The UK government on Friday approved the usage of no.10 King Henry’s Road, London as Dr. Ambedkar Museum. It was the residence of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar during his student days at the London School of Economics in the early 1920s. Purchased by the government of Maharashtra, it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 14, 2015. Currently, the museum hosts rare photographs and belongings of Dr. Ambedkar while his famous quotations adorn the walls.
The present decision came on appeal against the Camden Council’s decision rejecting the conversion of the aforesaid property to a museum. It had issued an enforcement notice on November 16, 2018, calling for the property to be used only for residential purpose. Moreover, this direction had to be complied within 6 months.
Thereafter, Inspector Keri Williams conducted a public local inquiry to examine this appeal. He not only recommended a correction in the enforcement notice but also decided to quash it. Robert Jenrick- the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government agreed with the Inspector’s conclusions as well as recommendations. He formally allowed the appeal and gave the permission for the change of use of no. no.10 King Henry’s Road, London from a residential property to a museum.
At the same time, some conditions have been laid down. For instance, the state of Maharashtra has been given the sole responsibility of using the premises for the museum. If it gives up the control, the property cannot be used as a museum. Moreover, the working hours of the museum should be only between 11 to 5 pm. Furthermore, a Museum Management Plan will have to be submitted to the local planning authority for approval. The plan shall include details of means of communicating museum opening times to the public, arrangements for visits by parties including dropping off and picking up arrangements, measures to control noise; the placing of statues or artefacts outside the building (if proposed); external lighting (if proposed) and a timetable for the implementation of each element of the plan.