CORRECTION/APOLOGY

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.

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