The independent London newspaper

Will people be denied access to their garden by its sale?

10 September, 2021

• DISINTEREST by the ruling Conservative administration at Westminster Council in getting involved in the sale of Prince’s Square Gardens in Bayswater has led to residents narrowly missing a crucial opportunity to save access to the gardens for local people.

Residents, supported by Labour councillor Maggie Carman, called for the square to be designated by the city council as an asset of community value (ACV), something which would give residents up to a year to raise funds to purchase the square for the community and other protections.

However the council’s responsible cabinet member, at the time Cllr Melvyn Caplan, was deeply sceptical about idea that it could or should receive this protection. Despite this scepticism and council foot-dragging, the square eventually was recognised as an ACV on August 13.

But residents have subsequently found out that, unfortunately, the square was secretly sold on July 15 to a newly-created property company, leaving the future of the gardens and residents’ ability to access them uncertain.

Councillor Carman, Labour Bayswater, said “If the Conservative council hadn’t been wasting its time and money on the £6million Marble Arch Mound they could have taken action in time to protect this much-loved green space in the heart of Bayswater and ensure residents are able to use it in future.”

Leader, Westminster Council Labour Group


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