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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A RESIDENT INPUTS

The Dame at work on her Macbook




Dear Demsoc and CfPS,

Being abroad I was unable to attend your workshop.
I have been a resident of RBKC for more than 50 years and in the last 10 years or so have been a vocal critic of the failure of the ruling Party to connect up with residents. This is in spite of an elaborate expenditure on processes and procedures intended to “consult”.

All too often these procedures are abused in order to broadcast decisions instead of to consult. And opportunities to listen to residents are frequently suppressed or bypassed. For example, the three minutes given to objectors to make their case at Planning Meetings.

The ruling Party (I am a Conservative by the way) also suffers from a weak opposition and the perils of monopoly, which has existed for more than 50 years. All too often resident opinion is ignored and the Leadership deludes itself with hubris and Opinion Polls that show high resident satisfaction ratings. Much of this delusion was brought tumbling down by the Grenfell Tower disaster which laid bare the gulf between Hornton Street and the people.

There is a high degree of voter disillusion with the Council and democracy in Kensington and Chelsea. I hope that your work will not result in another self serving study. There have been too many.

We are now in the internet age and local blogs are a rich source of data mining regarding “issues” and “opinion”. I do not know how expert MCS10 is in analysing such information and extracting relevant input and perspectives. But I would recommend one such blog to you-now in its eighth year


(the blog is published in the Royal Borough - the .co.za address above merely reflects that this is where I currently am)

We established TheHornetsNest blog to expose “The everyday workings of RBKC and those who claim to represent it”. The initiative resulted from resident frustration and anger over certain planning decisions and developed into the exposure of corrupt and improper behaviour in the Council.

The blog was set up after a meeting with the Tax Payers Alliance  to brainstorm our frustrations.

Their Chairman suggested the initiative.  To date, we have had more than 2.4 million unique visitors.

I am quite certain in my mind that the blog has had a profound impact on the climate of opinion in Hornton Street and has produced a number of important changes. We know that it is widely read by the majority of Councillors and is frequently referred to in Council debates.

I hope you find these comments helpful.

Yours faithfully

Donald Cameron

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

CLARION WARNED ON SUTTON

A property professional writes.....


With regard to Conservation Areas, the Council’s Local Plan (at 34.3.24) states: “There have been examples of buildings being allowed to deteriorate, followed by demolition. The Council will take all appropriate measures available to it to ensure that that there is no incentive for such action.” Unfortunately this policy does not apply to the Sutton Estate, a late Edwardian housing estate much valued for its social housing and architectural cohesion, as it lies just outside the Chelsea Conservation Area. The developer’s proposal to demolish the Estate, which it justified on grounds of deterioration for which the developer itself had been responsible, aroused a storm of opposition; but the planning officers’ report of November 2016 made no objection to the proposed demolition (though it rejected the proposal for other reasons). Once again, the Architectural Appraisal Panel was cited in support. The developer has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, and we fear that the officers’ approval of the demolition will be used by the Planning Inspectorate – or by the developer under a subsequent proposal – to push the demolition through.


CLLR DAVIS WINS SPONGER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Cllr Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster, makes Sir Pooter Cockell look a rank amateur in the troughing stakes LINK
Davis, the ex-partner of Saint (Sir) Simon Milton is responsible for littering Westminster with tasteless rubbish memorialising his sainted mate. 
This has made Pooter Cockell mad with envy. LINK
Very greasy

Monday, 19 February 2018

SAVING INNOCENTS

Barely a week passes without the horrifying news of some vicious fatal or near fatal assault on a baby or toddler.
A baby facing amputation

These attacks often seem to be perpetrated by parents or family members.
This murderous crime wave seems to have gained momentum over the last several years; in the past, it would have been a rarity.



Today we read of a baby, a few months into its little life yet treated with such brutality by its parents that both legs require amputation.
Millions of pounds are spent on social services yet despite this huge investment officers seem incapable of protecting these little innocents. 

Even more shocking is how clueless politicians are about defending these vulnerable children from their wicked families. 





A CARELESS DESCRIPTION OF A CARE HOME

Dear Ms Derbyshire

I received the below message from the Kensington Society. What struck me first was the 'closing date' for any comments/objections...  21st January.  
Although the Society states that comments received after this date can be considered RBKC is in no way obliged to consider them.  
This date would suggest that RBKC is sailing far too close to the wind.  
The result is that they can claim that merely a handful of objections were received. 
Comments submitted to RBKC's 'Planning Dept', are NOT subject to independent scrutiny or audit.  These can be manipulated by RBKC as it feels fit, without any fear of retribution, as there is NONE.
Who knows what vested interests exist between the 'Planning Dept', Councillors, Savills, who are heavily involved in property deals with RBKC, specifically Councillor Paget-Brown (secret sales of Grenfell leaseholds, without offering the vacant properties to those on the vast Housing List.)
 
What is interesting is that RBKC has not learned.  
They are hiding behind 'care home' development for the rich, to push through this Planning Application. 
Due to the nature of the 'use', the unidentified developer is in NO WAY obliged to provide the much needed 'affordable' housing...including 'care homes' and 'sheltered accommodation' for the needy residents of RBKC.
I am also writing to the CQC to get their definition of a 'care home'.
Can anything be done about this?
with kind regards
A Resident

NOT SEXY SAVILLS....AGAIN!

The Dame's investigative team never sleeps as it works tirelessly to uncover the background to Savill's very odd client, Sexylicious Ltd.
The directors of Sexylicious are behind the Heythrop College developer planning budget £9 million flats for oldies like the Dame.
Clearly, the two directors are planning to give the oldies some sexy entertainments using Sexylicious....
The development will clearly need a Cardiac Arrest Unit
The project is being promoted by the shell company "Leonard Kensington Propco Ltd", incorporated 11 months ago. The Directors are Iain Corstorphine (who set up on his own as a consultant 3 yrs ago after working for the Bank of Scotland in property finance, distress and restructuring) 
SEXY IAIN
and Nigel Barnett Harris, a self employed property consultant who operates behind colourfully named companies such as "Sexylicious Ltd", "Shoot From the Hip Ltd", and "Dreamstars Ltd". All registered at 6 Canfield Place NW6.

It gets worse.

Consultants to the project are Savills, who also made the submission to their close friends, the planners in Hornton Street. The Planning Statement is a master of the fop. The now obligatory GP surgery is included (the go to Trojan Horse, as we saw at Newcombe House) and a nurses training facility. Nice one. There is also an "Extra Care Operating Programme" for the infirm. Prepared by no other than Savills!!! I hope that the care plan for my elderly relatives is prepared by medical experts....

Cleverly, Draycott Nursing Care is named as an operator and there is an organisation chart showing the names of their Director and Nursing Staff. Clever. We need to look at the contract to determine just how kosher it is. Lambs to the slaughter.

The Architects are an American Firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox. Rated by Glassdoor as a not very good organisation to work for. They seem to have fairly limited experience in London (52 Lime Street and the Heron Tower).

It is proving difficult to find out who the promoters are. 

But the Dame's team is digging.

But so far the message is clear. Sup with this crowd at our peril. Why would the Royal Borough do business with "Shoot From The Hip" and "Sexylicious"? Supported by Savills.......

Sunday, 18 February 2018

MOFFAT UP PIER STREET AND A SHOT ACROSS THE BOWS

Andrew and Charlotte Moffat are ex City fund managers.
Foolishly, they decided to try their hand at a bit of high-end property speculation and Chelsea boat moorings ownership

According to the Times and the Daily Mail one of their little projects in Chelsea has got holed below the waterline.
You can read about their welcome plight HERE
£12 million?
The Moffat's bought Cresswell House for £8 million in 2012. They then spent millions buggering it up in the usual tasteless way. 
They have now had to reduce the price from £40 million to £20 million and the lenders now want their money back so have appointed receivers.

French Brothel Style

According to the Mail "Cresswell House failed to sell after it was first put on the market through Knight Frank and Savills in 2016. 
Independent expert Richard Stanley was appointed receiver to the Jersey-based  company when Moffat's lenders ran out of patience"
The Moffats-very keen social climbers and eager to mix with "The Royalty"-ring-fenced the property in Cresswell House Finance Limited.
Let's hope other lenders are getting nervy....
The Islamic bank BLME and financier Christian Candy held shares, according to the Land Registry. 
It is unclear whether the bank put the property into receivership.



Saturday, 17 February 2018

WHEN IS A CARE HOME NOT A CARE HOME?


Site plan expanded over railway lines.

The developers are proposing the development of the site of Heythrop College as “care homes”.  The site currently contains the convent and Heythrop College’s student hall of residence which is classified as institutional residential within the social and community use, not housing. The Council’s Local Plan classifies these uses as low-value social and community uses which accords protection from high-value uses such as expensive housing. The site has limited access with only walking access from Kensington Square or the restricted vehicle access via South End, a narrow, cobbled street.

In summary the proposal:
  • would be one of the largest developments proposed in central Kensington in the last ten years – a complex of 150 exclusive retirement flats by a developer who specialises in “the most expensive retirement housing in the country” (The Times, 8 Dec 2017);
  • has been presented as a “care home”/ “extra care housing” for the over 55’s, consisting of 56 one-bedroom units and 94 two-bedroom units, ranging from 31 sqm to 174 sqm, with combined kitchen/dining/living space, separate bedrooms and bathrooms.   Additional facilities include swimming pool, gym, café, concierge and housekeeping services, security – standard for luxury housing.  These self-contained flats would start at £2 million for a one-bedroom flat rising to £9 million for a larger two-bedroom flat.  All are sold with 999-year leases with substantial service charges and care services charged separately;   
  • would involve the building of a raft over the Circle Line for a length of 125 metres to the west increasing the site by one third; and
  • would involve the longest access route ever to a major construction site through residential streets, from Kensington Road to a constrained access at South End.

We have strong reservations about the substance of the proposals, namely:
  • the change of use from social and community uses  to an exclusive, luxury retirement housing scheme;
  • the developer asserts that the proposal is for a “care home”, both for it to qualify as a social and community use rather than housing and so as to avoid providing any affordable housing;
  • there would be no affordable housing and limited other public benefits;
  • the scale of demolition, excavation and the construction of the raft over the railway line and the seven buildings plus two level basements would have a massive impact on all residents in the area.  It is estimated to be a 5-year project which we doubt is achievable due to the access constraints; 
  • the construction traffic management plan estimates constant flows of large vehicles travelling to and from Kensington Road via Victoria Road, St Alban’s Grove and the South End (over 600 metres) requiring parking suspensions along the route because the roads are narrow; and  
  • the increase in both construction time and construction traffic so that the site can be increased by 1/3 over the railway line.
Our conclusion is to oppose the applications, however a few of our members are supportive of the exclusive housing with age restrictions.

We ask that you to review the applications and come to your own opinion.  If you do have any questions or oppose our position, please email kensigntonsociety@outlook.com.  The RBKC website states “public consultation ends “ on the 21 January but objections will be accepted for several weeks following that date.

Yours sincerely,

The Kensington Society