Action Group Celebrates Temporary Reprieve for Lillie Road Homes and Parades

Demolition halted following Prince of Wales pub nominated as Asset of Community Value

Members of the Earls Court Area Action Group and their supporter have celebrated achieving a temporary reprieve for a street of Victorian homes and two local pubs on Lillie Road.

The street, Empress Place and the pubs, the now closed Imperial Arms and the still lively Prince of Wales are in a block of buildings due to be demolished by Capital & Counties Properties Plc  (Capco) adjacent to the Earls Court Masterplan.

Demolition of Empress Place and two adjacent parades of pubs and shops was scheduled to begin on January , but this has been temporarily halted after Hammersmith and Fulham residents applied to nominate the Prince of Wales pub as an Asset of Community Value.

Both the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates Tenant and Residents Associations have applied as have The Hammersmith Society, The Fulham Estate Residents Association and the Hammersmith Embankment Residents Association.

The victory celebrations took the form of a jolly promenade in Victorian costume after ECAAG invited residents to join "HM Queen Victoria" and the "Prince of Wales" .

Linda Wade, Chair of ECAAG attended as did Andrew Slaughter MP for Hammersmith. 

"We are losing so much of our built heritage and sense of place in London that appreciating what we still have takes on an added significance", said Linda Wade, Chair of ECAAG. 

Residents joined in street theatre and sang music halls songs from the period, some especially adapted for the housing crisis: "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner, that I live with my mum!"

To raucous cheers from participants and spectators, Capco staff  pulled down their marketing suite’s blinds when residents in Victorian fancy dress sang the national anthem outside their Lillie Square showroom opposite Empress Place, 
Empress Place is comprised of two rows of attractive Victorian workers' cottages. On the corner is the Edwardian Prince of Wales public house and a few doors up on the Lillie Road is The Imperial Arms.

Campaigners say they have also contacted Nicky Gavron AM (Labour Party), Darren Johnson AM (Green Party) and London Mayoral Candidate Caroline Pidgeon AM (Liberal Democrat Party), who have all written to Hammersmith and Fulham Council in support of the residents fighting to save the Prince of Wales pub for the community.

Civic Voice explains the rules surrounding Assets of Community Value:

The Localism Act 2011 introduced an important new power for local communities to protect buildings and open spaces they value. The Community Right to Bid came into effect on 21 September 2012. This is relevant to all civic societies and community groups.

This new right means communities can ask their local council to list certain assets as being of value to the community. If an asset is listed and then comes up for sale, the new right will give communities that want it 6 months to put together a bid to buy it. This gives communities an increased chance to save much loved shops, pubs or other local facilities.

Parish councils or local community groups can nominate both privately and publicly owned assets which meet the definition of community value.

You can read more here.

March 11, 2016