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Owners of Maida Hill pub the Chippenham ordered to halt building’s decline

PUBLISHED: 14:47 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:06 19 July 2017

Members of the Maida Hill Neighbourhood Forum (from left to right) Sophie Tennant, Rob Cope, Biljana Slavic and Elaine Arthur stand in front of the neglected former Chippenham Hotel

Members of the Maida Hill Neighbourhood Forum (from left to right) Sophie Tennant, Rob Cope, Biljana Slavic and Elaine Arthur stand in front of the neglected former Chippenham Hotel

Archant

The owners of the former Chippenham Hotel have been ordered to remove steel shutters and spruce up the long-neglected local landmark, after tenacious campaigning by local activists and publicity in the Wood&Vale.

Members of the Maida Hill Neighbourhood Forum (from left to right)  Rob Cope, Biljana Slavic, Sophie Tennant and Elaine Arthur stand in front of the neglected former Chippenham HotelMembers of the Maida Hill Neighbourhood Forum (from left to right) Rob Cope, Biljana Slavic, Sophie Tennant and Elaine Arthur stand in front of the neglected former Chippenham Hotel

A letter from Westminster Council’s legal department dated last Thursday issues the owners of the building at 207 Shirland Road with a Section 215 notice under the Town and Country Planning Act. This requires them to carry out stated works to address the visible neglect that has left the former pub ‘an eyesore’ in the words of local councillor Tim Roca.

But action has been a long time coming, Cllr Roca told the Wood&Vale. “It’s taken far too long for the council’s legal department to deal with this,” said the Harrow Road councillor, who sits on Westminster’s housing scrutiny committee. As long ago as early 2016 he sent letters expressing concern at the state of the erstwhile Chippenham pub to councillors and council officers.

“While I am glad that the Section 215 notice has finally been issued, there are real questions as to why it has taken the Council so long to act.” he said.

“This is part of a wider story in North Westminster, with pubs often seen as investment opportunities by developers, rather than focal points for the local community. On numerous occasions now it has been the activism of campaign groups that has made the difference - and not the local council.”

According to the terms of the notice issued to the Chippenham’s owners, they must carry out the required work within two months from 22 August – or the council will have the right to complete the work itself, with the owners then billed for the costs.

“The council acted as swiftly as possible to prevent this property falling further into disrepair, issuing a series of warning and urging the owners to act over a period of several months,” said Cllr Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for planning. “We have now issued a formal notice under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act on the owners and leaseholders of the Chippenham Hotel as we believe the condition of the pub is adversely affecting the amenity of the area.”

Efforts to contact CLTX Limited, understood to be the owners of the Chippenham, were unsuccessful.

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