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Inventory Site Record

Westway Sports Centre and Gardens (Kensington & Chelsea)

Brief Description

When the A40 Westway flyover was built in the 1960s the road cut a swathe through this part of Kensington, leaving 23 acres of derelict land beneath it. A charitable trust was established in 1971 to develop the land for the benefit of the community, and since then the area beneath the flyover has been created with a surprising range of amenities. Gardens on the south were laid out through North Kensington Amenity Trust with lawns, numerous trees of a wide variety of species and shrubbery with secluded areas and seating. A wildlife garden, reached via a stile, was to the north of Westway, and there were facilities for horse riding and climbing. Westway Sports Centre opened in 2001 and continues to provide numerous sports activities. 10 acres of the former derelict land are now public open space.

Practical Information
Site location:
Latimer Road
Postcode:
W10
What 3 Words:
most.known.churn
Type of site:
Public Open Land
Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
various sports facilities through the Sports Centre
Events:
Public transport:
Tube: Latimer Road (Hammersmith and City). Bus: 7, 70, 228, 295, 316.
Research updated:
01/04/2012
Last minor changes:
14/07/2022

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.westway.org/westway

Full Site Description

Western Avenue had been constructed between 1920 and 1943, a 12 mile route from White City Stadium to Denham that was designed to take traffic quickly out of London to the west, but after WWII the volume of traffic led to severe road congestion. To alleviate this the decision was taken to build an elevated extension of 2.5 miles, which became known as Westway. Site clearance took place along its route from 1964 and it opened in July 1970, a huge success in terms of traffic management and engineering but devastating to the communities it had bulldozed through. After much local protest by groups such as North Kensington Playspace Group, and a consolidated campaign, Kensington and Chelsea Council and the Greater London Council finally agreed to hand over the land under the motorway flyover for community use. The North Kensington Amenity Trust was formally set up in February 1971 to work in partnership with the Council to develop the derelict land sensitive to the needs of the local community, now known as Westway Development Trust. Over 3,000 shrubs and 500 trees have been planted, and there are 10 acres of public open space, including a nursery and greenhouse where plants are grown. A scented garden at Blossom Dale provides a space for local pensioners with winter flowering jasmine and honeysuckle, magnolias and narcissi in spring and roses and mock orange in summer. A wildlife area provides a resource for local schools, with a pond life and wildlife habitats. The Trust gardens and open spaces are also used for annual events such as the Notting Hill Carnival. Sports and recreation take up around a third of the land, and the Westway Sports Centre opened in 2001. Over 20 community groups have space on Trust land, their rent subsidised by commercial letting.

Sources consulted:

The North Kensington Walk, RBKC, 1996; History section on Westway Development Trust website

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ235811 (523550,181150)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Westway Development Trust
Site management:
Westway Green Community
Date(s):
1970s
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
None
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No
In Conservation Area:
No
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Local Importance (wildlife area)
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.