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Windsor Castle update

The Windsor Castle (ex pub) is at 309-311 Harrow Road: At the junction of Chippenham Road and Harrow Road. It closed and was sold in 2009, and left to deteriorate. 

The owners, YPP Investments (Leeds), seem to be open to discussing options for the Windsor Castle with locals.  So there's a group who are trying to move forward with some ideas for the ground floor, in discussion with the planning, and managing agents.  The back of the pub and above is likely to be student accommodation.

It's looking unlikely that Unique Pubs, who sold the building with a covenant banning alcohol sales, can be persuaded to lift that covenant. But Westbourne Councillors are trying to establish if there is still any chance of that.

There is currently a restrictive covenant on the premises, which means alcohol can not be sold. 

We understand that WCC Planning Officers previously advised the agents that they would be happy to see the building become residential, as they were minded to accept that there isn't a viable pub business there but had no marketing evidence to support this. So in March 2016 the Estate Agents Lambert Smith Hampton began a 12 month period of marketing it as a pub that can't sell alcohol.

In the meantime they are about to submit a planning application for retention of the A4 (public house) at ground and basement levels, with student accommodation to the rear and on upper levels. They cannot apply for change of use of ground floor and basement until April 2017 when they've demonstrated that no one wants to buy a pub that can't sell alcohol.

The local Windsor Castle team is putting together proposals for use of ground floor and basement including a wholefood cafe, a Business Hub (like the Impact Westminster Hub http://westminster.impacthub.net/), and/or music venue.  

Background
This building is an important local landmark.  It relates to the adjacent old Town Hall and Police Station as part of the main phase of Victorian development of Harrow Road. It is a 'designated heritage asset' – buildings which, whilst not listed, are considered to be buildings of merit with certain important qualities. It is a positive element of the character and richness of the social and architectural history of the Harrow Road.
 
It is a splendid building of its kind and in its own right. Just look at it carefully: elegantly figured stucco around the window openings, the hood mouldings, quoins and the wonderful (!) castellated parapet.  Although half the lettering of its name is now gone, the original free standing pub sign remains outside. 
 
Particularly in the 70s and 80s, The Windsor Castle was an integral part of the burgeoning popular music scene in this area (as was The Chippenham), with many groups playing there – the more well known ones being the 101ers, Hawkwind, Dr Feelgood, The Jam, The Clash. The Stiff record label warehouse and Virgin Exports were round the back of the Windsor Castle on Woodfield Road.
 
We are gradually losing many of the local buildings which provide visual interest and are part of the social history of this area.  We must do everything we can to preserve the Windsor Castle building.
 
Windsor Castle 1915 police station built 1912
 
What can you do? To start with: 
 
JOIN our action group.  Can you help protect The Windsor Castle?  The Chippenham? Or any of our other pubs?  Write to us here.
Updated 27/09/2015
 

Westminster's Planning Enforcement Officer (12/08/2015)

"I advise that I have received a verbal response and a written response from the agents, Nexus Planning, on behalf of the new owners of the property, Windsor Castle Property Ltd (WCPL). 

 

They have confirmed that they intend to remove the weeds and debris referred to in my letter, and generally undertake minor surface works to improve the appearance of the building and site, but they have not provided agreement to remove the breeze blocks.  They have stated the breezeblocks are for security purposes and for structural support, although I dispute that the breeze blocks could assist in structural support.

 

I have responded to advise that it is not acceptable to retain the breeze blocks in the upper floor levels of the building, where they face Harrow Road, and that they should be removed, and timber-framed windows reinstalled to match those previously existing. It is noted that the breeze blocks at ground floor level and at the side elevation are behind the windows and are therefore beyond planning control.

 

I have requested written confirmation within 14 days that these works will be undertaken within 6 weeks, but I do not expect to get a positive response.  For this reason I have commenced drafting a report recommending the service of a notice under section 215 requiring the remedial works to be undertaken, including the removal of the breeze blocks in the upper floor levels of the building, where they face Harrow Road, and the reinstatement of timber-framed windows reinstalled to match those previously existing."