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Sunday, 14 October 2012


Stephen Bayley is a leading UK leading design authority.
When someone of his stature lends his muscle to a campaign supported by in excess of a thousand residents we should heed him....
You Tube 

What has so angered residents of Chelsea and beyond? 
According to the Dame's impeccable sources RBK&C's Planning Committee has behaved in a quite disreputable and discreditable way.

Well known Chelsea hairdresser Heinz Schumi has run his salon at 18, Britton Street for twenty years. 

Two years ago, a 'Middle Eastern investor' acquired the building for £900,000. 
It has two tenants on the upper floor on an unprotected let-and Mr Schumi, on the ground and basement floors.

A local and longstanding resident, Michael O'Brien described to the Dame what made the little business so special....

"It is a wonderful meeting place in the character of old Chelsea. There are the hairdressers' own paintings on show, together with those of some of his clientele. There is even a piano which anyone with any talent is welcome to play."

Another, David Cameron's aunt, Lady Dugdale, is quoted in the Independent.....

"I'm very upset by the treatment Heinz is getting, he has become a good friend. Whenever I go up to London I have my hair done there. He and I always talk about painting, which we both do a little. He always had an easel up in his salon, and we had fun talking. He'd cross the road to help anyone. But it's not just that he offers a good, straightforward haircut. It's a very social place, a real part of the community. It's very unfair at a time when we should be helping small businesses. The council are entitled not to give planning permission if it will have an impact on the character of an individual area, and this certainly will do that. It's terrible what the developers are doing."

The Inde goes on... "Schumi's hairdressing salon in Chelsea's Britten Street faces closure next month, because the landlord has been granted permission to alter the building. Now, customers including Jilly Cooper, Stephen Bayley and Jenny Agutter, are calling for the council to repeal the permission. Austrian-born Heinz Schumi opened his first salon in 1973, and tended to high-profile barnets belonging to Diana Ross, Julie Christie and members of The Who."

Having bought the freehold our 'offshore investor' sought to enhance the value of his 'punt': he applied for planning permission to alter the ground floor.....

Now RBK&C is a council which pretends to support small business so no surprise to find in this case they have done all they can to destroy Mr Schumi's business. 
Not one member of the Planning Committee had the common courtesy to carry out a site visit: not quite councillor did come to look.
Mr O'Brian said, “ It is extraordinary that it took a Labour Councillor, Bob Mingay, to lend support and vote against the application.”
We need to know why no ward councillors got involved in assisting Mr Schumi.

So now the Freeholder has been granted permission to make a staircase to the basement in the only small area of the salon suitable for client seating:this, despite over a thousand letters, emails and Petition signatories all violently opposing the changes. 
Mr Schumi will now have to close if permission is not revoked and another feature of old Chelsea will be lost forever.

The Council has now enabled our Middle Eastern investor(who doubtless does not live in the Borough) to serve a Section 25 Notice on Mr.Schumi telling him to quit the premises.

So, in just two years, the owner will have forced out a local business and made himself £3 million in the process.

The Planning Committee have made a very serious error of judgment: they need to issue a Revocation-which they are legally entitled to do-without payment of compensation. There is a great mystery to this which The Dame needs to investigate......more info needed please.


  1. Residents need to kick out their ward cllrs and put up Independents who will safeguard their interests

  2. Another example of this councils contempt for small business despite the rhetoric in their propaganda paper. Roll on the independents to shake this arrogant council up.

  3. In Kensington & Chelsea only money talks. "Community" is an alien concept. Due to the greed of property owners, including the Council, it's a place where virtually no retailer makes a sustainable profit.

    Outrageously high rents lead to equally unaffordable business rates.

    We have endless, drearily exclusive clothing stores and shops offering nothing of practical use. BBC TV recently aired a programme on the appalling Portland Road. Residents have to go out of area to purchase light bulbs and stamps. Even the richest occasionally need both.

    In such a boring place, why are property prices so high? Is it due to a cartel of developers and estate agents hyping values? At the very least, the Council repeatedly turns a very blind eye.

    We have to express our displeasure at the ballot box. Otherwise the only residents of K & C will be the ghosts of the displaced and non doms' maids and dog walkers. They make no demands on the public purse.

  4. You have to wonder what was in it for the ward councillors to take an interest in the case of Mr Schumi, the answer is nothing. There is a long history of members siding with the rich in planning matters and ignoring the reality of life on the ground. In days gone by, a letter to the leader (in the days before Pooter) sorted out the errant councillors who invariably did not stand for re-election. These days of course all they are really doing is following Pooter's example of trying to shin the greasy pole believing that in so doing they are advancing themselves.

    A crash to reality is long overdue.

  5. oh where is the other article abour business in the borough - was it wrong?

  6. It was removed because both parties have now agreed a rent. If, as a small business, you were faced with having to spend £12-15k on professional advice on arbitration you would probably agree. Does that answer your question?

    1. The rent was not agreed.This is completely untrue. The campaign to SAVE SCHUMI SHOP continues!!!!!!

  7. Residents need to start to wake up and get rid of the old guard. They are spending everyones money on vanity piles, loaning our money to greedy designers and ignoring the ordinary man in the street.

    Bring on some Independent Councillors who have residents needs central to what they do.

  8. Gregor and Heinz Schumi have a unique, quirky, hair dressing business/art studio where people drop in for a cup of tea./coffee, a chat about art, celebrities, landlords, money, sex, politics. What could be better? This is a small business - at the same premises for 20 years, a virtual Chelsea landmark. The silly RBKC Planning Committee gave the go-ahead to the landlord to "re-arrange" in the tiny space in which the hairdressers work. They must have been aware that the outcome would be an End of Tenancy Notice served. Let's vote these people out!

  9. Yes, let's get them out at the next election and put up some independent candidates. Does anyone know which of the useless cllrs are meant to represent Heinz Schumi?

  10. We need to show the clirs that they are here to support the people who voted them in, I find it abborant that in a case like this only one clir bothered to turn up and have a look at a situation that is turning 'Chelsea Village' into yet another area for the 'get rich quick' speculators who are destroying yet another community.

    Lets name them and if they can't give good enough reasons vote them out.

    How about voting for Schumi as our 'Trojan Horse' he would certainly give them Hell!

  11. It seems to me that this is a very sad situation whereby a very successful, longstanding and reputable business and its customers are given no choice in this discussion. We are entering a new era where everyone should look out for each other and perhaps it is time for this approach to be considered in this case. I am sure that the new owner of the property can see the bigger picture here and want to be a respected, valued and appreciated member of the community.

  12. It's clear from the discussion here and elsewhere, even in the press, that there is a lot of loyalty to this longstanding salon and a lot of sympathy and concern about the closure, in terms of the loss of a popular and long-established independent salon, the impact on the character of the local area and the message it sends to other small businesses in the locality. Instead this investor and other potential investors have agreen light to maximise their investment without any sympathy to the local community and without regard to the effect on existing and longstanding tenants. It's clear that there is a lot of concern which is simply not being heeded by the Council or the new investor, which can't be right.

  13. 18:29
    As as far as I am aware Yasmita has agreed...albeit unwillingly a rent. If you know something she does not please email her

  14. A little bit of old Chelsea will die with this salon and will never be resurrected again. It has taken Heinz decades to built this cosy, informal, welcoming corner of London. Once destroyed, this part of Chelsea will lose its soul and will never be the same again.
    Shame on you councillors.


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