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Places for London – the Transport for London (TfL) Property Company

Places for London secures planning permission to improve Kilburn Mews.Places for London – the Transport for London (TfL) Property Company - has secured planning permission to improve 11 arches it manages along Kilburn Mews, which will help transform the commercial units and open them up to the Kilburn High Road and the local community.In collaboration with architect DK-CM, the work will enhance the infrastructure of the historic and characterful arches, bridges, and surrounding external space between Kilburn High Road and Loveridge Road to create a new public realm off the busy High Street. The arch units will have new frontages and improved energy efficiency by utilising air source heat pumps to provide heating and cooling. This will mean more efficient space for tenants to occupy and overall lower operating utility costs.

The proposal will also include various urban greening initiatives to the area around the arches, such as the installation of planters and tree pits, which will support sustainability and add to the location’s ambience.

Throughout the development of the designs, Places for London collaborated closely with the local community to ensure their needs were prioritised. It was important to encourage feedback that reflected the diversity of the community, so a range of considerations were taken into account when carrying out engagement. This included hosting both online and in-person sessions, providing a variety of times for people to join and give their feedback, and undertaking different methods of engagement, such as through a series of brief questionnaires, interviews, and design exhibitions, so stakeholders and locals could share their vision for the arches. This led to almost 60 per cent of the survey responses coming from women and the majority of engagement workshops or exhibitions having at least 50 per cent representation from women.

Having high levels of representation from women throughout the engagement process was vital as the project is part of the, Safety in Public Space | Women, Girls and Gender Diverse People, which for this project meant especially focusing on how the area could be shaped and designed through the development proposals to feel safer, particularly for those with unheard voices. Taking the feedback on board, the scheme will also improve the general lighting and security along the mews by installing CCTV cameras and has also considered, when creating the architectural design of the arches, how to mitigate potential hotspots for anti-social behaviour.

Community participation also involved a local school, where geography students from Hampstead School studied the sites, too relaying their recommendations to the Places for London team working on the project. Feedback gathered throughout these sessions was then integrated into the organisation’s proposals, for example, informing how it could pedestrianise the area and include seating, cycle parking and welcoming spaces.

Jo Fisher, Head of Arches at Transport for London (TfL) said: “We are keen to bring new life to these arches at the north end of Kilburn High Road and are delighted to have now secured planning permission for these improvements. This work is part of our wider investment into providing new spaces and opportunities for our tenants, many of which are small businesses across London’s diverse communities, and we look forward to working with the Kilburn community to create a welcoming gateway at our station.”

“This is not solely an investment in the arches, but in the town of Kilburn as a whole. Our reason for consulting with the community throughout this development process is so that their needs are constantly considered. We hope that with the innovation of the arches, we will attract a variety of great businesses who wish to use our facilities for the locals and visitors of Kilburn.”

Councillor Shama Tatler, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Growth and Planning at Brent Council said: “This is brilliant news for Kilburn - local residents and businesses alike. These improvements will not only enhance the arches, but create new opportunities for our small business community and help create a safer and more welcoming space for everyone.”

 

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