Registered charity 276264

S. Ken Station – Chelsea Society objects

 PLANNING APPLICATION PP/20/03216

SOUTH KENSINGTON STATION

The Chelsea Society was founded in 1927 to protect the interests of those who live and work in Chelsea and to preserve the character of this unique part of London. We have around 1,000 members.

We urge the Council of RBKC to reject this revised planning application. The changes it offers do not mitigate the severe defects in the one originally submitted. There are some minor, cosmetic improvements to both the Thurloe Street building and the Bullnose, but the fundamental issues of mass, height and poor design remain unaddressed. What is proposed is a bulky, dominant, modern group of buildings which are incongruent with both the context and the heritage of the surrounding area and would be destructive of many iconic views. Pelham Street would be canyonised and the proposed loading bay would have a negative effect on the public realm.

We have seen the objections raised by all the elected representatives of the area (local Councillors, GLA representative and MP) and support all the points which they have made. We also note that in their report on the earlier iteration of the scheme Council officers did not deny that it would be inconsistent with several Council policies. It is unacceptable that these concerns should be set aside simply because the scheme would provide a certain number of units of affordable housing: there are other schemes which could achieve the same, or a better, outcome.

We are also disappointed by the disingenuousness and duplicity which the applicants appear to have shown in the presentation of their revised proposals. The objection from the elected representatives notes that the applicants have falsely claimed to have consulted local Councillors; have paid agents to solicit support for their scheme by accosting travellers with a misleading presentation; have misrepresented the views of local residents; have offered false information in some of their presentations; have not provided proper illustrations of how their proposals would actually look; and, in relation to 20-34 Thurloe Street, have failed to show that their proposals satisfy the Council’s recent Greening Supplementary Planning Document.

In sum, we continue to believe that the harm to the conservation area and to the setting of neighbouring listed buildings would be substantial; and that the benefits of the scheme, namely just 29 additional dwellings, do not outweigh the harm which it would cause.

Sir Paul Lever KCMG,

Chairman of the Planning Committee

The Chelsea Society

23rd September 2020

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