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Wednesday, 14 January 2015


  1. There is a rump of independently minded members on Planning currently, which is exactly as it should be. The four Labour members led the way on some objection issues, the Conservatives had equal and some additional concerns, and there was wide accord on the main points that were in contravention of our Core Strategy and even the London Plan - AND our new Basement policy.

    This is how Planning Committee should work.

    Both schemes were criticised for elements of over-development, poor design, un-neighbourly overlooking, and what one referred to as 'segregated housing'. The vast sums offered in lieu of providing affordable housing on site were side-stepped, and many members - and the vast majority of the public who attended - objected strongly to the widening gap between super-rich and 'others' embodied in both these designs.

    The Odeon application was criticised for the 'greedy' penthouses and its gated design, while social rented housing was shoved onto Earl's Court Road with no access to community facilities. There was huge concern over the 'poor door' cinema spilling onto Earl's Court Road while the 'bespoke' cinema was accessed through a posh coffee shop. The provision of bicycle parking for the 'elderly' housing (on the street I think) but lack of access to car, motorbike or mobility scooter parking was derided.

    A victory for the community of Kensington, who have been outraged by so many recent applications in contravention of our own policies.
  2. I was there. It was magic. The small hall was packed. Councillors, regardless of political party, asked endless pointed questions and openly criticised officers' slanted statements. There was near universal condemnation of the appallingly divisive nature of both applications. Each twist in the argument was met with applause or groans from the public. The Kensington Society was heroic.

    At the very end Mr Bore warned the committee that by saying the current application was an improvement on the previous one, the Council would lose an appeal. Rather than being cowed, councillors reiterated the profound differences between the two applications and Mr Bore blinked first.

    Overall it was 6 hours of high drama that left the developers speechless. Doubtless a few mega bonuses are forfeit.
      A comic interlude was provided by the architect of the Odeon scheme, Mr Squires, who gave a quite bizarre and irrelevant speech. 
    2. His developer buddies cringed, while the public gallery commented loudly, and the committee tried to keep a straight face. He seemed quite insane.


  1. Mr Bore made Dent Coad look very silly right at the end when he pointed out the previous plan might go ahead if she rejected these plans -

    1. Oh Palmer do buzz off: you are such a bloody bore

    2. It was ten to one 14.35. That's TEN who refused the plans.

  2. A cynic might say that the applications will just come back after the General Election in a slightly amended format ... but at least Mr. Bore will no longer be in post.

  3. No. Something quite profound occurred last night. For years the Evening Standard and the Dame have made RBKC notorious across London for its eagerness to accommodate every development of super luxury flats, regardless of the cost to the community.

    A general election looms. At last night's planning committee Tory councillors joined Labour in very publicly in questioning the neutrality of their officers. After much discussion, before hundreds of residents, almost every councillor followed through on their dissatisfaction by voting against their own officers and the developers.

    Such respect for residents' rights is new to RBKC and was clearly organised - just as Tory councillors have always been 'organised' into voting the 'party' line. The only committee members apparently out of step with the new policy were the chairman and a deputy. Their colleagues out voted them.

    As for the applications returning post election, the Duke's Lodge development will have to be drastically reduced in scale, slashing developer profits.

    The Odeon developers threatened to develop it according to the existing planning permission. This requires super luxury residents to mix with plebs in the cinema lobby. Since this will not happen, the approved scheme will not be built. So it's back to the drawing board on this development as well.

    RBKC has at last taken a stand against being a sure fire walkover for developer profits. In doing so, the committee instantly reduced the commercial value of two major development sites. This has a knock on effect across the borough.

    1. The Chairman, Cllr Warwick, and Deputy, Cllr Mackover, need to consider their position. For too long they have been poodles and lapdogs. Time for them to push off, or be pushed, so that democracy can return to planning in the Royal Borough

  4. Squires is bonkers. This strange man enjoys "grandstanding" at Planning Committee meetings. He assembles his staff to attend and watch his ego driven rants at the silly public, officers and Councillors who are expected to wither in the face of his rantings. His staff grovel with embarrassment and people pity his family at home who have to live with this bombastic peice of rubbish

    1. The monster was monstered. Well done Planning Committee

  5. Squires certainly has a problem. Anyone who has been in the public section of Planning Meetings when the silly architect takes the floor, cannot help but notice the quivering lip, the shaking hand and the hairs raised on the back of his neck as he turns a deep shade of purple before launching into one of his bilious attacks on residents and objectors to his profit driven schemes. He always has three or four members of his poor staff flanking him with exhibits, drawings, notes and handouts (which he knows he is not allowed to use) and the poor mites hope for job opportunities to arise elsewhere so that they can escape from this sad creature.

    The whole sad performance is due in part to Officers in Hornton Street who indulge developers and encourage this kind of grandstanding. Hopefully the system is coming to its senses. But Cllr Warwick and Cllr Mackover need to put out to pasture. They are currently part of the problem


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