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Monday, 16 September 2013

AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE KENSINGTON SOCIETY

Dear Members

Hopefully you all received my email sent on 12 September about the public consultation on the future of Notting Hill Gate at Astley House (entrance next to Barclay’s Bank).  There is still time to drop in and give your comments directly to the Council officers:

Monday 16 September 10am-2pm
Wednesday 18 September 3-7pm – including workshop
Thursday 19 September 10am-2pm

There is an on-line questionnaire which we encourage you to respond to, however, we feel there are other issues which the questionnaire does not address.  You can complete the consultation questionnaire online.   Questionnaire

If you are not able to make it to the consultation but have strong feelings about Notting Hill Gate, you can send me your comments and I shall forward them to the project team.  As an aid we have come up with a  few guiding questions which follow the Council’s questionnaire format.  These are presented as a guide and not prescriptive.  What is really needed is your views on what you want for the redevelopment of the area.  There are three main developers and though you may not like it,there will be redevelopment.  Campden Hill Towers, the residential block above McDonald’s, is not part of the redevelopment.  There is the possibility of the redevelopment of the Book Warehouse site along with three buildings to the east.  The Jamie Oliver site is a suggestion as well as the Marks & Spencer and Gate Hill Court sites.  Newcombe House and the buildings running along Kensington Church Street to Kensington Place and along Notting Hill Gate to Farmer Street, just east of the Gate Cinema, will certainly be demolition and redevelopment.  It is a very large undertaking and the area will radically change.

I have followed the structure of the Council’s questionnaire.  If you do go on line and answer the questions, at the end of each section there is the opportunity to add your comments.  You might use these questions as an aid, or just send your reply to me and we shall forward it to the correct officers.

Issue 1: Strengthening the identity of the town centre
  • Do you like the area as it is?  and if so, why?
  • What do you think there are problems with the area?  If so, what specifically are the problems?
 Shops:
  • Do you want more shops and if so, what type of shops? To meet your daily needs or to serve a wider area?
  • Which of the shops that exist are important to you?
  • What shops would you really like to see in Notting Hill Gate?
  • Do you want the area to become a centre for fashion to compete with Westbourne Grove?
  • Do you want to ensure the antique shops are protected or, at least encouraged, to remain on Kensington Church Street?
  • How successful do you think Jamie Oliver has been and do you want more of the same?
  • Do you want more cafes and street life, similar to the South Kensington end of Exhibition Road?
  • Is the Farmers’ Market important to you?
·         How else would you like to see the space used?
 Housing:
  • Do you want luxury flats?
  • Do you want more housing?  If so, what proportion should be affordable?
 Offices
  • Do you want the offices retained?
·         Would you like more offices?  If so, a large office development or small one?
 Culture
  • Do you want a “dynamic new museum or art gallery” in the middle of the area?  

Issue 2: Improving the streets and public spaces
  • Do you think that with so much redevelopment, the opportunity must be taken to improve the Underground station?   
  • Do you think it would improve things if it were easier to cross the roads, such as removing the railings, the central islands or making the road narrower and providing new pedestrian crossings?
  • Would you be opposed to the loss of the car parking on Notting Hill Gate?  (there is a proposal to remove 6 of the short stay spaces).
  • Do you feel the area can take more visitors and more pedestrian traffic?  If not why?  If so why?
  • Do you think that there should be a priority to pedestrians and cyclists?  Or for cars and lorries?

Issue 3: Improving the buildings and architecture
·         Do you feel the existing height of Newcombe House should be the set height for future developments?
  • Do you want taller buildings?
  • Do you feel the density of the area is at its maximum or do you feel that the redevelopment can allow for an increase in density/height?

Since we cannot have everything, what would be your top three priorities for:
  • the role Notting Hill Gate should play?
  • how the streets should be improved?
  • what type of buildings/architecture we should seek?

19 comments:

  1. The Kensington Society is pretty well our only protection from RBKC's habit of cosy co-operation with developers' desire to cover the Borough with speculative luxury homes, complete with mega basements. The needs of the poor, average earners and the middle classes are invariably disregarded.

    All those who use Notting Hill Gate should engage with this public consultation. Only by doing so will the Council be made to recognise residents' dissatisfaction with its current policy of turning K & C into a sterile haven for absentee offshore investors's cash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What happened to Cllr Ahern's promise to make the planning system more "resident friendly"

      Delete
  2. Three property companies have bought up Notting Hill Gate. They plan to knock it down and rebuild new flats and offices. It will take fifteen years. Senior citizens will spend most of the rest of their lives on a building site. There will be huge gaps when essential shops (Tylers, Boots, Tesco) will be closed and residents will have to forage elsewhere. The incentive for developers (driven by current property prices) is huge. They redevelop, sell off residential space to pay for the whole development, and keep the new retail and office space which costs them nothing but they charge huge rents for. A perpetual motion machine

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    Replies
    1. The property companies are manipulating the Consultation process. They know that the issues are too complicated for casual consideration by residents. So they have mounted a sophisticated PR campaign to pretend that they have "consulted" which they have got the Council to organise for them. The property companies have even paid for the models, materials and rental of the building which the Council is using for consultation. The legal term for this is bribery

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    2. It is a thoroughly corrupt system

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  3. Councillors and the useless MP (Macolm Rifkind) have been asleep on the job. As usual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is worse than this. Rifkind of course is useless. He never understood that he is an Inner City MP with a duty to understand Inner City issues. Instead he promotes himself as a time filler on the BBC Today Programme. Reptile.

      Most of the Ward Councillors have been asleep on the job. Except for Cllr Campion. In the great tradition of Moylan/Exhibition Road and Cockell/Holland Park School, this is another "legacy Councillor". The menace has been running around spouting all manner of nonsense about the need to improve Notting Hill Gate. Of course the property companies love him to death. The dreadful councillor has visions of The Campion Tower named after him.

      Delete
    2. The Dame's Investigator18 September 2013 at 09:17

      Certain Councillors have been having one to one meetings with the property companies.

      Delete
    3. Kensington Resident18 September 2013 at 09:40

      The "legacy menace" Cllr Campion has even formed a Society called the Notting Hill Gate Improvements Group to further his self serving ambitions. His spokesperson, Mr Benjamin Sinai, has been telling the press that Notting Hill Gate is "like a disconnected relic that needs to be brought back into West London". Well Mount Sinai needs to be kicked in the balls

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    4. Person Familiar With The Situation18 September 2013 at 10:04

      Not all Councillors have been asleep on the job. In recent years two Ward Councillors whose residents will be most affected (Cllr Weatherhead, Pembridge and Cllr Freeman, Campden) have spoken out vigorously against the Notting Hill Gate proposals. But their voices have been suppressed and both councillors side lined by colleagues who have been swept along by the property developers

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  4. This development plan is too big for Cllr Paget-Brown to stand on the sidelines. He needs to come forward and fight the residents' corner. Notting Hill gate is the supply center for a functioning community. It provides transport, food, services (banks, telecommunications)and restaurants for 200,000 residents. It is not a greenfield site where the day dreamers can have their fantasies. Already the property companies have bought up and closed down the NHS surgery. No notice given. No substitute arrangements made. Just closed down overnight. Many pensioners in Hillgate Village left to fend for themselves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Mate The Builder18 September 2013 at 09:31

      The Farmers Market is the next casualty on the list. Huge profit to be made by converting it to luxury flats

      Delete
  5. Sloane Square Veteran18 September 2013 at 10:08

    This is the new game in London. With property prices racing away, the developers are buying up whole communities and destroying them in order to rebuild and make a profit. A few hundred yards away from Notting Hill Gate, the Sultan of Brunei has bought Queensway and Whitelys, the iconic Department Store. The whole lot will be knocked down and rebuilt. Sod the residents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This guy bought a whole street?? In central London!!!!

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  6. This is a rich man's game

    http://www.cityam.com/article/1379337621/brunei-family-s-secret-500m-swoop-queensway?utm_source=website&utm_medium=TD_news_headlines_right_col&utm_campaign=TD_news

    fuck the Muppets

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  7. Cllr "my legacy" Campion needs to get it into his small but thick head that Notting Hill Gate is a watering hole and supply center for about 200,000 residents who use it as a transport link and for shopping and for services. It should never becomes a "designer suit" or an iconic center (Art Gallery and Museum) to attract more tourists. It is already full to bursting (try moving around at5 the weekend when Portobello Road is functioning)and does not need more visitors

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  8. Cllr. Dezzie O'Neill is in there somewhere as well. He is seen at all the relevant meetings.

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  9. An extraordinarily dubious comment.

    Money always talks in K & C, whether it's Russian, Arab, Chinese or British money.

    Confirmed. You are a boring anti-semite.

    ReplyDelete
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