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Friday, 2 September 2016


You have to hand it to the Ritblat family; they really know how to twist the Rotten Borough around their fingers…… 
For months, the Friends of the Odeon Cinema worked tirelessly to persuade the Council to list the wonderful Art Deco building as an asset of community value. 
Yesterday, Ritblat Junior informed a less than surprised Council that he was going to send in the JCB's this Monday.
So, what's the 'back story'?

Well, here goes and it's no credit to the Council……

The Friends had a plan: one which had the support of local associations and amenity groups (
 The BFI; ESSA; The Cinema Theatre Association;
The Kensington Society; The Theatres Trust; The 20thC Society; SAVE Britain’s Heritage; Opera Holland Park; The Portobello CafĂ© Society ;The Curzon Cinema Group and The Hitchcock Foundation and  
....27,000 RESIDENTS  ( HELLO COUNCILLORS WE VOTE FOR YOU ! ) and, more importantly, one of Denmark's most successful entrepreneurs with a global record in funding developments and restoring and finding new uses for historic buildings.
In other words, aligning community interest with that of the funder. Not ignoring them……

The Ritblat family, whose only interest is in money ( Young Jamie is quoted in an interview saying “it starts and finishes with the money”) could only dream of the reputation of this man. 
Indeed, the Dame herself overheard a certain European monarch extolling the virtues of Troels Holch Povlsen
So enthused was Troels that he wrote in support of the Friends' plan when they applied for the cinema to be designated as an Asset of Community Value in May.
On 25th May the Council gave unanimous support for the designation IF financial support could be demonstrated by 31st May....To the shock and horror of Cllr Coleridge the Friends were able to do so and provided letters of support from three billionaire philanthropists.

Despite all of this, and in the most mysterious of circumstances, a letter was issued by the Planning Dept rejecting the Friend's application. 
So, who is responsible for these decisions? 
Step forward Cllr Coleridge.... who has the final say in all applications for Assets of Community Value.

So scandalous was the behaviour of Cllr Coleridge even Cllr Moylan protested the Council had behaved badly.

As a result, the Council invited the Friends to apply again for the cinema to become an Asset of Community Value. 
Now, with all their evidence in place, a decision was
due to be made by October 1st.

Troels and other financial heavyweights were happy to show their support by meeting the Council and discussing how to make the Odeon an asset of community value.
So far, so good. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, it seems that somehow a 'deep throat' in Hornton Street leaked information alerting the Ritblats to the support of Troels Holch Povlsen et al.

The result?
This Monday Ritblat will order in the bulldozers and another piece of Kensington history will be razed to the ground. 
Those with long memories will see parallels
with the odious Cllr Nicholas Freeman's quasi-illegal destruction of the old Town Hall the weekend before listing.

So, which officer or member went behind the back of the Friends and told Ritblat to get a move on ( TC ? ) …..

And, what a spectacular own goal for the Rotten Borough where instead of a fantastic new arts centre and cinema to be named “The Hitchcock” after Britain’s most famous
film director and probably Kensington’s most famous former resident a demolition which will further deaden an already dreary High Street. 
With nineteen empty premises and a string of budget stores the High Street is far from what it once was……

What to do ? Sign this petition and protest outside the cinema on Sunday afternoon from 2 pm ………

Finally, and ominously, the Odeon, Kensington, is filled with asbestos. If the demolition goes ahead this weekend residents should buy facemasks...


  1. We should find out which council staff had a back handed deal with Ritblat and their financial circumstance should be investigated privately.

    According to the Asbestos regulation (2012) the contractor need to inform the authority but I wonder if that authority is the Council. Have they informed this authority?

    Do you think Asbestos trained person will be overseeing the work? How about medical serveillance?

    We should not have to wear a facemask. But it would have to be FFP3 like this one. Leyland might stock it.

    1. Has the HSE report on asbestos been done?

      If not they cannot do this.

    2. I bet they will even without it. Look what happened to Earl's Court?! There is no. Law is for us who needs to OBEY the masters of Con.

  2. Someone who is good at graffitti, please warn the public by spraying "Asbestos danger zone, do not breath!"

  3. The Council always bend over backwards to do favours to the Ritblat's Alpha schools.

    1. The same Alpha school that Feilding Mellen has his children's names down for and declared as conflict of interest during the Issac Newton/Notting Hill Prep School leasing wars? So corrupt!

    2. The Chairman of the K&C Tories, the ex Mayor and Norland Ward Cllr, is under no illusions about the recreational habits of Deputy Leader Rock Mellen. She considers him to be a totally unacceptable person to hold public office.

    3. I agree

    4. Can we ask Rock Mellen to supply his hair sample so that an independent lab can run a drug analysis? If he knows he is clear, there is nothing to hide, is there?

    5. If not drugs, what other recreational habits are you talking about 08:41?

  4. Wing Commander Phelps2 September 2016 at 21:01

    No one has ever explained how the late Mrs Ritblat fell out of her husband's plane whilst it came into land. Opening the doors of a Hawker jet under pressure is not easy for a lady.

  5. Funny how the likes of John Ritblat waste no time trying to emulate the English squirearchy. He lists bee keeping and collecting antiquarian books as hobbies...positively Trollopian!

    1. He just sold his green Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe. 7k miles from 2010. When he ordered it he told RR that he wanted the inside to "look like a Gentleman's Club".


    2. The car was covered in split coffee when he traded it. Nasty man with nasty habits.

    3. Are you sure it was only coffee?

  6. You can be certain this has been given by a Hammersmith staff member..or should I say tri borough staff member. In case residents haven't noticed the Council is now run by Hammersmith staff. All staff with allegiance to Kensington left or had their heads bitten off by the black widow spiders. They are responsible for the lowering of standards in every service.

  7. The new commercial cinema proposed by the developers is tiny and 4 storeys underground off a 1.5m piece of pavement on the Earls Court Road opposite the Waitrose Loading bay....

    The following are links to Premieres which were held at the Odeon in the past 3 years because it had the biggest screen in London and was so loved by movie stars.

    Sir Ian McKellan

    Kate Winslett / Alan Rickman

    Hugh Grant

    Sol Campbell

    Elizabeth Hurley

    Kristin Scott Thomas, Ralph Fiennes

    Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

    Chris Rock

    Ewan McGregor

    Emily Blunt

    Tom Hardy
    Reese Witherspoon

    Chris Pine


    Ronan Keeting

    It was the local cinema for :

    • Alfred Hitchcock
    • David Lean
    • Michael Powell
    • Richard Curtis

  8. Another depressing chapter in the squalid saga of once admirable RBKC, a racket run by yapping, yet ultimately useless, toothless, Chihuahuas

  9. Cllr "Putin" Coleridge is at the center of another scandalous planning decision. Remember Marlborough School?

    This guys family made £millions from fleecing Names at Lloyds. They owned one of the big Agents. The proceeds sent dim Tim and his brother to Eton.

    There will have been many brown envelopes flying around on this one. Is Putin short of cash?

  10. Is there any more ammunition this council can give to voters to vote out Conservative councillors.

    With Marlborough school demolished for Mike Ashley, Odeon for the Ritblats and Earls Court for CapCo; is there anything Council will not do for people who do not live in the borough or pay tax?

    Where is Borwick in all this?

  11. This is another shoddy charade of "consultation". The whole process is a joke. Thousands of man hours from residents putting their case, writing down their objections, and alternative proposals. All swept aside in the most dishonest and shoddy manner by cynical planners and Councillors.

    In the words of Cllr Mary Weale, "I agreed to listen but not to hear"

    Shame on the reptiles.

  12. Piggy is crapping in a rats nest

  13. Brown envelope land.

    The Royal Borough is being torn to pieces and destroyed. There is not an ounce of taste, decency and class in the Hornton Street planning department. Just a bunch of jumped up Essex boys brought up on fake leather sofas.

  14. Thought this sort of thing would end with Paget Brown & Borwick taking over but just seem to carry on Cockell & Rifkind's shady goings on.

    1. It is very difficult to close down the brown envelope culture. Takes a bigger person than piggy.


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