send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


This excellent article refers to a councillor wearing a 'foppish black bow tie'.....can anyone advise the Dame as to the identity of this affected nincompoop? 
Surely, in a sophisticated Borough like ours it cannot be common and vulgar...

Planning officers line up along a table, councillors along the other side – each group oozing its own self-important mediocrity. A council official called Luke Perkins usually presents the applicants' causes, interestingly deploying the first person plural possessive as he highlights their projected plans with a laser pen: "This is our gym, here our cinema. Staff quarters here, and our pool". This was a "development" in Phillimore Gardens, where a house between two "developments" fell down as a result of the pressure, and its inhabitants, of flats for the elderly, forced to "re-locate". Objectors this time invoked council bylaws banning change to the character of a street, to be told they no longer applied.
You can tell who's who: applicants have year-round tans and expensive suits; objectors wear worried brows; and behind them are phalanxes of architects, "developers" (they used to be called speculators), basement-extension businessmen and parti-pris surveyors. Historical and architectural heritage groups compile meticulous objections, invariably dismissed. The newcomers tend not to partake in residents' groups, which are left to the old guard that also opposes the madness, in vain. At one meeting a lady in Ladbroke Road feared that light to her house would be blocked by an extension, apart from the racket in the basement. But: "If we always voted for what we'd like, we wouldn't get any development", decreed the chairman.
My turn came weeks later: three minutes during which to plead for quiet in the street, my mother's sanity and security. The chairman, wearing a foppish black bow tie, stared back as though I was a mad, errant schoolboy ranting before a staffroom panel. "Are you going to speak to the planning regulations?" he interrupted with a bored sigh. The old-Harrovian applicant next-door insisted his plans were so "very minor" – which they are, compared with some – he will stay in his house during the building (inevitably, they've moved out). As on most occasions, it sails through.
This is the end of neighbourhood, in that sense of shared space and responsibilities to one another


  1. Sorry I do not read the Guardian or the Sunday version of it (The Observer) mainly because they preach "companies should not dodge tax by overseas loop holes" and then do exactly the opposite. -

    Warning the Guardian is very bad for your brain

  2. Then clearly some other paper has done for yours!

  3. Thank you Dame. An excellent article. This is exactly what happens at Planning Committee when the big boys want planning permission for a massively over scale project. Perkins smirks while objections and often regulations are swept aside for the benefit of non doms. Meanwhile the poor sod next door is refused permission to erect a bird table.

    Almost the only exception is when the likes of Mses Johnson and Wax head a neighbourhood campaign against an application. Suddenly the committee members are galvanised into rejecting it. The inspectorate then usually overturns the committee decision, but by then RBKC has had its positive headline in the Evening Standard. So it's mission accomplished.

    Planning in the Rotten Borough has been a scandal for decades. Nothing changes.

  4. Astonishing that residents have so little faith that the situation will improve, there is only the most limited response on this important issue.

  5. The bow tie wearing Councillor is non other than the prat Cllr Warrick, the Chairman of the Committee. Watch this man carefully. He preens himself, smirks, disdains, and gets off on the immortal words "I vote against". A pathetic creature

    1. Cllr Warwick has a very small brain and some inherited money. He loves driving around Kensington, to functions like the Farmers Market, in his convertible BMW wearing Bermuda shorts. One knows the type......

      Definitely not Downton Abbey


Comments are your responsibility. Anyone posting inappropriate comments shall have their comment removed and will be banned from posting in future. Your IP address may also be recorded and reported. Persistent abuse shall mean comments will be severely restricted in future.