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Monday, 16 September 2013
AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE KENSINGTON SOCIETY
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?
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?
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?