Comments

DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Monday, 24 October 2016

FIGHT THE GREEDY DEVELOPERS AND SUPPORT LE COLOMBIER

Didier Garnier
The charming and much loved Didier Garnier has been around Chelsea for longer than the Dame can remember: he is part of the fabric of Chelsea life. Chelsea restaurants come and go but Le Colombier is an immovable fixture. We all need to keep it that way. Didier was also involved with 



  • ST QUENTIN LONDON, 
  • GRILL ST QUENTIN, 
  • BRASSERIE ST QUENTIN



  • For years, Didier's landlords have been trying to find ways to kick him out; each time they have failed. They have now come up yet another dishonest ruse to remove a perennial Chelsea favourite.
    A community like ours needs its neighbourhood restaurants.
    If you click HERE you can quickly add your objection to those of others who love Le Colombier. Also, read the objection from the restaurant: it shows the lengths the landlord will go to in order to get his own way.

    Don't let yet another greedy and 'community hostile' property developer ruin Chelsea using their spivvy planning consultants and avaricious lawyers.


    Part of our Chelsea lives

    Dear Dame, 

    The owner of the site who has tried to close down this local business before - and whose manoeuvrings were rejected on appeal by the Planning Inspector is now trying it on again - this time by getting a change of use to a shop. RBKC is recommending this be granted. Why?

    Many have objected, including the Chelsea Society

    Le Colombier is a successful local business and very much a neighbourhood institution. Why is RBKC so out of step with the community it should be serving?

    Mrs Ernest Biggles

    36 comments:

    1. Le Colombier has a powerful following of celebrities. Lets hope they get together and make a fuss - just like they did over Sloane Square and sent the bus driver's son packing with his ideas to wreck Square. The Borough is now at the forefront of crazy planning and zany spending, such as the tarted up Exhibition Rd and its notorious "shared space". The Times newspaper today ran a full page feature reporting that shared space has been a disaster and has been abandoned by most Councis. The article leads with a photo of (wait for it!)

      ......Exhibition Road

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Didier Garnier is one of those characters who make Chelsea what it is. Cafe society at its best. It is so easy for the bureaucrats to kill off characters like this for the great cause of brown envelopes and "buy to leave"

        It is infuriating that we tolerate this and a clear sign that democracy is not working in the Royal Borough

        Delete
    2. Something that our Council does not seem to do is get out and about to understand how our Borough works, what is important to residents, and to get a sense of what needs to be preserved. This should be a primary job for the Ward Councillors but many of them are remote and confine themselves to Committee Meetings, puffing, and playing with their computer games. It is high time that Leader Paget-Brown changes this and makes it clear that he expects all Councillors to get up to speed on what their Wards are all about. It is shameful that we ratepayers support the cost of Three Councillors per Ward and there is no penalty for laziness and remoteness. This is the curse of the Tory monopoly.

      Of course there are exceptions. EDC and Freeman are shining examples. And Cllr Barbara Campbell too. Unfortunately these people seem to be sidelined in the local Government process in Hornton Street. A big shame.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Hornton Street should strive to preserve what we have. Not destroy it. This is another shocking story about useless Tories in the Royal Borough

      ReplyDelete
    4. The Chaplain to Kensington Palace is a regular diner. A quiet word in piggy's ear, perhaps

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Piggy's ears are full of listening projects....that go nowhere...he doesn't give a damn about this Borough. Its time the residents took control.

        Delete
    5. Deeply Concerned25 October 2016 at 08:57

      Piece by piece K&C is being dismantled. Ancient buildings and serving institutions like Columbier - none are safe from the grasping ambitions of developers and Hornton Street planners. Their greed has no appreciation of the fact that we are living in a society that has taken thousands of years to create. Instead they are mesmerised by Dubai and Singapore.

      What we need is some global ruling, such as a United Nations Heritage site, to stop all development and preserve what we have.

      ReplyDelete
    6. The Columbier urgently needs to be registered as an AVC (Asset of Community Value). This will afford it some protection from rapacious developers who want to convert to residential flats. If you read the Planning Application, talk of "retail use" is a smoke screen. A ruse to get vacant possession and then apply for residential development after the death of a thriving local restaurant.

      AVC's have been very effective for protecting community pubs. There have been many public objections (more than 150) to this application, including the Chelsea Society. The Chelsea Society should act swiftly and apply for an AVC for the Columbier.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Indeed... now it should be one of the residents to get this off the ground, supported by all of us..

        Delete
      2. Anyone who knows the area will recognise that any retail business will fail in a nano second. There is no footfall. It is a residential and hospital area. No one goes there to shop. All the shops are elsewhere.

        But convert the restaurant to flats and the owner will make a fortune. A huge fortune. This is London prime residential - £4,000 per sq foot.

        Delete
    7. With so many public objections, why is there no objection or representation from the Ward Councillors of Stanley Ward?????

      No suprise to find that the three Ward councillors are Cllr Warwick (the useless Chairman of Planning whose record of decisions demonstrate that he is fundamentally anti resident), the vapid Cllr Pascall (who is challenged by any decision that is greater than getting undressed and putting on his pyjamas) and the unknown Cllr Taylor-Smith. As usual, Ward councillors failing their residents, failing democracy and failing their Party

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. fat brown envelopes doing their rounds?

        Delete
    8. Mrs Ernest Biggles25 October 2016 at 10:10

      Excellent Dame!

      But it looks like the freeholder is playing hardball from the comments his agent Paul Jenkin has lodged:

      https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/idoxWAM/doc/Correspondence-1769181.pdf?extension=.pdf&id=1769181&location=volume2&contentType=application/pdf&pageCount=1

      In addition, this matter is being considered tonight (25 October), when the consultation is posted on RBKC website as ending on 1st November. Typical Hornton St laziness and cavalier inattention to detail? Or something more sinister?

      RBKC should be implementing the Chelsea Society's proposal of placing an Article 4 'protection order' on Le Colombier with immediate effect.

      Time to give Mr Biggles his linctus.

      Mrs Ernest Biggles

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. What a pity the Dame was not alerted to this earlier so that her hornets could swing into action and sting a few of the cockroaches before it was too late.

        Delete
      2. Thank you Mrs Biggles for pointing out this reptilian letter from Paul Jenkin.

        Let's hope the council do give consideration to article 4. Contrary to what Jenkin writes, an article 4 direction need not deal exclusively with the Colombier. It could cover the restaurant under any ownership. It's really no different from the various pubs that we have been fighting to save all these years - their ownership and management might change, but they are still pubs. Indeed the site of the Colombier used to be a pub before it became a restaurant. Any man in the street and his dog would recognize the common sense view that this is an asset of value to the local community. Let's hope the council wake up and recognise it as well.

        Delete
    9. Although I and my sette are in awe of Mr O'Sullivan of the Belvedere fame (much nearer to our Holland Park spacious residence), we all support the residents/customers' concerns. They should get together with all the 'celebrities' and pursue the CVA...Oh, who is the owner of the freehold?

      ReplyDelete
    10. Le Colombier's sister restaurant the Garnier in Earl's Court has closed down. So we are in danger of losing what makes RBKC a borough worth living in. RBKC Council are destroying the borough bit by bit with no consideration for residents.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Boo hoo. Poor Dame denied a French meal. There are lots of good English restaurants. And if an owner wants to make some profits by developing his property then he should be allowed.

        I said before and saya gain. Sick blog. Sick Dame. Sick blogers

        Delete
      2. Cllr Palmer....it's blogger with two 'g's' and 'say again'.
        Stop displaying your stupidity for all to see

        Delete
      3. Garnier soon closed after Exhibition Centre was demolished, footfall round there fallen by half. Huge loss in revenue to council, officers for some reason cannot understand why billion pound generator like Earls Court was allowed to be knocked down when it has had a great affect on council coffers. Area is a ghost town!

        Hope St Quentin is rescued.

        Delete
      4. Brown envelopes create tunnel vision of a unique sort.

        Officers have also failed to understand that all those buy to leave flats will be empty and not spending money on essential retail outlets like supermarkets, grocers, liquor stores, beauty salons, convenience stores, petrol stations, hardware stores, restaurants, cinemas, betting shops, etc. Destruction of communities in favour of up market ghost towns.

        Prats.

        Delete
    11. Dear Dame
      What was the result of the Planning Committee meeting last night and who was the Chairman of the Committee?

      Your faithful bee,

      A hornet

      ReplyDelete
    12. The Planning Committee was chaired by James Husband. Also there were David Campion, Quentin Marshall and Marie Therese Rossi. The committee approved the signing of the certificate allowing change of use on the basis that they had no discretion. They chose to ignore pleas from the owner of the restaurant and from the local residents' association to defer the issuing of the certificate while an Article 4 decision was considered. They said that Article 4 needed to be considered by a different arm of the council and named some officers who might be involved. Meanwhile, they had no choice.

      This seems to me to be wimpish if not suspicious. Having issued the certificate, they have surely weakened the position of the restaurant and indeed the council over Article 4.


      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Cllr James Husband has never taken a stand on anything that is desired by his residents or the voting public. He is a completely castrated and useless Councillor. Residents found out all about James when cow towed to the developers of Holland Park School.

        Quentin Marshall (the Ferrari driving, polo playing product of Winchester) has a weakness for pro bono parties at Harrods. Another thoroughly useless Councillor who "dresses down" by rushing around the Borough on his scooter. For him, Hornton Street is a "game" - an acute observation by PM May.

        Any administration worth its salt, and in touch with resident opinion, would have worked the system and used administrative means to preserve Columbier. eg Article 4 in time and a designated Asset of Community Value (AVC). These mechanisms were created for cases such as this. But if democracy is to work we need connected up Councillors - not the ballast that we saw whimpering at the Planning Committee last night.

        Delete
    13. it really is a matter for the ward councillors to process. Perhaps Cllr Taylor-Smith as a new broom might inject some urgency into this matter?

      ReplyDelete
    14. Retired Chief Executive26 October 2016 at 17:58

      Of course the framework of rules needs to be respected. And timid managers who want to play safe invariably hide behind these rules and use them as an excuse to ignore public opinion.

      Winning companies always strive to go the extra mile and understand their markets. The law (rightly) is always slightly behind public opinion but innovators (and winners) push the boundaries and modernise the world.

      Britain has a highly developed democratic framework for those who want to use it. Things like Article 4 and ACV's did not happen by accident. They were developed so that Officers and Councillors can respond to public concerns without breaking the law. But this requires engagement, courage, determination and good judgement.

      My feeling about the membership of our Planning Committee is that it needs a make over. New faces who are worthy of the 21st Century. Unfortunately I see too many time servers. I never tolerated this in business.

      ReplyDelete
    15. Wise words from Retired Chief Executive.

      James Husband missed an opportunity at last night's Planning Meeting. As Chairman he could have said:

      "This Committee has no discretion about change of ownership. But we have been made aware of widespread public concern, including representations from Resident Associations. Accordingly we defer our decision in order to give Ward Councillors and Officers time to examine the wider picture"

      Now that would have been democracy in action.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. What is the point of paying these puffed up Councillors large amounts of money and propping up the whole expensive apparatus of Hornton Street?

        Delete
      2. More piffle

        Delete
      3. Abingdon Ward has three Councillors. For years James has been carried by his fellow Ward Councillors

        Delete
    16. The Dame is always stirring and making trouble for our Council - especially when one of her friends like th owner of Columbia restaurant wants to have a grumble. She is a silly old lady and should be ignored

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Nearly Lord Cockell29 October 2016 at 09:33

        Cllr Palmer; it's Le Colombier. Columbia is is America

        Delete
    17. Dame's blog almost hitting 2 million with 1,916,138 page views. No wonder councillors & officers feel they have to comment on here. They fear our old girls power & influence!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. She is nothing more than a bag lady. And a hag to boot. Living off the ill gotten gains of several husbands that she trapped and then saw off. We know the type - always very at home in Knightsbridge

        Delete
      2. Bag lady she may be but the Dame has had a bigger impact on the functioning of democracy in the Royal Borough than 50 years of Labour opposition. And Tory excess and corruption has been curbed.

        Alas, there is still much to do. A cocktail of greed and envy in Hornton Street is still working against the interests of residents. Long live the Dame.

        Delete

    Comments are your responsibility. Anyone posting inappropriate comments shall have their comment removed and will be banned from posting in future. Your IP address may also be recorded and reported. Persistent abuse shall mean comments will be severely restricted in future.