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Monday, 18 April 2011

Residents First 1 Harrods 0

Good news for residents who have to endure the nightmare that extends beyond the Harrods front door and creeps into the surrounding residential streets.

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prospect of the petition presentation, accompanied by Fleet Street's finest worked: the cafe planning application was withdrawn within the day.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.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great achievement for Residents First. In a place like RBKC, Residents First is a desperately needed breath of fresh air. People vote for the same boring councillors out of habit.

    While one regrets the passing of Dr Hanham; he was far too old to be a councillor. For years he would sit down at meetings and promptly fall asleep. Someone nudged him to vote.

    Last election, a councillor stepped down. He was first elected in 1954. This is madness. Even in Cuba, Castro's brother has just said no one should be in political office for more than 10 years. It's high time RBKC residents woke up and voted for new councillors with new ideas.


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