Greedy over commercialisation by Harrods has created a sort of Oxford Street clone, replete with drug dealers, Romanian gypsies, ladies of the day and night, buskers and young 'Gulfies' in supercars racing around the area.
To add insult to injury- after the Swiss Chalet on Hans Crescent, Harrods applied for a planning permission to develop yet another outdoor cafe, in addition to the existing one, La Duree. Ostensibly it was to celebrate the upcoming Royal Wedding:that despite the fact that the area surrounding Harrods is a Conservation Area, so loved by HRH The Prince of Wales.
The Harrods attitude towards residents, and seemingly supported by RBK&C, is that they were there first so bugger off, with complete disregard for its residential neighbours. As per usual residents, led by the Knightsbridge Association, bombarded the council with objection letters. Knowing that the Council took little note of residents, or to quote the invisible local Ward Councillor, 'we hear-but don't listen' Weale, Residents First took an innovative, proactive line.
They wrote to Harrods telling the management that unless they started to listen to residents a petition would be presented to the Qatari ambassador for onwards transmission to the Al Thani family. It would seem that the prospect of the petition presentation, accompanied by Fleet Street's finest worked: the cafe planning application was withdrawn within the day. This shows how an innovative approach can work wonders....
Residents First, first for residents. Well done.