Imperial West – we are not giving up

The Association is working with lawyers Webster Dixon and leading planning QC Gregory Jones, on a judicial review application to challenge the decision of Hammersmith & Fulham Council last December to issue a planning permission for Phase 2 of the Imperial West development.  More details are on our campaign website at www.imperialfolly.org.uk.

We need to raise some more funds, roughly doubling the £5,000 already contributed by local residents (including a matching contribution from the Kensington Society).  Please contact us at sthelensassn@aol.com if you can donate something, however large or small.

This legal action against the council will be joining other similar Judicial Review cases.  The first of these was mounted by the shop-keepers of Goldhawk Road against the proposed Shepherds Bush development, and led to the High Court declaring as unlawful the council’s Supplementary Development Plan for the area.  Further judicial review applications are making their way through the courts on the Capital and Counties scheme at Earls Court.

Rarely has a local planning authority found itself at the wrong end of so many legal challenges.  But then rarely has a council played so fast and loose with the planning system, in its efforts to appease developers rather than listen to the views of the public.

Redevelopment of the BBC TV Centre

Stanhope PLC and the BBC are in the early stages of preparing 3 planning applications to redevelop the site of the BBC TV Centre on Wood Lane.  The plans involve opening up the site to the public, retaining the listed buildings and Studios 1-3, and building new offices and up to 1,000 housing units.  Under the partnership agreed between the BBC and Stanhope, some BBC production (and live shows) will remain on the site.  More details are due to be published on a new website for the development.

Planning news for our immediate area

On the Kensington and Chelsea side of the boundary, the latest news includes:-

  • a revised application for the Crowthorne Road development – one storey less in height but but otherwise essentially unchanged.  We have sent in updated objections to these proposals.
  • rumours (not yet confirmed) that the Alpha Plus Group may be submitting a revised application for their plans to relocate Chepstow House School to No.49 Bassett Road.
  • a welcome decision from the council to let Mountgrange Heritage estate agents stay at 59 St Helens Gardens, with the addition of a flower kiosk on the adjoining pavement.

New Government policies on planning will have a significant impact on Kensington & Chelsea over the next few years.  Policies to encourage ‘growth’ involve relaxing planning rules on change of use from business to residential.  Rules on the size of extensions allowed under ‘permitted development’ are also being relaxed (although these changes will not apply in conservation areas so will not have much impact locally).

On the new freedoms to change the use of B1 business premises to residential, the council has major concerns over loss of employment and will be seeking an exemption from this policy, within the Borough’s main business areas.  Whether the Government will grant such an exemption remains to be seen.

Meanwhile the council has been reviewing and strengthening its policies on basements.  It will be bringing in tougher controls over what is allowed, with additional conditions to reduce nuisance to neighbours.  Anyone planning to build a basement (and there are a growing number appearing on the St Quintins Estate) needs to be aware of these changes.

The Association monitors planning applications in the area, and where proposals do not meet council policies (e.g. on basements or rooflights) the Association will normally submit an objection.  It is in the collective interests of all residents to maintain the quality of this conservation area.  Our web page on Conservation has more details of council policies.

 

 

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