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Monday, 18 April 2011

Uproar in Notting Hill - there is still time...

Notting Hill is in uproar because Tuesday the RBKC Planning Committee will consider removing a planning condition that protects the last remaining large antiques arcade in Portobello Road. 

Officers recommend lifting the condition that will allow seven day opening. Currently there is a restriction to just weekend trading, and independent traders fear that by increasing to all week will mean rents rocket to the point where they simply cannot afford it.

This will mean out will go the independent stall holders, and in will come more of the chain store multinationals that are already present on other high streets. The very spirit of Portobello, the world famous Portobello will be consigned to movie history.

There is a real risk another 200 antique dealers will be forced out joining the 300 already evicted to make way for several hundred old sewing machines in the huge & hugely unpopular All Saints 'clone' fashion store. 

You can help keep Portobello special. 

Send an email now to the Council and tell them you object to the proposals. Send it to the planning department, your local RBKC councillor, the council leader, or Malcolm Rifkind MP.

Hurry, before its too late, when its gone, its gone.


  1. "The Hornet makes the case for Portobello Antiques Market. Portobello's unique selling point is its Antiques Market; the last in London. Discerning customers come from all over the world to buy. Most of the money in Portobello passes through this unusal business. Dealers spend all week sourcing merchandise; bringing their treasures to Portobello on Saturdays. This creates Portobello's unique atmosphere. Everyone loves the place. RBKC has a myriad of planning policies designed to protect Portobello & its Antiques Market.

    Tomorrow; the Council will consider an application by developers to remove an apparently minor planning condition on the basement of Admiral Vernon Antiques Arcade. It protects Antiques by limiting trading hours. If RBKC grants permission, the developers who imposed the awful All Saints on the Market, will destroy Admiral Vernon Antiques Arcade as well - and with it the Antiques Market. Another huge fashion store or supermarket will open. Portobello will lose its unique selling point; becoming as boring as all the other British high streets. With Westfield less than a mile away, what will be left to attract visitors? This in turn will destroy the Street Market. Is this RBKC's real intention?

    RBKC's responsibility is to residents and its own declared planning policies; rather than the 'Free Market.' All those who love Portobello, please object to this planning application IMMEDIATELY!!! Please email J. Bore quoting PP/10/03880 or contact your RBKC Councillor or local MP Malcolm Rifkind. By Tuesday night, you will be too late. You have been warned!"

  2. It is a terrible thing to destroy something that everyone loves, like Portobello Market, just to replace it with dreary, rubbish clothes. What is the matter with the world that everything has to be ruled by money? Is that all there is? Please do as The Hornet suggests and object to the Council about this planning application right now. Otherwise it will be too late; Portobello will be gone. Make the Council hear us!

  3. As the Hornet recently commented; RBKC is currently spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money renewing the old Victorian public lavatories in Portobello Market. Yet if it succeeds in turning the place into a 'clone' high street; there won't be the people to use the new loos. RBKC. What about some joined up thinking?

  4. If people want Portobello to survive, they must object immediately as the blog says.

    There is something sinister about a Council that always seems to do exactly what a few people with vast amounts of money want; while ignoring what residents want.

    The new Local Development Framework Core Strategy repeatedly states that the Council will protect Portobello and Golbourne Markets, as well as the Antiques Market. The LDF was written following years of public consultation. Yet Council planning officers recommend a course of action that will lead to the destruction of the Antiques Market. It is disgraceful. As I said; people must object.

  5. If all the world were paper and all the sea was ink, and all the trees were bread and cheese,what should we have to drink?

    If all the world were All Saints and all the sea were Gap, and all the trees were Zara and Reiss, what should we have to drink?

    Please save Portobello Market.

  6. The Hornet is absolutely right. There's also a fantastic campaign on Facebook, Save the Portobello Road Market. It has over 37,000 fans. Comment on it and object to the Council as the Dame says. But it has to be right now. The meeting is Tuesday 19th April. That's actually today! Please everyone email the Council today before it's too late. You can also comment here on the Hornet or attend the meeting tonight at the Town Hall at 6.30.

  7. Great blog. Great post. Great comments. Portobello antiques are famous all over the world because they are "different." Fashion is the same all over the world.

    Most local people chose to live in the area because of the market. Don't let the Council let the developers destroy it. It can change slowly. Evolve. Do as the Dame says and object and complain and go to the planning meeting tonight at Ken Town Hall 6pm.

  8. You guys are wasting your time - the Council decided a long time ago (Moylan's vision) that Portobello is a mess and needs to migrate to the 21st Century.

    Thats exactly what our boy will do - and any insects that get in his way will be swatted

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. The problem is that Moylan is just the embodiment of bad taste. His manners, his rudeness to staff and residents, his bullying. His vision is so typically New Birmingham...shiny stainless steel 'street furniture' pink granite paving Ugh!

  11. I have written my objections and I have also spoken at 2 planning committee meetings. What I am shocked by is that even when council members have actually voiced concern over the demise of the heritage of the Road, they are told in no uncertain terms that the committee or indeed RBKC is powerless, RUBBISH. They can enforce conservation laws, they can adhere to its own localism strategy which states that it will protect antiques. They can set a precednet and PROTECT PORTOBELLO and ensure shops are of a limted size. WHY can't a Tory council listen to what is a pure example of Big Society at work - -locals and local traders wanting POrtobello Protected. I have said it before, the council is being led by short termism. Just focusing on tourist footfall (and they don't spend much) and ignoring locals is crazy. And if they do just focus on tourists then this policy is also flawed as they won't come if POrtobello becomes another high street.

    I think there should be a judicial review into EVERYTHING that is being allowed to happen in this area.

  12. Hornet is pleased to report the councillors voted down the planning application so Portobello as we know it is safe for the time being.

    Well done to all concerned in the campaign and well done to the councillors for seeing sense.

    This isnt the end, it isn't the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps the end of the beginning.

    The campaign to keep Portobello special continues.


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