A correction relating to an article in the last issue of the Bugle which mentioned long standing local business Charles Banks.
In the last issue of 'The Barnes Village Bugle' we published an article regarding Westminster Council's recent change in planning policy that aims to limit the density of estate agents in their shopping streets. In that article we mentioned the BCA's campaign against change of use of some premises in Barnes from retail to business use - including the premises at 1 Church Road, which are now occupied by estate agents Charles Banks. Within the article we said the BCA’s campaign "couldn’t convince the Richmond Council Planning Committee to turn down the Charles Banks proposal". We wish to make it clear that the proposal for change of use was made by the owners of the premises and not by Charles Banks. We also said that the Charles Banks move to new premises had left "their old premises to be taken over by Foxtons". Charles Banks have pointed out that they had no influence on whom their ex landlords chose to let to, and that they had in fact found a dental practice willing to take on the premises – their previous landlords however preferred to rent the premises to Foxtons.
We accept that the inference (regarding change of use of 1 Church Road) given by the wording of our initial statement was misleading. We have no wish to publish inaccurate information in the Bugle. We apologise unreservedly to Charles Banks for having done so, and with the publication of this correction we are glad to set the matter straight.
Furthermore, we mentioned that Barnes has "benefitted hugely from (estate) agents’ sponsorship of local events" but failed to mention that Charles Banks have for many years provided sponsorship to the BCA’s Annual Book Stall at the Barnes Fair, supported local charity FiSH and financially backed the Wild About Barnes calendar for the past two years. Additionally Charles Banks' director Simon Banks whilst working at agents Friend & Falcke was involved in negotiating the initial sponsorship of the Barnes Summer Fair.
In the discussion about the volume of estate agents in the village, we feel it is important to say that no one (including its estate agents) wants to see the village centre lose its diversity of shops and vibrancy.
A Grade II listed Georgian House on Barnes Terrace has collapsed whilst building work was being carried out. Developer were enlarging the basement of the house to include a media room and wine store, as well as carrying out work to the upper stories.
The house valued at £3.8 million by Zoopla is owned by a former Phones4U chief executive David Kassler. It was previously owned by pop star Duffy, and in its further past was the home of Ebenezer Cobb Morley the inventor of the rules of Association Football.
No one was injured in the collapse but there are fears for the structural integrity of the neighbouring house (a historically important listed house which itself had only recently been renovated in a major development).
The closure of the Terrace has caused major traffic congestion. It is not known how long the road will be closed but until fears of the collapse of the neighbouring house are abated the road is likely to remain shut.
The Barnes based Safer Basements Campaign has urged Richmond Council to issue a moratorium on all further basement digs until the cause of the collapse of the house has been established.
Imagine a time when Barnes was no more than a collection of small farms, a rural enclave a boat ride from the centre of London, where Plantagenet kings reigned and the Archbishop of Canterbury was, of course, a catholic.
Barnes is mentioned in the Domesday book so can date its origins as being before 1086, but it also has a link to another medieval date of huge significance in both British and world history – the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.
It is said that immediately after the signing of the document Archbishop Steven Langton (who negotiated the historic agreement between King John and his Barons) travelled by boat from Runnymede to Barnes to dedicate the newly enlarged St Mary’s Church.
The 800th anniversary of the signing will be celebrated throughout Britain this year and St Mary’s is marking the occasion with a Magna Carta festival. Between May 20 and 23 the church will be filled with Magna Carta displays including flowers arranged by local groups and schools and hand-painted representations of the Magna Carta Barons’ insignia. The churchyard will be displaying planted pots throughout the festival made by local primary school children. The display also forms part of ‘Barnes In Bloom’. And a spectacular planted design by Ross Alan will be on show by the church porch.
There will be a display of Magna Carta embroidered panels, created by Rhoda Nevins, prior to being displayed by Runnymede Borough Council. Also on display will be a new altar cloth and vestments commissioned for the 800th anniversary, from the prison-based charity Fine Cell Work.
The festival which will be opened by Melvin Bragg will also include talks about the Magna Carta aimed at both adults and children. You can find out more about what’s on by clicking here to download the programme.
Local resident Steven Mindel, who was very active in the ultimately unsuccessful battle to keep the former Membery's site as a retail premises, has written an angry letter to the Richmond and Twickenham Times after receiving a Liberal Democrat campaign leaflet. The leaflet promised that the LibDems would listen to residents’ concerns about the number of estate agents in Barnes and ‘act accordingly’. Mr Mindel pointed out that the change of use application for the former Membery’s site was pushed through with Liberal Democrat support and that attempts to engage the Liberal Democrats with the campaign against the new tenants of the shop were entirely fruitless. He says " We want support from all the political parties in our battle to keep estate agents out of existing retail premises in Barnes. However, it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth when we have asked for that support, heard nothing back and then received campaign literature which talks about support which has so far been unforthcoming. After all the recent media coverage on the Barnes estate agent issue. it appears that the LibDems are jumping on the bandwagon and hi-jacking an issue for political gain."
You can read the full text of Mr Mindel's letter below.
The concentration of estate agents in Barnes has yet again attracted media coverage. This time on BBC London News where Barnes butcher Kevin Sullivan can be seen talking about the effect of the volume of estate agents on small businesses in Barnes High St. You can see the report which was broadcast on Sunday April 13 below.
A new survey has shown that Barnes' shopping streets have the highest concentration of independent shops in the UK. The research from The Local Data Company shows Barnes topping the league with nearly 97% of its shops being independent, contrasting with Telford in Shropshire where less than 20% of the shops are independently run.
Barnes Bookshop owner Isla Dawes and Barnesvillage.com editor Sarah Arthur have been interviewed on BBC 5Live after it was revealed that Barnes has the highest concentration of independent shops in the UK. To listen to the interview click on the link below.
Town Centre Manager Emma Robinson has lost her planning battle to prevent change of use for the Membery's childrens clothes shop opposite Barnes Green from A1 (retail) to A2 (office or retail).
In a close vote councillors on the planning committee passed the change of use by a margin of one vote.
You can read Emma's argument against change of use below, and also view the voting record of individual councillors.
Over 300 people came to the Barnes Ponder on Saturday 19 October to contribute their suggestions about what could make Barnes a better place to live, conduct business and visit. The outcomes of the day are currently being analysed and summarised for the community report back of the "Vision for Barnes" at 7.30pm on Tuesday 19 November at the Old Sorting Office.
Can one day shape the future of Barnes for the next ten years and beyond? That's what organisers of the Big Barnes Ponder are hoping. This one day event at the Old Sorting Office aims to get the people of Barnes thinking about their community and what will make it better.
The Castelnau Community Centre has closed for 3 months for a big refurbishment after winning a £30,000 grant from Richmond Council. The centre which runs brilliant community initiatives in North Barnes will open again on September 16.
Interested retailers unable to take up lease to 49 Church Road after estate agents Chesterton Humberts decide to take advantage of new planning law.
Zac Goldsmith leading campaign against Chesterton's proposed move.
Town Centre Manager starts online petition
Yoga at the Mary's Living & Giving Shop! Who would have thought of using a shop as a venue for a yoga class, but actually it's a great idea. And, even better, if you sign up for yoga at the Mary's Living & Giving Shop a portion of the class fee will be donated to Save the Children.