Sir Paul McCartney. Picture: Mayra F
Published: 31 October, 2013
EXCLUSIVE by PAVAN AMARA
SIR Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy have joined a red-carpet cast fighting to prevent a yoga centre in Primrose Hill being turned into new offices and homes.
Planning chiefs have been bombarded with objections after being asked to consider proposals for the Leeder House building in Erskine Road, currently home to the Triyoga Centre.
In a statement sent to the New Journal, Sir Paul and Nancy Shevell, his American businesswoman wife, who uses the centre, said: “Triyoga is as much a part of Primrose Hill as the hill itself. It is an invaluable resource to the local community. To think that it might be lost to the area is an unforgivable mistake.”
Sir Paul’s photographer daughter Mary McCartney added that she was “shocked and upset” to hear that Triyoga could be ousted from its base.
She said: “I would be concerned the area would lose part of its charm and character. I could not imagine it not being in Primrose Hill as it is a central hub to the community.”
The centre’s campaign has garnered support from actress Sadie Frost and television chef Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools, all of whom live nearby.
Ms Frost said people travelled from “all over the city, country and even the world to visit the centre and its talented and renowned teachers”, adding: “Not only is it a spiritual home to many people but it creates a lot of business for the area. It would be a real shame to lose Triyoga from Primrose Hill. We have to try and keep it here.”
Mrs Oliver said: “I have been coming since my first pregnancy and have continued to take all my children there. It’s an invaluable resource. I’m very sad to hear this.”
The planning application by Durley Investment Corporation, posted on the council’s website, has drawn a large number of objections. Planning consent has already been granted for an initial scheme.
Triyoga owner and founder Jonathan Sattin said the landlords had initially applied for planning permission in 2012 “without us even knowing about it”.
Planning consent was granted then, but the developers need further permission to expand their plans.
Mr Sattin said: “If we find somewhere else in Primrose Hill I will be very happy, but we want to stay here because we have been here for such a long time, and that is very powerful. This location is like a sanctuary for many people.”
Deputy Mayor and Primrose Hill Labour councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli said he and Councillor Pat Callaghan were “working very hard indeed to sort out a way Triyoga can stay in Primrose Hill”.
He added: “Planning permission was lawfully obtained so there is no way around that. But we are meeting with council officers and the landlord’s representative to try and find a solution.”
Conservative councillor Jonny Bucknell, who lives in Primrose Hill, said: “We all know what getting rid of Triyoga is really about. Somewhere along the way it’ll be to do with fat-cat profits.”
Durley’s architects declined to comment but their planning application documents said: “The proposed refurbishment works will essentially extend the life of the buildings on this site and ensure it continues to provide a positive contribution to the conservation area and operate as a predominantly employment-led site for the foreseeable future.”
The papers said the scheme would “improve the supply of family-sized accommodation”.
Deadline for comments on the proposals is November 7.