Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins has applied for a judicial review to challenge the legality of Westminster City Council’s decision to allow property company Grosvenor to redevelop Newson’s Timber Yard on the Pimlico Road.
Travis Perkins is arguing the October permission failed to take account of the “harm that the proposed redevelopment would cause to the timber yard”.
The plans include the creation of two larger and two smaller shops from the existing five galleries and shops as well as the reconfiguration of five existing flats into seven rental apartments. Galleries affected include Humphrey Carrasco and Coote Bernardi.
Travis Perkins’ property director Martin Meech said: “Grosvenor and Westminster City Council have expressed an appallingly dismissive attitude towards the views of local residents and businesses. Having received advice… we believe there are firm grounds to challenge the legality of the decision.”
Grosvenor announced initial plans to remodel the site in June 2015 but it faced months of objections from local businesses and a protest group was formed called Save Newson’s Timber Yard.
More than 200 consulted
Will Bax, a director at Grosvenor’s London estate, said: “This is an important milestone for Pimlico Road. We consulted more than 200 people – residents, businesses and stakeholders – in reaching these plans which we believe will provide a welcome boost to the area.”
Grosvenor said it has offered alternative premises to the businesses affected either in Pimlico Road or nearby. It has also recently welcomed new tenants to the area including antiques specialists and interior designers Robert Kime, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.
Some dealers in the area have come around to Grosvenor’s plans. Carlton Hobbs, former opponent of the scheme, is now onside.
Stefanie Rinza, managing director of Carlton Hobbs, said: “Grosvenor did go to considerable effort to make their planning process open and inclusive.
“Suggestions of residents and business tenants were heard and incorporated in numerous ways.
“As a result, in my opinion, the project became much more sensitive to the community of people living and working in the Pimlico Road area.”
The New York-based firm has decided to relaunch its business in the UK and has renewed its lease.