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Thursday, 23 August 2012


A Planning Expert writes.......

When the planning application for the former Holland Park School playgrounds was considered, the Planning Committee pointed out that it was “over-developed” with the amount of housing that was proposed and insisted that this element be reduced. So the affordable housing element was deleted and moved over to the Silchester Estate in North Kensington.
Now a similar situation has arisen with the planning application for the proposed Kensington Aldridge* Academy in North Kensington. Again, excessive housing has been plonked on to the proposed development, out of scale with the rest of the proposals and badly designed. Although this element of the scheme is greater and far less appropriate than that proposed for the Holland Park scheme, there is no doubt that it will be approved, despite many local objections,for two reasons: [1] This is not “affordable” housing but private market housing, intended to be sold off to a property developer; and [2] the receipts for this housing will go towards paying for the new Kensington Leisure Centre.

The problem here is that financial receipt is not a planning matter and cannot be used to justify the grant of planning permission for the development. And indeed, the Council continues to sit on over £33million for a Crossrail station that they know privately will never be built. There is no reason why some of this money should not be released to pay for the Leisure Centre, which the Tories are promoting as a benefit for the whole of the Borough –(just like the Design Museum, where they were well able to identify £millions to underwrite that scheme).

If the Planning Committee consider this application with genuine objectivity, then they will throw out this part of the application and insist that the space be retained as the green garden for the residents of the Lancaster West Estate that it currently is.

*It always amuses the Dame that Ron Aldridge stumped up the cost of the Academy: why would he not...Crapita, his company, have earned hundreds of millions from councils like RBK&C too indolent to do the work themselves.....a cheap thank you to a munificent council!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Dame, it is very strange but Ron Aldridge has not put one penny into the Academy project.
    When local activists approached him for some money to help pay for double glazing to protect vulnerable residents on Lancaster West Estate we received no reply....


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