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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Save Portobello-Stop All Saints

 left: a horribly atypical All Saints Store

The many thousands who follow The Dame will recall that 2 years ago fashion store All Saints built a spectacular 'Victorianesque'  plastic & glass shopfront on the prominent corner of Westbourne Grove & Portobello Road - a site formerly home to 300 antique dealers in Lipka antiques arcade. Planning permission played no part in the project. Following a public outcry, RBKC Planning Committee unanimously rejected a retrospective application for the new shopfront - on officers' recommendation.

The original approved plan was for genteel painted wood - 6 identical; symmetrical Victorian style shopfronts; each with a pair of glazed doors between 2 windows, with high upstands on Westbourne Grove. The Portobello flanking wall had to be largely painted stucco with a modest glazed door. The plans were appropriate for a conservation area; but have been airbrushed from history.

The new proposal is to strip away the notorious plastic cladding; attach a few bits of wood; paint alleged hardwood & install even more glass to the Portobello flanking wall. The shop windows will retain plastic 'lead' lights; despite the fact the 'lead' falls off the glass! Remarkably, officers now recommend the Committee to approve this architectural travesty.

At little over a week's notice, the Committee will reconsider the All Saints planning application @ Kensington Town Hall on Tuesday 25th October @ 6 for 6.30pm; it's the first item on the agenda.
All those concerned for the authenticity of Victorian Kensington please join family & friends to support the "Save the Portobello Road Market" campaign & the built environment.


  1. All Saints' shop front in Portobello Road is a sick joke. With money borrowed from the now defunct Icelandic banks, the company threw it up without planning permission. Last year the Planning Committee rejected it on officer recommendation. A year on, the same officers apparently believe this appalling edifice is acceptable because plastic will be replaced by a slap of paint. Everyone please attend the meeting at 6.30pm on Tuesday to witness officers explaining their U turn. Locals hope the Committee will protect them again.

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