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Saturday, 11 May 2013


The Dame is very pleased to publicise this letter from Annie. Annie is one of those rare types who love and work hard for her community. PLEASE GIVE HER ALL YOUR SUPPORT

Good Morning

An Open Letter

At Chesterton Square and Broadwood Terrace‘People count, Homes are precious, Community is essential’.

I have been talking to many people on Chesterton Square and Broadwood Terrace about ‘the review’ that is being undertaken. The announcement of it has caused, quite simply, a great deal of ‘alarm and distress’.
You emphasise that no decision has been made – apart from ‘to hold a review’. However in today’s economic climate you would hardly be spending money on a review and then doing nothing with it!
I would be disingenuous if I said that I have no concerns about my own situation. I am living in Chesterton Square because I lost my home and a business in the early nineties. Having experienced the loss of a home, I know the impact it can have. It is not just the loss of the home itself, but the loss of friends, neighbours and a community. The damage it can cause should never be underestimated. I had hoped never to move again!
And that is why, I am sticking my head ‘above the parapet’ and declaring my intention to fight for the communities of Chesterton Square and Broadwood Terrace – and for everyone in those communities – no divide and rule here!!!
The Warwick Road is already dominated by major developments, both existing and prospective – from Kensington High Street down to Earl’s Court. The thought of yet another major development just across the road from them is a horrific prospect. But it is the sheer destruction of ‘community’ that is the most serious aspect of this. The wealthy overseas investors who tend to acquire properties in the ‘new developments’ do not seem to understand ‘community’ – or care about it.  We know, we understand its importance and care.
For reassurance, I would appreciate confirmation that the three options outlined in the letter of 18 March are not the only options that would be considered? This is a time for creative thinking and recognition of the importance of people and community.  
Let me bring Chesterton Square and Broadwood Terrace to life for you. Either side of me are very elderly people – a 100 plus years old man with his wife in her nineties in one household. And in another home, a lady on her own in her eighties who, after a fall near the rubbish chute recently, is too nervous to go there, and so neighbours help her.  The impact of a move on those individuals would almost certainly be catastrophic.
There are people who own their homes. They are settled in the community. Some of them have children, who are happy in local schools and also have friends here. In many cases the leaseholders have spent a considerable amount of money on their homes – and gardens as well in some cases, providing pleasure to all who live here.
They have had some very high ‘maintenance charges’ imposed on them in recent years. And, there is still resentment over the way these charges were arrived at and imposed. The idea that market rate plus ten per cent might be fair recompense to them is ludicrous. It would not allow them to buy a similar size property in this area. It is the welfare of their children that is paramount. And, children need schools that suit them and communities too.
Uncertainty is most stressful and I have seen the impact that your letter has had on numerous tenants here. Whilst helpful, ‘the visits’ suggested a sense of urgency - thus adding to the ‘alarm and distress’.  
The owners of properties that have them rented out are able, with the value of the properties as they ‘have been’, to let them, for example, to students at Imperial College. They are a welcome addition to the community here. The properties are close to their college enabling them to live and be educated in Kensington and Chelsea.
Let there be no misunderstandings. This is a vital matter to and for us all. It would be an excellent way for the Council to prove it values people, cares about its communities and understands the impact that just the ‘notice of holding a review’ has had already. Isolation and loneliness are two of our greatest challenges today. Demolition of homes, splintering a community and yet another major development would exacerbate these problems further.  
We understand the Council’s need to seek a return on one of its assets, but with creative thinking and planning, there is no reason why the needs of the people could not be accommodated, alongside a benefit and a return to the Council obtained from the partial development of the site.  
It is not a good image for the Royal Borough, to be seen to seek profit before the needs of its people.   
I look forward to hearing from you.
With regards
Annie Redmile 

Annie Redmile
80 Chesterton Square
Pembroke Road
London W8 6PJ
Tel: 020 7373 2605
Mobile 07973 907203


  1. Annie Redmile is spot on. Planning Policy in K&C is characterised by up market estate developments for rich overseas buyers. Hornton Street rezones areas (creating £ millions of value at a stroke) and developers such as St James put their sales teams onto planes to go and find wealthy buyers in Singapore, Russia, Hong Kong and the Gulf States.

    It is a scandal. It is called community destruction. And the newcomers do not even live in their properties. All the windows at night are dark

    This is an urgent question of strategy for the new Leader, Cllr Paget-Brown to address


  2. The Town Hall crowd are hand in hand with the developers. Corruption (the cash kind) is rife

  3. Well we all know of one chief planning officer and a chairman of the planning committee who should have been interviewed by PC Plod

  4. With Rock FM as Cabinet member for housing, this will be replicated across the borough - no social housing estate can now be deemed to be safe from the predators. Tim Coleridge blocked a simmilar plan for Lancaster West and Silchester. Rock FM is starting instead where the land values are higher - maybe Tor Court and World's End next? And what of the Sutton Estate in Chelsea?

  5. Where are the utterly pathetic Labour Opposition and what are they doing to counter these plans and K and C's "social cleansing" policy in general?
    Councillor Blakeman is probably too busy sorting out her ticket for the Opening Night of Holland Park Opera where she can mingle and collude freely with her Tory peers. Disgrace!

  6. The social cleansing of this borough is now inevitable, given the massive increase in land values. It is not just the working classes being expelled from the north, the squeezed middle have already gone and in the centre and south of the borough the merely rich are being driven out by the mega-rich. Protesting at Holland Park Opera with bells, whistles and football rattles might make people feel a bit better but it can’t stop this juggernaut. Even Cllr Quentin Marshall has written of his fear that the borough will become an empty shell.

  7. The Leader elect, N P-G, needs to be explicit and tell residents what his views on "social cleansing" are and how he is going to protect existing social housing tenancies to allow them to continue to live in their communities in Kensington and Chelsea.
    N P-B's fellow Ward Councillor, Tim Coleridge, has stated that he deplores the idea of "social cleansing" so can we reply on him and other sympathetic Tory Councillors to speak with N P-G TO ensure that the poor and vulnerable are protected and not shipped off to Manchester and Peterborough against their wills.
    Come on, Nick, be brave and start off your Leadership by showing that you are a Leader for all in the Borough and not just interested in feathering the nest for the super-rich.

  8. The K & C residential property market is evidence that the fastest growing business in Central London is money laundering. Each year thousands of local people are sacrificed to the vast sums of hot, foreign cash seeking a so-called safe haven. Profiteering is rife at the expense of not just the poorest, but everyone deemed to be in the way.

    There are close and very complex connections between the money and the Council. Rather than acting to protect it's citizens, Hornton Street emerges as the willing agent of social cleansing.

  9. Cockell loved meeting powerful property magnates....using the Bentley to lunch with the Barclays at the Ritz. Our beloved Dame soon put paid to that nonsense.

  10. There are more and more streets and squares within Kensington and Chelsea where the social cleansing has clearly happened. Vast amounts of houses boarded and locked up whilst their owners jet around the place.

    Already the cleansing in the north of the Borough has started to happen. Suddenly streets that have been left for years are being resurfaced, Old Olive trees (not cheap) have recently been planted beneath flats on Oxford Gardens certainly not because of the kindness of the Borough, its part of their bigger plan.

    Golborne Road and Portobello Road are loosing their markets to pop up shops and restaurants with every second shop a coffee shop for people to use their apple computers, ignore people and leave their houses empty!

    The very thing these supposedly 'rich' people crave yet stamp out by their very non 'presence' is 'real life and soul of Kensington.

    It is fast becoming derelict of real people and the Councillors are responsible for allowing this to happen.

    To think that NPB will stop this from happening is very naive he after all funds the opera at any cost.

  11. Most of the miscreants have already left the council, voluntarily or by compulsion – but Cllr. Blakeman’s motion at the last meeting might have revealed all those councillors whose household incomes come from family trusts in offshore places like the British Virgin Islands. Remember, it was former Cllr Phelps’s defence that his financial affairs were not open to public scrutiny because he had been advised to put his assets into a BVI property company – away from the prying eyes of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, etc. How many other councillors who have had influence over the years on our planning policies have now got similar such accounts squirreled away from public scrutiny? And why did they vote against the Labour Group’s motion asking for a voluntary register of these interests? And if they have these accounts, shouldn’t they have declared an interest before voting against this motion?

  12. The Dame released the vile pervert Phelps email to the Council and got rid of him. But the offshore bank accounts of Phelps are now being reported to HMRC for action


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