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Tuesday, 7 March 2017


Never has such venom been directed at a resident.
Hundreds of Chelsea residents vented their fury at shadowy Canadian billionaire, eighty-year-old, David Graham. 
Graham, a rare visitor to our shores planned to dig another massive mega basement under his eight-bedroom Walton Street mansion. Correctly, his plan has been thrown out by the Council LINK....but residents deserve answers....
1. The Council planners admit the Old Court House had a pre-existing basement. Why then did it spend hundreds of hours, finessing Savills's application, on behalf Graham, knowing it would fail?
2.   Wellcome Trust, the landlord to the several affected businesses’ did nothing to support its tenants. Why?
3.   Savills and Wellcome Trust have a longstanding professional relationship, yet never admitted a potential conflict.
4. Why did Savills claim the Construction Traffic Management Plan(CTMP) would not impact residential streets knowing, every day, for two years, lorries would have to travel down densely residential Pont Street.
5. Council officers spent hundreds of hours working on Savills's application on behalf of Graham, at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds in man-hours, yet received just £4000.
A ruinous waste of resident’s taxes when our Council claims poverty.
Scores of residents had to devote time and money fighting an application defying any logic. It has cost them at least £30,000 in professional fees and, beyond money, incalculable stress and hardship.
Cllrs Paget-Brown and Coleridge were trenchant in their opposition to this application.

They now need to have a quiet word with planning chief, Graham Stallwood and find out how on earth this basement application ever saw the light of day.


  1. We Too Have A Voice7 March 2017 at 09:10

    Planning needs to be brought under control. For years the Department has been a job creation exercise for Empire Builders, box tickers, Ivory Tower dreamers and brown envelope receivers. Lazy Councillors have turned a blind eye and never get around to reading the ever increasing pile of irrelevant reports. Instead, they routinely stuff residents at Planning Committee meetings.

    But residents have woken up and are no longer prepared to tolerate the corrupt axis of developers, advisors (like Savills) and Officers who have been milking the gravy train and are well and truly entrenched in each others pockets.

    At times like this the Leader, Cllr Paget-Brown,urgently needs to take a long hard look at his organisation. And he needs to make changes.

  2. I think this shows that the Planning Department followed their correct procedures (which are skewed towards developers in a quite disgraceful manner) and that the two important councillors kept away from the detail to preserve the Planning Department's neutrality from political interference. This is absolutely correct. Paget-Brown and Coleridge can NOW address the cleaning of the Augean stables since from this issue they have direct experience of how dirty and anti-resident the Planning Department's procedures are. they can only be cleaned up through political will and I am sure Labour and Lib Dem support will be forthcoming.

    1. According to Cllr Ahern7 March 2017 at 09:59

      Planning in the Royal Borough needs to be more resident friendly

    2. Seasoned Campaigner7 March 2017 at 10:04

      The whole apparatus of "consultation" needs to be urgently addressed. Councillors have been complicit for too long with Officers to abuse the process. Residents have participated in loads, time and time again, and made theirs views perfectly clear. But these views are routinely ignored. When Cllr Weale, at the time Cabinet member for Education and in charge of the Holland Park School consultation process, was overhead saying to the Chairman of the Education Scrutiny Committee, the words:

      "we agreed to listen but not to hear"

      the cat was out of the bag.

    3. It is a scandal that Weale continues to draw £50k/yr as a member of the Cabinet.

    4. Vote Weale out in 2018!

  3. RESIDENTS BEFORE DEVELOPERS7 March 2017 at 09:50

    Whenever a letter is published from K&C planners the tone is always disrespectful towards residents. Stallwood, particularly, seems to forget that he owes his lifestyle to us taxpayers....not the developers.
    For town planners there is nowhere else to go. The private sector has no use for them so they hang around in local government hoping for a fat payoff.

    1. The payoff comes in the form of brown envelopes.

  4. Supporter of Moylan7 March 2017 at 10:09

    9.41 urges Cllrs Paget-Brown and Coleridge "to clean the Augean stables". Charming as these two individuals are, action is not part of their toolbox. Difficult tasks like this require determination and a clear focus on the objective. This requires a person with the ability of Cllr Moylan.

    1. It needs energy too. Not something associated with P-B and C.

  5. in respect of how much this all cost. This is of no import as those in the Ivory Towers are adept at pi**ing taxpayers money against the wall. P-B should but won't reorganise... amen

    1. The Royal Borough should remember the wise words of Mrs Thatcher. "Government should do the minimum that is necessary".

      ie concentrate on Parks and Roads and dustbins. No more Chelsea Care, Opera, UFOs in Ladbroke Grove, Middle East Festivals, and Museums.

      result = small Town Hall, small headcount, small council tax, small amount to piss away

  6. The Dame must be mellowing. She is only asking 5 questions – when there must be at least 105 questions - in fact a whole book of questions that I am sure we will never get answers to. Suffice to say that a mere 9 letters of notice from RBKC generated 200 public objections, a whole “save our neighbourhood” campaign with web site plus leaflets, and a mass of anxiety, distress and substantial cost amongst thousands of affected locals.
    At the end of all this, RBKC post a Refusal of five lines. So that is all ok now is it? No it is not. The whole process has been a complete disgrace.

    1. Never forget: "We agreed to listen but not to hear"

    2. The only thing they understand is unemployment send the councillors to the Job Centre next year, clear them out of the Horton stable vote them out. Enoughs enough!


    Dear Dame. Should I see a Doctor?

    Recently I have found that I cannot walk down any pavement in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea without checking every lamp post – rather bewilderingly I then find myself obliged to cross the street and also check those on the other side, just to be sure I have missed nothing. As you can imagine, this has caused a blight on my life, since to get anywhere in the area now takes twice as long. To my great relief mostly what I see are harmless postings about dog littering and refuse collection schedules.
    But beware of those loosely tied with frayed string and flapping in the wind - here today and gone tomorrow, just another piece of paper in the dustman’s cart. The heading conveniently smudged and torn, difficult to read: with the dreaded words, “Planning Notice”.
    I have to admit that I recently completely missed one stuck nonchalantly to a post outside The Old Court House. Fortunately a neighbour told me about it. Perhaps the owner took it down, because it spoilt his view. Perhaps it was never there in the first place. I have learnt my lesson. Be more vigilant, walk the streets up and down, every day.

    So Dame. Have I gone completely mad? Do I have to spend the rest of my life doing this – or is there a cure?

      No you have not gone completely mad.
      You are doing a great service to the Community. Keep pounding those pavements. Perhaps I could be so bold as to suggest another duty just as important, since you are clearly a person with much spare time on your hands. Rumour has it that fruit trees in the area are being plundered and decimated. Please add fruit trees to your daily check list - like your Planning Notice, they are here today and sawn off tomorrow.

      I can think of lots of other good things you could do for the Community. You are obviously keen on lamp posts and pavements, and by the sound of it very good on those subjects. After you have also become an expert on fruit trees, I think you should broaden your horizons to bigger planning issues. You sound like someone who really cares about the community. I know we have a Council who are supposed to look after these matters, but they don’t care about the residents, and you do. How about standing as an Independent?

      I am so relieved to hear that my services are appreciated. This is fortunate because since 8am my mobile has been ringing my local surgery without success, and my battery is running low.
      I am most flattered to hear that my skills could be considered useful as an Independent at the Council. I am a modest man, with modest means. I work hard, and only expect a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. I care passionately about my neighbourhood and whenever possible I support small independent businesses with the little cash that I have to spend.
      Do you think the above qualities would be appreciated at RBKC?

    4. Keep up the good work, 13.29.

      While you're about it, have you been to Dovehouse Green lately and seen a planning application for the monstrosity that is proposed for the site of Thamesbrook? As the Dame and many of her readers will certainly remember, this was the old folks home closed down by the council a few years ago on highly dubious grounds at a moment's notice; the council then flogged the site off for top dollar, and the new owner, advised of course by the ubiquitous Savillsky, is now looking for a return on its investment in the form of an easy ride from Planning Department.

    5. Hear, Hear 15:40 we must all remain vigil these dregs we have for public servants are bodyliners.

      Just across from Thamesbrook on Sidney street Savills property & flats have remained empty since it was 'built'.

      There are more properties and shops empty and closed than lived in and open in Kensington & Chelsea.

      I read with enormous admiration of the qualities you could provide to RBKC and its ranks. However they are diametrically opposite to those which are currently there. “Work hard”, “caring”, “a fair day’s pay” – these are words that do not exist in their vocabulary.


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