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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ODEON KENSINGTON AND THE GREED OF OUR TIMES

If you thought the Art Deco Odeon cinema in High Street Ken was safe you have been seriously misled.
Though 25,000 people have signed the PETITION to save the cinema the demolition will go ahead.
In just a few weeks time, whilst most of us are away on holiday, the bulldozers will move in on yet another much loved piece of Kensington.
The irony of all this is that Ritblat pere, whose son is behind the destruction, claims to be a lover and collector of antiquarian books!

To consolidate the image of the archetypical country squire Sir John also claims to be a bee keeper!
An architect said,"Their proposal It is a generic form of non-architecture taking reference from the recent soulless developments to the west end of Kensington High Street instead of the stylish deco edifices ( Barkers/ Derry and Toms ) to the East End."

Those in the know say that the council and planning officers bend over backwards to do the will of the Ritblats.
It also seems the fairly useless English Heritage are not innocent: it failed to intervene, despite knowing that under the modern shop fittings is hidden the cream of Art Deco architecture.

The Dame has been provided with images proving the point beyond any dispute.
Another long term resident had this to say....
"The essential character of Kensington High Street is being eroded with more and more residential blocks – often bought for investment by investors and unoccupied.
Minerva have been responsible for under investing in a handsome property in order to win an argument for a mediocre
Development."






24 comments:

  1. There is something seriously wrong with the mechanism of power at the town hall if the wishes of the locals are wholeheartedly disregarded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Staggering. This is not a one off. All over the Borough, historically relevant and much loved buildings are being pulled down because developers want to turn the wheel and rebuild for huge profit. Promoted by hot money from abroad that owners want to park in London.

      Time and time again, residents say "No". "Stop it". But the elected representatives ignore the voters.

      What is going on?

      Delete
    2. My Mate The Builder26 August 2015 at 21:36

      Its good for me, Mate

      Delete
    3. The whole of the borough is being used as a cash cow for developers, as well as providing a simple means for money launders. And I bet all those Chinese purchasers of buy-to-leave properties are now congratulating themselves on getting their money out of China!

      Delete
  2. People could always occupy the space en masse, interrupt council meetings with developers and generally shut them down at every opportunity. It goes against the democratic process in a sense, but I think we're way past that point nowadays.

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  3. Mr Ritlat is a staunch Tory and a generous donor. If this has nothing to do with Odeon and other properties, dream on, dear.....

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  4. In the present financial climate, the Chinese government is very likely to turn off the tap on the export of capital. Of course, some money will still be out of the country, but the Chinese have a habit of hanging people found breaking their rules.

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  5. It seems Historic England is as myopic as K&C's planners and the councillors they advise. Both bodies routinely fail to defend K&C’s cultural capital against the agenda of all-powerful developers. Democracy is the loser when 25,000 plus petition signatories' objections count as nothing and outraged tax-paying Londoners are given no meaningful hearing. Facing the architectural abortion that is the redeveloped Commonwealth Institute site, the art deco Odeon’s evisceration signals another nail in Kensington’s coffin.

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    Replies
    1. I agree totally. The only reason the commonwealth Institute itself wasn't bulldozed for flats was because it was listed. The abomination of cubes that was built were allowed to make sure the Design Museum moved there, I sat through those council meetings it was very close the chairmanship vote was the decider. However I did read that despite the fact that the developers were meant to be carrying the cost of the redevelopment of the Design Museum, the Council still had to pay 17 million for the Museum. The Odeon and Earls Court should have been listed, I did hear though that Capco had at one point employed English Heritage people as consultants. There are definitely accusations to be answered, but unfortunately did not save Earls Court or the Odeon.

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  6. residents love rbkc but rbkc love the developers

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  7. One of the saddest parts of this sorry saga was that the cinema operator was not prepared to stand up for the building. Thank goodness that the operators of the Curzon supported residents in their campaign against our supine council and got the original monstrosity overturned in favour of what is now a half way decent plan from Cadogan

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  8. Look who did NOT get a seat in the Lords. When his successor and predecessor did

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    Replies
    1. Alas, poor Merrick. But in this case, why did he let Victoria Borwick become our already greatly-respected new MP?

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    2. Three more cheers for the Dame. Her campaign, with all the other hornets, to expose the rotten Cockell has stopped his self seeking public troughing in its tracks.

      At last Pooter is dust

      Delete
    3. The Dames Investigator28 August 2015 at 07:29

      Cockle has been cockled by the hornets. This is another clear message to serving councillors in the Royal Borough. Behave yourselves or the Hornet will relentlessly expose your self seeking and dishonest ways.

      Delete
  9. London is made up of small and historic villages. Some of them, like Marylebone High Street and Westbourne Grove/Nottinghill, have been upgraded and modernised after becoming shabby. But it was a piecemeal approach and the result is occupied houses and flats, shops that are full and a thriving cultural and social scene. An absolute delight.

    In other areas the piecemeal approach has been replaced by developers buying up and hoarding large chunks of land to promote the new money making "instrument" in prime locations. This requires permission from Hornton Street planners to knock down and bulldoze and replace with "buy to leave" residential bought at hugely inflated prices (eg £7 million three bed flats) with hot money from China and Russia.

    Could it be that developers and Hornton Street planners are colluding to share some of the spoils?

    Bankers used to do this kind of thing with destructive anti social financial instruments like Sub Prime Mortgages (eg lending to those who could not afford to borrow). It nearly wrecked the world economy.

    Why do the authorities allow and encourage the developers to wreck the social fabric of prime areas of Kensington and Chelsea? The Royal Borough is in mortal danger.

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    Replies
    1. A powerful analysis. Developers should be prevented from creating land banks in prime location areas for the purpose of financial engineering.

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  10. Why is Cllr Paget-Brown (the Leader) and his Cabinet not articulating the need for change? Why are they so silent about the destruction of prime society that is now all around us in the Royal Borough??

    Are they too thick to notice what is going on? Cllr Coleridge is an acknowledged dunce. But are the others too?

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  11. It is pathetic how blind elected representatives can be. Consumed by puffing and their own self importance. Anything except their job.

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  12. The regeneration of Nottinghill Gate and Westbourne Grove is an excellent case study. Each revamped building went through the planning process on a building by building basis. No mass developers. No huge land banks. No knock downs. Just socially responsible regeneration.

    And what a result!

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    Replies
    1. And what a delightful place Marylebone High Street is. No mass developers and buy to leave there.

      Delete
  13. There's an enormous similarity between this council and the Chinese communist government. Both are one party states. Both are corrupt and both are sclerotic. Despite this, the rotten borough has one great advantage, at least in theory. If and when residents vote en masse for alternative councillors, there will be change. If.

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    Replies
    1. Dream on. As I mentioned on another post, you could put a blue rosette on a chimpanzee in some parts of this borough and it would get elected.

      Meanwhile the best way to get things changed is direct action - through the press, lobbying the great and the good and the not so good and, of course, through the Dame.

      Delete

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