Winkworth Hall, commonly known as Hopscotch nursery, at 215 Chevening Road, London NW6 is a 100 year old 3 storey brick building in keeping with the style of the surrounding buildings.
It is on the edge of the Queens Park conservation area in the London Borough of Brent. The Hopscotch nursery has been there for 24 years and is a much used local service. It provides nursery places and also runs drop-in sessions for children and for babies. It is a charity and not-for-profit organisation. Hopscotch is a valuable local service used by local people, many of whom walk there, and then continue to work and to drop older children at local schools.
The drop-ins provide an opportunity for parents and carers to meet and make friends while their babies and children enjoy a safe and stimulating environment. As well as indoor space there is outdoor space where children can play and an environmental-award winning garden.
Brent council proposes to demolish the existing building, making Hopscotch homeless and to build 27 flats (mainly, two and three bed) with 19 car parking spaces underneath. This would be part of a PFI (Private Finance Initiative) entered into between the council and “Brent Coefficient” to provide 500 new homes on the sites of a number of council-owned buildings (mostly currently providing community facilities).
The benefit of this deal to the council is that it obtains government credits while also providing new homes across the borough. “Brent Coefficient” would finance the development, do the building work and then manage the flats. The proposed building is unattractive, out of keeping both in style and size with the adjoining conservation area and would amount to over-development of the site. The proposed development is poorly conceived as more families would be brought into an area where there is already a serious shortage of nursery and school places and local services are stretched.
Furthermore, traffic and parking problems already occur on that part of Chevening Road, especially at school pick-up and drop-off times and when there are events at the mosque on the other side of the road. The public transport links are excellent, and car clubs are springing up nearby – any development on the site should be car-free and much smaller.
We call on Brent Council to provide a space for Hopscotch in any new development on the site (and temporary accommodation while building was in progress). We do not want to lose this popular and valuable local service in order for the council to make a short-term financial gain.
For more information please visit www.qpara.org.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Elaine Henderson as chairman of the Queens Park Area Residents’ Association
We, the undersigned, call upon the London Borough of Brent to provide a space for the Hopscotch Nursery and Drop-In in any redevelopment at 215, Chevening Road, London NW6 6DT, and a temporary home while building work is in progress.
The Save Hopscotch Nursery petition to Brent Council was written by E Henderson and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.