.

Most of the scheme's "genuinely affordable " homes, at London Affordable Rent level, will be in a new ten storey block to be built on the site of Ujima House, so the longer the delay in moving the boxing club, and other "meanwhile" occupiers out of that building, the longer the wait for 54 New Council Homes for people on Brent's waiting list.

While some of the Cecil Avenue homes will have private gardens, and the rest can use a central garden courtyard, the flats on the Ujima House site will only have tiny balconies.

Don't worry, said the planners - it is only a short walk to King Eddie's Park, where they can enjoy the open space along with all the existing Brent residents it serves, and the new residents of the thousands of other new homes (including the 450 they approved for Wembley Park Station car park) that they've said it will provide "acceptable " amenity space for.

Anonymous said...

Working class? No a club catering only for one sport and therefore only one group of people - a community centre would be better as it would provide for the whole community.

Anonymous said...

Boxing is a diverse sport, taken up by all races and cultures. But the unifying factor is they are working class. There are enough community centres. Time for the youth to have something to do, that im sure you would otherwise complain about.

Anonymous said...

As a father of 2 daughters, I think this proposal is gender discriminatory. I fear that boxing is a male dominated and macho sport, and King Eddie’s could become unsafe for women in the evenings.

Anonymous said...

The old bowling green is the perfect place for a café

And work hub for people to work
Especially if the the green area it a child friendly invirment
Play eara / sand pit and so on
And no dogs allowed in the area

Queen’s Park is a perfect example

I would be very interested to know who to contact to make this possible I would also invest in the project