The oldest surviving historic timber yard in the country, based on Pimlico Road in Belgravia.

One week until court ruling on historic Belgravia timber yard

Published:  24 October, 2017

On 31 October, a judicial review will decide the fate of Newson’s Timber Yard, the oldest surviving historic timber yard in the country. The review will determine if a decision made by Westminster City Council to allow The Grosvenor Estate to redevelop the timber yard is still valid.

In 2016, a Westminster City Council planning committee led by Chair Councillor Robert Davis, granted permission to the Grosvenor Estate to redevelop Newson’s Timber Yard into two 10,000 sq ft retail spaces and expensive residential apartments. Councillor Davis has since been moved on from planning department responsibilities by new council leader Councillor Nickie Aiken.

Newson’s Timber Yard was opened in 1845 by entrepreneur John Newson and has supplied the RHS Chelsea Flower Show since it began in 1911. The yard has provided the materials used to build modern Belgravia, surviving a fire in 1877 and the Blitz. It was taken over by Travis Perkins in 1998.

Martin Meech, Group Property Director at Travis Perkins, said: “The loss of Newson’s Timber Yard would be a significant blow to local businesses and the community, but it is also indicative of a wider threat to essential services across the capital.

“We have worked alongside the local community in a hard-fought campaign to convince Westminster City Council that Newson’s Timber Yard should be saved. Over 2,000 local residents signed petitions urging the Grosvenor Estate to withdraw their planning application, and 350 written objections were submitted by the public to the Council. People in the community want the yard to remain because of the essential service it provides.

“The branch plays an important role in the local economy, and has also hosted a number of events for the community – from art competitions in local schools to a commemorative event celebrating its relationship with the Chelsea Flower Show.”

Mary Regnier-Leigh, Trustee at the Belgravia Society, added: “The Belgravia Society remains united in its conviction that Newson’s Timber Yard is part of the heritage of Belgravia and is of significant historical value and should remain for future generations. We have campaigned alongside over 300 objectors, local councillors, trade associations and Travis Perkins to save the timber yard from redevelopment.

“We are publishing on our website in the next few days our detailed objections to the development by Grosvenor and our application to list the timber yard as an Asset of Community Value – both rejected by Westminster Council.”

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