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Tuesday, 12 August 2014


From time to time the Dame will publish comments of excellence....

This is one...

I assume Roop Bhullar is an Indian name by origin. That's not the point. 
I am from Dubai. 
All are welcome in Kensington & Chelsea. 
What is unacceptable is people coming in and using the place purely for the purposes of property development and not giving a damn about the impact of this on their neighbours. That is bad manners. 
Bad enough that they should then bully and harass anyone who stand up to them . 
But what is wrong is that the council do not stand up for residents many of whom have had to suffer these megabasement excavations for more than decade. 
I have lived on top of one and next to two in my part of Earl's Court for the past five years. 
The council spins to the world that it has cracked down on basements. 
It is not true. It is not true at all. 
Kensington and Chelsea is the Wild West. It's Dubai even! You can do what you like if you have mega money, and the council and the councillors will help you. 
After the third basement I went to see my councillor and he basically told me that the Council could bring in these traffic management strategies for a basement digging but the Director of Planning and the chair of the planning committees would not use them because they wanted to keep on the good side of the developers (the council gets lots of money from the digs apparently; into the millions.) 
People like my wife and I in our flat are considered the lowest of the low because we tried to get concessions on noise and times of building works. 
My wife even got trapped in the street in her car (four times) because the lorry from one of the sites used to get stuck because it was too big - and she was pregnant with our first at the time. 
What a shame it all is. Has anyone written to the British Prime Minister to let him know what his party is doing in this beautiful borough?


  1. Middle of the Road says what we all know. Tells it like it is. Mr Bore and Cllr Warrick have much to answer for. And Ward Councillors have more to answer for because they do not speak up and forcefully represent the views of their residents.

  2. There is no point in writing to the PM about this, you need to understand that K&C Conservative Association totally dominate the upper echelons of the Tory party and exercise influence far far beyond that which they should do, especially bearing in mind the self serving nature of those who control it. In local government terms what K&C want is what everyone else gets.

  3. Councillors like to hide behind the smokescreen of "Its not our fault. We cannot do anything. It is the law". This of course is all balls. For a start the lazy MP Rifkind needs to get off his butt and start being a constituency MP. And in the meantime, as any Civil Servant knows, administrative means can be used to stop these basements in their tracks. But that would dry up the flow of inducements to those on the take. Game, set and match

  4. passionate bystander12 August 2014 at 19:48

    Unfortunately our Prime Minister is responsible for having dug a basement of his own... in his North Kensington property, where he lived before the current job-with-house came up. His neighbour at the time was dying of cancer...his wife objecting vehemently - to no effect.
    My own mother died of heart failure after months of exposure to the building of a swimming pool next door. There was no ambulance access on the day she died.
    Thank you RKKC.

  5. I have just been to this evening's Planning Applications Committee. Is it Councillor Warwick/ Warrick? Is that his name? There was a point at which he said that the council couldnt possibly delegate planning matters to residents associations, 'that would leave us open to review' Not that they were being asked to do that. What in fact they were being asked was simply that local residents be involved in the discussions on what a traffic management plan could look like for an area subjected to a subterranean basement. Warwick knows it is perfectly good practice to involve residents in a CTMP. Even Bore knows that in special circumstances residents can have a lead role. Cllr Paget-Brown also acknowledged this in the case of Markham Square. But no. Warwick throws in the 'threat of appeal/ review' red herring to completely and totally cut out the residents whose lives will be blighted by these excavations. Why does he do it? Why did he become a councillor if all he's interested in is telling residents to shut up or they're not to be heard? I lived in Wandsworth and in Westminster for a number of years. The quality of councillors in those two boroughs was high; I am telling you that the RBKC councillors are on parr with those in Doncaster in the 1990s. I was actually really shocked. It's a fiefdom of the downright arrogant meets the incompetent. How depressing this all is. The point of elected representatives at a local level is to listen to advice from officers, be warned by them, be cautioned by them; not to be led by them. Even with planning committees where there is planning policy and guidance, the elected representatives have a duty to the consider impact on the residents; RBKC has got the balance all wrong. The officers are largely incompetent and under Bore, downright anti-resident. It is the job of the councillors to make judgements weighing up guidance with the impact on residents.

    I lived in Lewisham for two years and attend the planning cttee once and saw how the councillors there got this just right. The reasonable person can only assume that there is something behind this pro-development stance of the officer and members of RBKC. Someone on here said what's needed is a good investigative journalist. David Rose, Mail on Sunday or Nick Davies, the Guardian, are two of the best investigative journalists in the UK at the moment. Surely somebody has to expose this lot. Surely?

  6. It seems that many officers, even senior ones, are unqualified in planning matters. Conservative planning committee members are routinely told how to vote before meetings. The PAC chairman is unable to decide whether or not he's a lawyer. A former Labour group leader runs a private planning consultancy. Apparently there are architects who guarantee planning success for their clients. One could go on.

    It stinks, but the solution is simple. It will change when, in the next local election, thousands of died in the wool Conservative residents change the habits of their lifetimes and possibly their grandfathers', hold their noses to vote for which ever non-Conservative, democratic, local candidates appear the most able.

  7. The comment from "passionate bystander" above resonates with me. My life has also been destroyed by a basement. The noise is so bad and the work is so burdensome that I am not able to live in my own house. I have paid a fortune for a home that now sits unoccupied. The impacts of construction on neighbours is a cost that must be paid the builder, just like any other construction cost. Developers are getting a free ride on our misery. How can Jonathan Bore look himself in the mirror knowing how many lives have been ruined by his failed administration on this issue. He has been entrusted with caring for the people in this borough and he has failed miserably. He should have resigned in shame long ago. If he does not show the honour to do it himself, the Councillors should ask for his head.

  8. "Personal Bystander's" suffering is deeply personal and ongoing. 17.35 suffers daily in a differently way. By now there are hundreds of such stories all over the Rotten Borough and plenty more to come. It's high time a large group of wealthy residents got together to find the most egregious case. They can hire a top rank legal team to bring the basement scandal before a high court judge.

    1. Should read "Passionate Bystander."

    2. Watch this space. It is about to happen.........and the Dame will be among the first to be informed

  9. How many backhanders are flying around - and who is taking them? Officers, councillors? There really is a case for a proper investigative journalist to look into here. Previous councillors responsible for planning matters seem to have become rather better-heeled (and dressed) after their terms of office came to an end.


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