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Thursday, 9 February 2017


The Leader

The Dame has a great deal of respect for the integrity of Cllrs Paget-Brown and Coleridge so she was gratified to see them standing up for residents with this robust objection. In fact, both councillors have a well-deserved reputation for always being available for their residents

Coleridge, Planning Policy

Well done, gentlemen!
The only surprise is to see Cllr Weale joining. 
She does not have the reputation for taking much interest in Ward affairs. Maybe, the wheel is turning?

Application number: PP/17/00133
Site Address: Old Court House, 1A Walton Street, LONDON, SW3 2JD

Comment received: This objection is submitted on behalf of the three Brompton & Hans
Town Ward Councillors.
We have seen and read the many concerns expressed by local residents of our Ward, and we also believe that this large additional excavation to 1A Walton Street should not be permitted.
1A Walton Street was granted permission for on 28th September 2000 for " Change of use from Magistrates Court to a single family
dwelling with change to external fa├žade, basement excavation, and addition of a new conservatory"
Our new RBKC basement policy makes it clear in the basement SPD 34.3.57:
" Where a basement has already been implemented following grant of planning permission or through the exercise of permitted development rights, the policy does NOT allow further basement floors or basement extensions that would exceed 50% of the garden or open part of the site. This provision would not apply to a basement which forms part of the original property, or where a later addition, was constructed prior to 1st July 1948. This is to ensure consistency and fairness of approach"
1aWalton street had a basement excavation developed in 2000 and as a consequence this planning application should not be allowed being an additional basement to the one excavated in 2000.
We are also concerned about the disruption that will disproportionately be caused by this large development on a great many neighbours and businesses.
Sent by: Councillors Coleridge, Paget-Brown, Weale
Brompton & Hans Town Ward Councillors
Town Hall
Hornton Street


  1. Well done, cllrs

  2. Yes, they must be very concerned about 2018 election. Conservative councillors have seen their popularity plummet and their support wane, as well as the cash flow to local associations disappearing.

  3. I'm confused. Has the planning department indicated that they are inclined to recommend approval of this? Or have they not yet shown their hand?

    1. Person Familiar With The Situation9 February 2017 at 19:11

      Officers have not yet published their report and recommendations. They have spent a huge amount of time with the applicants consultants (Savills), lawyers, architects, other specialists and Town Planners. However Officers have been rocked by the huge number of objections, the press coverage, and now the Ward Councillors taking a public position.

      This has eliminated the possibility of Brown Envelope influence.

      The case has taken such a high profile in the Planning Department that Director Graham Stallwood has taken personal charge. He understands very well the risk of reputational damage for his Department and him personally.

      This is a superb example of democracy in action.

  4. Well done Councillors. You have managed to cut through all the bamboozling drawings and ludicrous Traffic plans and come to a clear position. It takes time and a conscience to do that. And it is greatly appreciated. We hope that your colleagues at RBKC are as diligent as you are.

  5. An unambiguous message is being sent to officers.
    Ward councillors are articulating on behalf of the residents they represent a powerful message. The message is simple: turn down this application.
    The Council website now has close to 140 objections and not one comment in support.
    Step in Mr Stallwood. It is obvious a basement exists and that the Construction Traffic Management Plan is unfit for purpose.

    1. Wrecking ball Coleridge. What an about turn.

  6. Startled Resident (Tory)9 February 2017 at 18:39

    Goodness me. What is going on? I am in shock.

    Ward Councillors standing up on behalf of residents!!!!!!!
    Congratulations to Cllrs Paget-Brown, Coleridge and Weale. Especially Cllr Weale - this is some kind of epiphany. She has never before recognised a resident and what she is supposed to do for them.

    Above all congratulations to the Dame. Her strivings have created a new climate of opinion in the Borough and maybe a deeply dormant democratic process is starting up.

    Four cheers for the Dame.

    1. Weale always follows VIPs and she just sees personal benefit for herself if she comes in behind Coleridge and Paget-Brown. Does not give a fig for residents.

      She belongs to the arse licking school of "What does the boss want to hear". Not the sort of person the Tories should be electing as a Councillor.

    2. Resident with Memory10 February 2017 at 12:25

      "We agreed to listen but not to hear"
      Cllr Mary Weale

    3. Gee, if only Earls Court councillors Aouane and Spalding take a leaf out of Knightsbridge councillors book. We might have had a community left!

  7. The logic of the objection from the three Ward Councillors is cast iron. "A basement has already been built, another is not permitted".

    This is the law. It is simple law. It can be understood by even the stupid.

    Savills should be hammered for promoting the project and trying to corrupt the system. At the very least, Savills should be blackballed from Hornton Street.

    Planning Director Mr Graham Stallwood needs to send a memo immediately......

  8. Read the objections on the website. Priceless

  9. MY MATE IS MERRICK9 February 2017 at 23:21

    Graham should sue Savills for lying to him so they could garner tens of thousands of pounds of fees. They knew that this was a bummer

  10. Unfortunately there's no punishment for applicants - through their agents - lying through their teeth in order to obtain planning permission. It goes on every day of the week - as do handsome gifts of brown manilla. The criminal law should be amended to punish such liars. It's fraud at the very least. As for the rest, it's already a criminal offence.

    Planning application fraud is far easier to prove. The evidence is in the paperwork; available to all. Agents who are paid to lie for their clients should be very heavily fined and in extreme cases: banned.

  11. Having taken Anon 19.17's advice to glance through the huge number of objections on the website, it seems that some objections have been rejected for failing to emanate from Knightsbridge.

    One would have thought that any RBKC resident is entitled to object to any planning application within the borough. Is this Planning policy?

    Restrictions on which RBKC resident can object to a planning application will seriously hamper the Dame's excellent, and doubtless widely popular, new campaign on Notting Hill Gate. Then there's Earl's Court. Residents from across the borough care about it.

    1. Council should not be doing that for many of us drive and walk through the borough taking our children school, shopping etc it effects us if travel or whether we are a local resident to the area.

      Potholes through the borough are down to developers HGVs when will the council do something about them.

      We need at least a year or two hiatus from any other serious work in the borough until the planners remember we the taxpayer have the ultimate say.

  12. It is very troubling to find the Council planners sucking up to the odious Mr Graham by censoring objections in this way. Planners are already under fire for being very economic in notifying less immediate neighbours of pending chaos.
    00:26 is spot on in saying that anyone in the RB should be able to comment on a development such as this; after all Walton St is a popular destination for shopping etc....or at least as long as Graham is twarted

  13. Retired Chief Executive10 February 2017 at 09:35

    Bureaucracies have a tendency to invent work in order to grow empires. And Hornton Street is no exception. The saying "work expands to fill empty hands" is so true.

    In this case some fundamental questions need to be asked.
    (i) Why have hundreds of residents been needlessly stirred up and inconvenienced?
    (ii) When the first telephone call to Hornton Street was made to arrange the first of many "contact meetings" with planners why were the developers not told: "You already built a basement, you cannot build another one"
    (iii) Why was huge Council manpower used up on this project?

    And there is an ethical question for consultants. Why was Savills prepared to bill their client for a project that is obviously a non starter?

    This looks like a fundamental failure to manage resources efficiently in Hornton Street and a fundamental failure to control tax payer funded costs.

  14. It is outrageous that the Application has been allowed to get to this stage. Savills have blatantly lied about the previous basement excavation which was over 7 feet, by publicly circulating a letter saying that: “This basement excavation was in fact the lowering of the existing ground floor of the property by 2 to 3 ft.” Savills should not be allowed to get away with this fraudulent attempt to distort the facts. One can only assume that the not so stupid Mr Graham also knew that the figures had been fudged. How does the man in the street who has been put do the expense, time and worry of this sorry tale get their own back? I would love to hear some suggestions – but be polite!!

    1. Don't forget that we had all the expense and worry this time last year of fighting a similar Application by Savills and Graham. That application was also based on a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. They must not get away with it.

    2. Why are small local businesses and residents fighting a battle without any help from their landlords Wellcome Trust? They are a powerful and wealthy Charity with a valuable portfolio of property investments –yet they have done absolutely nothing. Shame on them for sitting on their hands, and watching idly as others do their work for them.

  15. One thing is certain....
    If the ward councillor and council leader, Nick Paget-Brown, allows or is seen in any way to be complicit in granting of permission there will be a thousand rich and angry residents ready to put up an Independent candidate.
    Nick, never, ever forget Sloane Sq

    1. Well he Paget Brown is up to no good again in Sloane Square.

  16. The Dames Investigator10 February 2017 at 19:07

    The Chelsea Society makes this powerful argument against the proposed basement development at 1A Walton Street. The same argument applies to the Nottinghil Gate proposal.

    "Moreover he scale of the construction activity would be intolerable for local residents and would pose a risk to their health and well-being which the Council should not expect them to have to suffer. The scale of activity envisaged by the Construction Traffic Management Plan is enormous. The reality is that no plan can adequately mitigate the disruption caused by lorry movements on this scale. The Council should recognise this as a valid reason for refusing the application. The criterion should not be whether the proposed Traffic Management Plan is the best that can be devised: it should be whether the level of protection which it offers against unreasonable disruption is adequate. There are cases where no Traffic Management Plan can provide such protection and where a development should not therefore be allowed to take place. 1A Walton Street is one of them".

  17. Knightsbridge School giving it both barrels

    "With regards to the recent application for the development of Old Court House we are submitting an objections because our concerns re the health and safety of our 400 pupils, parents and staff.

    We have read the application submission and associated
    construction traffic management plan - revision 03 - November 2016 and while we acknowledge that some consideration has been given with regards to the route and timings of vehicle access and deliveries to the site, that at no point during this process and given our proximity to the site where our opinions sort.

    Health and safety issues:-

    Higher risk to the children's safety while crossing the

    Greater pollution due to increase traffic congestion
    In the documents it has been assumed that the only time the school pupils are at risk is during the drop-off and pick up times.

    However, as a school we use both St Columba and St Saviours Church on a regular bases it our children are moving between these locations during the school day. Being on the junction of Pont Street/Lennox Gardens we already suffer from traffic problems due to the lights at Walton Street and are used as a through - route to the Brompton Road (this has been acknowledge by the RBKC).

    While the construction traffic is restricted to the main roads this will impact on the current traffic flow and we believe will force more vehicles to use the cut through thus exposing us to a greater risk of a serious accident occurring.

    Secondly while in an ideal world construction companies would stick to the rules we are aware this is not the case, there have been developments on Pont Street where lorries have arrived before the delivery time and have parked up causing congestion and pollution while they sit and await with their engines on. We believe this would be the case in Lennox Gardens and Milner Street which is a route heavily used by our children who walk to school.

    We strongly urge to planning department to take these objections into consideration"

  18. Seasoned Campaigner11 February 2017 at 17:42

    One of the things that we know with certainty is that whatever undertakings are given in any Traffic Management Plan, these undertakings are routinely broken by developers. On a daily basis. It takes a huge amount of effort by residents to monitor, take photos, and call out enforcement Officers from Hornton Street.

    There is little point hiding behind Traffic Management Plans. Developers pay no attention to them. At present there are no penalties. No teeth. The regime needs to be toughened up.

    ZERO TOLERANCE approach required.

  19. Rather as there is now a series of penalties which can be enacted on vexatious litigants, would it be possible to ban, or severely limit, vexatious planning applicants and their multiple planning applications?


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