Society members and local residents will recall that Marcus Cooper has bought the freehold of the gardens in Myddelton Square. He refused an extension of LBI’s lease in 2012 stating that the square gardens were to be developed. Following this, the company, Myddelton Square Investments Ltd has put in two planning applications to carry out “substantial works of construction” to develop the unrealised economic potential of such public gardens. His planning applications were dismissed by the LBI and dismissed on appeal in August 2014.
Since then – in April 2015 – Marcus Cooper has reluctantly conceded that LBI has an entitlement to a new lease agreement for Myddelton Square given that they have been successful leaseholders for many years under the New River Company, the Metropolitan Water Board and Thames Water. Under those organisations, LBI paid a peppercorn rent for the gardens. However, Cooper has outrageously suggested that LBI should pay an annual rent of £100,000, based on a surveyors report that looked at private garden squares in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. So, it seems that negotiations will be protracted and stormy.