HC Deb 12 May 1925 vol 183 cc1691-2W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the negotiations which are now in progress with a view to the sale, lease or exchange of Crown lands in the neighbourhood of Kensington High Street, he will say with whom such negotiations are being conducted, the quantity of land affected, the terms and conditions of such sale, lease or exchange, and who initiated the negotiations; and whether the council of the Royal borough of Kensington have approached his Department at any recent time directly with respect to an acquisition of Crown land for the widening of Kensington High Street?


Negotiations are now in progress between the Commissioners of Crown Lands and John Barker and Company, Limited, with a view to an exchange of certain Crown land on the south side of Kensington High Street for land in and adjoining that street, the property of the company; and for the subsequent grant to the company of a building lease of the areas acquired by the Crown, and of parts of the premises now leased to them. The negotiations have not yet reached the stage at which the exact areas to be acquired by the Crown can be defined; but the area proposed to be conveyed by the Crown is, so much of the block between King Street and Young Street, as is now the property of the Crown. The terms of the proposed building lease and arrangements generally have not yet been definitely settled. The negotiations arose out of proposals made by the company for a remodelling of some of the premises in their occupation. The council of the Royal borough of Kensington have not directly approached the Commissioners of Crown lands with respect to the acquisition -of land for road widening purposes; but the proposed widening is being kept in view, and the intention is that arrangements shall be made with the company, which will secure the protection of Crown property in Kensington Square and elsewhere, while leaving them to arrange with the local authorities the exact area in Kensington High Street between King Street and Young Street which will be taken for the purpose of road widening. As regards the block west of King Street, the land required for road widening is intended to be excluded from the new Crown lease.