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Friday, 8 April 2011

Councillors still not listening in North Kensington...

The unpaid members of the great Cheesecake Consumer’s Architectural Advisory Panel are always the in line for lucrative Council commissions. Thus it was that John McAslan and Partners came to prepare the feasibility study of how to fit the Kensington Academy onto the unsuitable Lancaster West Estate.

They duly came up with a range of possibilities, somehow managing to promote the one option preferred by the Cheesecake Connoisseur that coincidentally is also the worst possible option for the residents of that benighted Estate. This option sites the Academy right next to a tower block, ensures that residents will get the full force of all the noise generated by school activities every single day of every single term and moves what will be left of an already meagre amount of green open space slap bang into permanent shade.

Consultation on the Supplementary Planning Document has closed – and the Council is now mulling over how best to tell all those who sent in over 400 thoughtful comments why it intends to ignore them all and develop the project exactly as Cllr. Moylan first thought of it.

Many respondents welcomed the Academy and others opposed it, but nobody – except Cllr. Moylan - wanted the traffic-laden new road that will cut the Estate in half and join up two erstwhile tranquil residential neighbourhoods. The Council will respond that this road will be “pedestrian dominated”. Well, only until drivers realise that it will make an excellent short cut between Ladbroke Grove and Royal Crescent and turn it into a very busy rat run. And don’t forget, under Council practice, at least three children will have to be killed or seriously injured before the Council’s original promise of a road only for pedestrians and cyclists will even be considered.

Still, the project got a big boost the other weekend when David Cameron himself said he “might” send his children to the new Academy. Now we all know this is not going to happen – but it gives Cllrs. Cockell and Moylan a great big PR boost to their pet project. There is a very faint possibility that Nancy could be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and sent for a while to the Chelsea Academy before joining brother Arthur at Eton when she reaches the Sixth Form. But there is no chance whatsoever of her going to the Kensington Academy. This would put her in the same school as those children whom her parents carefully avoided when they sent their offspring to join those of Michael Gove MP and Ed Vaizey MP at the highly selective “state” primary school, St. Mary Abbots – the very fashionable Church of England school where all pupils are hand-picked to ensure that the hoi polloi are excluded.

And just consider what little money is to be spent on the Kensington Academy – a mere £17.6 million from the government and a further £1 million from the Academy’s sponsor, Rod Aldridge. The Chelsea Academy cost over £43 million and the re-built Holland Park School is likely to come in at over £80 million. So yet again, North Kensington gets the dregs from the rich man’s table!

Perhaps the problem stems from the planning consultation meeting, where one Council official told a woman who said she was stressed about the project that she could commit suicide if she wanted to, threatened to punch another objector in the face and then stormed off into the night. But this unprofessional behaviour pales into insignificance compared to the cowardice of the councillors themselves – Moylan and Cockell – who refuse point blank to talk directly to the good folk of Lancaster West and explain why their Estate has been singled out for this development. Their latest excuse is that this is now a government project and it has nothing to do with them!

Yet again, Cheesecake-man will get his way and impose a cheap and shoddy school on the unsuspecting families of North Kensington. The quality of life of Lancaster West residents will worsen forever, the Leisure Centre the Council said was no longer fit for purpose won’t be rebuilt, the wonderful green oasis that is Lancaster Green will be wantonly destroyed and a new rat run will put innocent children’s lives at risk every day. 

The people of North Kensington deserve better than this.

The powers that be should hang their heads in shame.

43 comments:

  1. You have to understand that expenditure on these projects is related the ego boosting requirements of Moylan and Cockle: this £23 million
    is wasted paving Exhibition Rd(the setts are already coming out!) and little Cockle has his £100 million temple in Holland Park. Little men-huge vanity

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a local resident I can tell you that it will take no time for three serious or fatal accidents to occur if the Council alter the road lay out. It is a very dangerous stretch of road already and opening up a rat run through the proposed Academy is simply asking for trouble.
    Local resident's have been telling the Council of our serious concerns regarding this matter but (like all our other representations) they have ignored us completely.If they proceed with this plan it will only be a matter of time before there is actual blood on their hands.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sincerely hope this project will turn into a virtual festering boil in the side of this most obnoxious Council!
    The powers that be have absolutley no consideration for the "revolting peasants" that reside in a pleasant environment. The majority of residents on Lancaster West are decent, law abiding citizens, who wish to continue enjoying our local amenities as they are now.

    Hands off our Green!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This story is just typical of the nay-sayers and doomwatchers in the north of the borough. The Council has agreed to spend millions of pounds on what the Labour lot has apparently stated has been in need for years. And now they have the temerity to complain about it! All for a scrubby bit of grass! Hang your heads in shame!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Council have treated local residents with total contempt throughout the supposed consultation process. As a consequence, local stakeholders have recently tried to organise a Public Meeting with our Dear Leader. Knowing that time is an important issue for residents it took him five and a half weeks to reply to this request made in three seperate emails from Councillor Blakeman. When stakeholders finally received an response from Cockle he actually dodged answering our original request for a meeting. Now the local community have been told that this issue is no longer the Council's concern, thus, denying local residents any opportunity to discuss our mounting fears regarding this ill thought out project. Business in public- Not a chance

    ReplyDelete
  6. The north of the Borough requires a new school but to try and locate it inside a housing estate serves no-one: whether they be local residents or future pupils. This project will prove to be the jewel in the crown of Council folly.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear 3:56
    The local stakeholders on Lancaster West would like to invite you to our Estate to meet with us so that you can expand on your notion that our vital green space is a "scrubby bit of grass".
    We can be contacted through Hornet.
    Look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
    Edward Daffarn
    Grenfell Action Group

    ReplyDelete
  8. Among the varied ecology on our Estate we have recently discovered two beautiful and quite rare mistle thrush nesting in the trees on Lancaster Green ( aka: our scrubby bit of grass).
    In old England these birds used to be known as "Storm Cocks" because in the event of the onslaught of thunderstorms, wind and torrential rain, they turn to face the teeth of the gale and sing relentlessly.
    Local stakeholders on Lancaster West feel great empathy with this characteristic of our visiting feathered friends.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am more than happy to hold my head high, in the continued objections for an Academy to be built on this beautiful area!

    I would also like to thank Dame Hornet for her most uplfiting article, which shows unwaivering support of the little people, please keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  10. THE FIGHT CONTINUES

    THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL IS A COWARD.

    HE HAS REFUSED TO MEET WITH LOCAL RESIDENTS TO DISCUSS OUR LEGITIMATE CONCERNS REGARDING THE PROPOSED ACADEMY.

    SO, IF HE WON’T COME TO US - WE WILL HAVE TO GO TO HIM!

    Your support is therefore urgently requested this coming Wednesday 20th April in the Public Gallery at The Council Meeting Room, Kensington Town Hall, Horton Street, London W8 between 8pm and 9pm in order to add our support to the following resolution put forward by Councillor Blakeman that requests that the Council:

    1. arrange a public meeting between Estate residents and representatives of Government, the Sponsor and the Council to hear residents' concerns; and
    2. in order to take fully into account the views of the local community expressed during the consultation on the Supplementary Planning Document,the Council will also ensure that:
    a. the Estate's Council-designated public park at Lancaster Green is retained;
    b. no vehicular traffic will be permitted on the new road between Grenfell Road and the Silchester/Lancaster Road junction, other than that which is necessary to service the school; and
    c. the residents' right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes as enshrined in their tenancy agreements will be preserved at all times."

    The Conservative members of the Council are set to ridicule this resolution, refuse to support it and, therefore, deliver residents into a future living hell.

    We must attend the Council Meeting to tell them this is not acceptable.

    PLEASE MEET OUTSIDE THE EMB/CARETAKERS OFFICE ON LANCASTER WEST ESTATE (end of Grenfell Rd.) AT 6.45pm.



    GRENFELL ACTION GROUP

    ReplyDelete
  11. THE FIGHT CONTINUES

    THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL IS A COWARD. HE HAS REFUSED TO MEET WITH LOCAL RESIDENTS TO DISCUSS OUR LEGITIMATE CONCERNS REGARDING THE PROPOSED ACADEMY.
    SO, IF HE WON’T COME TO US- WE WILL HAVE TO GO TO HIM!

    Your support is therefore urgently requested this coming Wednesday 20th April in the Public Gallery at The Council Meeting Room, Kensington Town Hall, Horton Street, London W8 between 8pm and 9pm in order to add our support to the following resolution put forward by Councillor Blakeman that requests that the Council:

    1. arrange a public meeting between Estate residents and representatives of Government, the Sponsor and the Council to hear residents' concerns; and
    2. in order to take fully into account the views of the local community expressed during the consultation on the Supplementary Planning Document, the Council will also ensure that:
    a. the Estate's Council-designated public park at Lancaster Green is retained;
    b. no vehicular traffic will be permitted on the new road between Grenfell Road and the Silchester/Lancaster Road junction, other than that which is necessary to service the school; and
    c. the residents' right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes as enshrined in their tenancy agreements will be preserved at all times."

    The Conservative members of the Council are set to ridicule this resolution, refuse to support it and, therefore, deliver residents into a future living hell.

    We must attend the Council Meeting to tell them this is not acceptable.

    PLEASE MEET OUTSIDE THE EMB/CARETAKERS OFFICE ON LANCASTER WEST ESTATE (end of Grenfell Rd.) AT 6.45PM.


    GRENFELL ACTION GROUP

    ReplyDelete
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