Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Official opening of Kensington District Centre (we still dont have a better name for it...)

Luciana and I braved the cold and the smattering of snow today to attend the official opening of the Kensington District Centre (that is the development of shops and flats on the site of the old Icerink).

We were in the company of CTP Ltd, the developers who hosted the opening, along with their architects and their builders, Allenbuild, Riverside Housing Association who have named their top quality residential scheme "Prescot Court", representatives of Kensington Regeneration and the new CIC who succeed the New Deal, representatives from the new shops and local residents from neighbouring streets.

I can tell you that the canapes were wonderful, perfectly suited to the freezing conditions, small glasses of warm potato soup, tiny little yorkshire puddings with a minced beef filling, bitesize crumpets with cheese, tiny salmon rolls, and warm mulled wine to cup your hands round. (Nick enjoys reading about the food and I don't like to disappoint him). Well done to the caterers, whoever you were! You not only prepared lovely stuff, some of it in the dark, when the lights went out, but you determinedly carried it across a very slippy pavement to bring it out to us.

I was very impressed with the new public courtyard that you can walk into through a gap between Iceland and the villa. The latter having been beautifully restored and now housing 4 most fabulous flats.

During a speech cut short by necessity, it being sub-zero, the developer told us that Tesco Express would be taking the two units next to Iceland and that two further are currently under offer at the Lister Road end of the development. So with Greggs and Barnardos now fitting their two units, only one small unit currently remains untenanted. I would think it will be snapped up, as this is going to be a very successful little shopping scheme. It's all good news.

Of course I know that many local people were deeply disappointed that our promised One-Stop Shop has not materialised, nor the community cafe or other things we were promised in years gone by, and yes we would have loved a new icerink and yes we would have loved a new community centre, but as they were not on the cards, it would be churlish of me not to recognise that although we did not get everything we wanted, what we do have is very fine and will enhance the area.

(Photo: Opening of Iceland store in August)

CTP also announced that funding had been found to develop phase two of the site earlier than expected, that is the land directly behind the Lister pub, and that plans will be submitted shortly for 18 family homes. Further good news for the area as the empty plots start to be brought into valuable use. And hopefully also good news for the people of Lister Crescent who are keen to see a resolution to their interest in taking over a tiny little strip of land that runs between their houses and this empty plot. This could bring their hopes into reality very much more quickly.

Now we just have to get the old market site sorted and a whole stretch of Prescot Road will be transformed. With plans for Mr Gubay's Edge Lane development now at decision stage, Kensington and Fairfield residents are ready to enjoy once again living somewhere people like to shop.

There is further good news about our battle for a fee free cash machine but I don't want to preempt my own press release so I shall leave you tantalised about that for a wee bit longer.

I didn't take any photos today although there was an official photographer so I expect one will surface in due course...

1 comment:

scouseboy said...

I've watched this site being built. It will be an asset to Kensington.