Balmoral Castle and Darwin House redevelopment: Give your views to Westminster Council

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Westminster Council has just launched the next stage of its consultation with local residents about its plans to redevelop Darwin House and the Balmoral Castle pub site on Churchill Gardens.

The Council’s plans would mean the demolition of Darwin House and the creation of a new Community Supported Housing block for its residents, and the building of a new block of intermediate housing.

We encourage all residents to view the latest plans on the consultation website and leave their views via the online form.

You can also email your feedback to balmoraldarwin@westminster.gov.uk or call the Council’s team on 020 7641 3270 (11.30am to 1pm and 4.30pm to 6pm every Monday and Wednesday). You can also call this number to book a time to be called back for a phone survey during the week.

The Council will also be holding three webinars to talk about its plans and answer questions at the following times:
– Thursday 9 July: 5pm to 6.30pm
– Saturday 11 July: 10.30am to 12pm
– Tuesday 14 July: 11.30am to 1pm

To register for a webinar, please email balmoraldarwin@westminster.gov.uk.

You can also send your comments by mail to the following Freepost address: Balmoral Darwin Proposals Feedback,17th Floor, Westminster City Hall , 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.

Churchill Labour Councillors’ views on the Council’s current plans:

Churchill Labour Councillors always welcome the creation of any new social housing and we also recognise the specific need for community supported housing.

It’s precisely because we are passionate about social housing that we don’t believe these Council plans go far enough.

Churchill Gardens was created as a social housing estate – and any new housing built on it should be social housing. While one new block being built is social (the community supported housing), the other new block is not – it is for ‘intermediate’ housing. And while we recognise there’s a need for intermediate housing, the need for social housing – often by our most vulnerable residents – is greater: there are currently over 4,000 households on the social housing waiting list in Westminster, many of whom have been waiting (and will continue to wait) for years for suitable housing.

We have also raised with Westminster Council the concerns of residents of Shelley House, and others, about the proposed height of the block closest to their building – and yet the Council has not changed its plans accordingly.

We welcome the local lettings policy that will give residents on Churchill Gardens Estate priority on the new housing being built. But we reiterate that it should all be social housing.

Finally, we have reminded the Council that the petition which led to it making these plans crucially only referred to the disused Balmoral Castle pub site and never mentioned redeveloping Darwin House. As a result, we don’t feel residents were properly consulted in the first instance in terms of developing the initial ideas for this site, and we hope that the Council has taken learnings from this.

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