Thursday, January 24, 2008

The view from Camden

From the minutes of Camden Council:

QUESTION TO: KEITH MOFFITT, LEADER OF THE COUNCIL
BY: COUNCILLOR JAMES KING

Will the Leader of the Council approach the new owners of the Kilburn State Cinema on Kilburn High Road to discuss ways to satisfy the demand of Kilburn residents for community use of the building?

REPLY:
This iconic building, which is located on the Brent side of Kilburn High Road, was bought by Ruach Ministries just before Christmas. The new owners are proposing a change of use class from D2 (Bingo Hall/Cinema/Concert/Dance Hall) to D1 (Non-residential Institution). A planning application will be required for any works to the building as it is Grade II* listed. No application has been received to date and planning issues will be dealt with by Brent Council and guided by the policies of the Brent UDP. However, as a major development site on the border between Camden and Brent, Camden will have the opportunity to comment on any applications submitted.

In terms of any likely community benefits that might be able to be sought via this planning application, it is inevitably going to be a finely balanced assessment for Brent Planners. Weighed into the balance needs to be the fact that the new owners are likely to have to spend a significant amount of money bringing one of Kilburn’s most important buildings back to its former state whilst at the same time the access for the non-church going public may be restricted.

Suggested community uses include:
- permanent use of the derelict scenery dock in the car park for youth workshops and bike workshops
- continued use of the archway for plant/flower stall
- continued public use of the car park during the week
- public exhibition space in the foyer of the building
- access to the main hall 6 times a year to stage community events and/or live music concerts

I have discussed the new ownership with my colleagues in Brent and I intend to meet with the new owners as soon as possible to discuss such community uses.

4 comments:

STATE2008 said...

reclaimkilburnstate.blogspot.com

mrs portswood said...

We have a Mecca Bingo in my neighbourhood in another great building - a deco cinema. It is not listed! I am interested in your campaign in case we ever need to be doing the same round here. We are threatened by all the same issues. Good luck. You are doing the right thing.

Rob said...

Sir,
I am a bit late to this having been involved in another project, but I believe I and the group I run might be able to offer an alternative that would give all the councillors pause for thought before they agree change of use. We lost The Hippodrome Golders Green to this church and we are reluctant to lose another historic performance site to them.
Would you be prepared to meet and discuss the matter a little further?

Please get in touch if you are and we'll arrange things quickly.
Best regards
R.J. Saxon
rjsaxon@gmail.com

machu said...

i think this buildings historic character has as much to do with the quality of the acts and UNIVERSAL APPEAL of the contents/shows. It's a shame the building couldn't be brought for the interests of the people of Kilburn and the development of its great music and entertainment scene instead making it a religious day centre. What a waste!hope i'm wrong.