Category Archives: new building

Garden to re-open soon!

After months of closure, the garden is to re-open to the public soon.  We are working to 'make safe' - hundreds of bricks and other stacked building materials need moving back to where they started from - then we will be ready to welcome visitors for the summer months.  We expect this will take a couple of weeks and hope to re-open by the end of May.

 

The extended and unexpected delays with the council presenting a new lease has held up the new building project considerably.  While we have completed the first stages of the landscaping work, it is very disappointing not to have the building completed, as expected, indeed work on it is yet to begin.  We have been assured by council officers that the new lease will be in place by August.  We would like to thank Cllr. Vincent and Cllr.  Olade for their efforts to move things forward.

 

We will remain open throughout the summer months and will close once again in the Autumn, to allow for the building works to finally take place.

Lease delays building project

Our new building project is currently 2months behind schedule.  Pre-construction clearance work began with the garden closing to the public in October.  We had planned for building work to begin in Mid-November - this date, in part, in response to council warnings that a large part of the project funding could be lost if work did not begin by mid-October (the funding is secure).  We are now delayed by extended negotiations with the council concerning some of the conditions for the new lease for the garden - until we have the lease we are unable to contract for, or begin,  the building works.

The garden has been without a lease for a number of years.  Camden council had felt unable to award one until the design and purpose of a new garden building were confirmed.  We had expected the issue of the new lease to be straight forward once planning consent had been awarded, having been in discussions with various council officers for a number of years concerning this.  Council concerns were raised in October about our plans for community activities, children's education sessions and income generation by commercial activities, and how these activities could restrict public access to the garden at times.

As the garden's core grant funding was removed in Jan 2012, we feel it is essential for us to negotiate the necessary lease conditions to allow us to secure a sustainable financial future for the charity, to support the development of our community activities and to continue to be the West End's only independent Community Garden.

We are presently in negotiations with the Lettings team and hope to be offered terms that will allow us to move ahead soon.

Destruction before construction

With the garden closed for works, volunteers have been busy clearing the area around the office, making way for the new building works.

 

The gabion walls are being deconstructed and the beds dug out.  Most  of the materials will be re-used as part of the new landscaping but we are gathering an enormous heap of rubble that will be removed along with the building demolition rubble.

 

Most of the plants have been dug up and potted temporarily.  The large pyracantha tree by the office has had to be removed, but it will live on as food for wee-beasties in the logpile.