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Thursday, 28 August 2014


The old Dame gets many presents dropped off by the powerful of the parish hoping to ingratiate themselves with her in the hope she will leave them to their nefarious devices.

A case of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut mysteriously arrived with her butler so she decided to give a couple of bottles of this fine champagne to anyone able to assist her solve a little mystery.....

Squire and Partners have been retained to ruin the dear and much loved Odeon in High St Ken.
Like the Dame, many residents will have happy memories of their first 'date' at this local institution.
But, the Dame's old mind wonders off into nostalgia....

Anyway, these are questions the Dame wants answering

1. Why is Daniel Moylan still acting as if he was a member of the Planning Committee
2. How many meetings has he ever had with any Squire partner
3. Was Jonathan Bore present at any of these meetings
4. What is the composition of the Architects Advisory Panel( or whatever it was/is called)
5. Has any member of that committee, past or present, won any design contracts within the Borough
6. Has Daniel Moylan used his influence to pressure any resident association into dropping objections to the Squire plans for the Odeon site
7. Are Squire and Partners represented on this Panel 
8.  Squire and Partners an interesting intervention by a Squire partner during a planning committee meeting
9. Is Daniel Moylan's honorary membership of RIBA, given for reasons no one can fathom, sufficient for him to pretend to a degree of knowledge he clearly does not possess.


  1. FYI Squire are architects for the proposed redevelopment of the Marks & Spencer building at Notting Hill Gate. The design is exceptional only in that it's based on the exquisite, nearby, concrete bunker, Czech embassy! The architect decided to use it as a model without public consultation.

    The flats include the usual double height living rooms and acres of glass with the requisite additional floor for a huge penthouse etc. The building faces south, so the air conditioning bill will be enormous.

    The intention is also to enlarge M&S's footprint and add shop windows along the alleyway wall plus on the rear elevation facing Victoria Gardens. This delightful proposal will be submitted shortly. Apparently RBKC planning department currently advises architects in NHG to match the existing - surely soon to be demolished - Sixties architecture! An alternative reading is an unseemly rush to obtain permission before some sort of plan emerges from the mess that passes for the NHG public consultation.

  2. The Dame quite properly asks for information on the composition of the Architecture Appraisal Panel. Curiously, it comprises many architects whose work features regularly around the borough. I asked one member if they were compensated for their work, as they spend hours perusing and criticising others' projects. The response was a 'how stupid are you?' look, and no, of course they are not PAID but they sit on the Panel so their own projects will go through all the more smoothly.

    Open, fair and transparent, RBKC style. Get it?

    Squire is a repellent little man who is in the pockets of Chinese developers, so watch out for him.

    1. How dare you Hot Desk....he is a very good friend of world famous 'architect'
      Daniel Moylan....

    2. Daniel is every architect's best friend, as whatever job he has, he always has a huge pot of money for 'feasibility studies'. Most of the studies come to nought, but who cares when the cash is rolling in anyway.

  3. The set of minutes for the Planning Application Committee (reproduced by the Dame). is a very instructive document. Twelve projects where in every case it was "lambs to the slaughter". Worse than Lloyds of London.

    In every case some poor resident, or resident Association, fighting their corner for the one and only time in their life, having spent many sleepless nights trying to understand planning law, up against expert architects teamed with compliant Officers who knock the lambs out and squash them multiple times a week. A game, probably with inducements changing hands for the bigger projects (the Holland Park School playground was sold for £100 million after the Council waived a stroke of the pen to create the value) and the whole "performance" fixed in pre meetings before the public hearing. Democracy well and truly shafted - the result of a Tory monopoly in Hornton Street and corrupt practices where K&C land values are the highest in the Kingdom

    1. The Democratic wish is clear for all to see. The minutes show clearly a resident population who have worked hard to save and borrow to live in a "conservation" area of London. On an individual basis the wishes and concerns of residents are clearly articulated at every planning meeting. In an open democratic system this what should be picked up and acted on by the political class - who should instruct the Officer class. NIMBY is boring for the movers and shakers on the make (Squire Architects and Malaysian investors) who are intent on making money by spoiling prime areas of London.

      It is worse than a joke

  4. Not a joke at all. Its a public rip off.

    When a culture becomes corrupted because the ballot box is neutered, then reptiles like Cllr Mackover and Cllr Warrick (inferior puffers who relish the opportunity to stamp on fellow mortals and get off on the realisation that they can indulge their power crazes in Hornton Street) are allowed to get into positions of influence.

    There is a long history in Hornton Street of inadequates who bully and destroy on a small scale (Warrick and Mackover) and those who bully and destroy on a grand scale (Moylan).

    Fellow residents, we have only ourselves to blame. But the Dame is doing sterling work by showing it like it is.

  5. Adrian Squire, the founder of Squire architects, is a nasty piece of work who can regularly be seen performing at the Planning Committee in support of the big money making projects that he designs in the Borough. His claim to developers is "I know how to make it happen in Hornton Street".

    Squire "did" the Lancer Square development that was just approved by the Planning Committee (decided at the Chairman's - Cllr Warrick - pre meeting) even though there was vigorous opposition from residents and the Kensington Society. Some Malaysian developers were allowed to knock down 23 year old Lancer Square ("it is old" crowed the wizened Squire) and double the floor area in congested Kensington Church Street for high end residential.

    Squire himself put on a command performance. A disgruntled and aging bully who relished the opportunity given to him by Hornton Street to ridicule residents and the Kensington Society. Cllr Warrick gloated at his private Roman spcectacal where gladiators were torn apart by the animals.

    1. Resident Associations have a nose for corruption but it is notoriously difficult to photograph £ notes changing hands and even more difficult to rustle up the money and effort to do some detective work. But sometimes there is the exception. Campden Hill Residents Association paid to carry out an investigation of one notoriously obnoxious and shifty Councillor. Overseas bank accounts and 19 different credit cards were discovered. And assets hidden in offshore trusts.

  6. Not surprised to learn from the Dame that Squire has a hand in the Notting Hill Gate Development. Watch out residents!

    Squire also did the Charles House monstrosity in Kensington High Street. Two thousand inner city jobs destroyed by knocking down the Social Security building and replacing it with high end residential for foreigners who keep their properties empty. Go on the website and see the 3 bed apartments selling for £7.2 million.

    When will Cllr Paget-Brown and Cllr Coleridge wake up?

    1. Just occasionally Councillors of courage and principle speak out when they see the corruption in our planning system. At present these Councillors do not have the power or following to make change. But they vote with their feet and they speak out. The Dame applauds them. Two names that come to mind are ex Cllr Mosely and Cllr Mills

  7. The Dame's Reporter29 August 2014 at 18:24

    The Estate Agents for the Charles House development told the Dame that as soon as their client got the go ahead from the Hornton Street planners (the scheme was all cooked up in the pre application process) they put sales teams on the planes to Hong Kong, China, SIngapore and Russia

    1. This what is happening to all the developments in K&C. Get rich quick developers selling off-plan to foreigners with hot money. And the properties remain empty. Compliant Officers and Councillors grant permission for these wicked practices for reasons that we can only guess at.

  8. Kensington Resident30 August 2014 at 18:56

    The minutes of the Planning Meeting highlighted by the Dame are typical of the fortnightly meetings of the Planning Committee where about 30 projects are Jerry Mandered at every meeting. Beautifully written minutes (prepared at huge cost by Officials working overtime) plus huge volumes of paper produced by Officers for each application which are rarely, if ever, read by Councillors who are too tired, or lazy, or both. And a huge bureaucratic apparatus paid for by taxpayer residents who then regularly get shafted.

    But the political messages from the Electors are clear if the the Councillors would only listen to their voters and try to make Democracy work. Unfortunately K&C is in the grips of out of control Officers who have built a huge and unjustified planning bureaucracy (and a bureaucracy that is not acting in the interests of voters) and a political class that is content to fill positions, claim allowances and feel important. With no questions asked.

    1. Retired Chief Executive30 August 2014 at 18:59

      Kensington Resident describes a monopoly institution that has become out of touch and acts against the interests of consumers. Traditionally the Conservatives have been quick to spot these situations and take radical action. Mrs Thatcher privatised British Telecom which transformed telecommunications in Britain.

  9. The Leadership of K&C needs to measure up and recognise the changes and drives that vastly increased land values are causing. The increase in value outstrips building costs by a huge margin and K&C is at the forefront of social evils like uber basements, disregard for conservation, and the elimination of functioning communities to be replaced by foreign owned ghost towns.

    Cllr Paget-Brown needs to take a stand. And prod the useless Rifkin MP into action. Or better still, de select him and replace with a firebrand who guts, brains, and an interest in his constituency. The current malaise has been going on for far too long

  10. 19.11 is talking Revolution; but by this lot?

    Matters seem to have gone from bad to worse since the advent of Cllr Paget Brown. When first elected, he paid state visits to various parts of the Rotten Borough, supposedly to listen to the local peasantry. The moment such persons expressed less than admiring views of council policy, they were made to shut up.


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