Weʼre raising £5,000 to Stop the Two Towers. Help to keep the Gloucester Road area free of these blights.
- Gloucester Road, Kensington, London
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Stop the Two Towers
* CHRISTMAS DINNER 2ND DECEMBER '18. PLEASE SEE INVITE BELOW - WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE *
We are delighted to let you know that after a 5 1/2 hour committee hearing on Thursday 27th September, the Councillors voted unanimously to refuse this application. A very big thank you to everyone who helped with this campaign and for all your donations and contributions. In total we had no less than 900 objections! The funds we raised have gone towards:
* report from Right of Light Consulting Chartered Surveyors on the effect of the proposed development on sunlight/ daylight on nearby properties, including Courtfield Road, Ashburn Gardens, Point West, Cheval Residences, and Astwood Mews.
* report from Paddy Pugh Conservation & Planning Consultant on the impact of the proposed development on the local conservation area, listed buildings and the local streetscape and townscape, as well as on long views from as far as Kensington Gardens and Battersea Bridge.
* planning PR consultant Julian Parge to help with the campaign.
We now have to wait and see how the developers proceed. Possibly they will decide to renovate the existing hotel. They may also appeal this decision, or come back with a revised scheme. We do need to continue on with the work and to have legal advice on several aspects this site and we are continuing on with the fund raising to help us meet these legal fees.
The new owners of the Holiday Inn Forum, by the Gloucester Road, want to demolish the existing hotel and build two new towers. The large tower will be bigger than the current hotel and will be the tallest building in the borough; the smaller of the two towers will be 10 metres higher than the Grenfell Tower. The "podium", which the towers sit on, spans the length of the garden square and will be 8 floors high. All this on a small garden square.
Even the smaller of the two towers would be 10 metres taller than the Grenfell Tower. The towers will be visible from as far as Kensington Gardens to Battersea Bridge.
The building works are planned to continue until 2026. There will be constant construction noise, chaotic traffic, and a property blight in the area for many years. The resultant massive complex will be a horrible legacy left for future generations to deal with, and a bad precedent for central London as a whole . Please see RBKC planning ref: PP/18/03461 for the full application.
Above and below are pictures of the developer's scale model.
How You Can Help:
- Send letters to RBKC objecting to this development; we need to have at least 300 valid letters of objections sent to the council by the end of August, and your help is needed to achieve this. For your ease of reference, the section below has the RBKC website comments link as well as valid points for objections.
- Donate to help meet campaign costs and professional fees for legal advice, and post-developement light and air quality assessment reports to counter the application. You can donate by: bank transfer sort code: 23-05-80, account: 29547858; credit card by clicking on the Donate button to the top right of this page.
- Attend our meeting on the 8th August at St. Mary The Boltons, 6.30-8pm.
- Contact us on email@example.com if you'd like to help us to raise awareness and spread the word.
OBJECT TO RBKC BY END OF AUGUST
Please send your objections either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, cc'ing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, click here: comments page to object on the council website.
Please write your letter in your own words, including at least one of the points below:
1- RBKC has refused all tall buildings for the last 45 years with Grenfell Tower, built in 1974 (67m), being one of the last. Why is it giving such serious consideration to this scheme, the tallest tower of which is 102 m high? Even the smaller tower at 77 m should not get permission today.
2- The setting of nearby listed buildings and conservation areas would also be affected, including important local views. It would result in substantial harm to these heritage assets.
3- The towers will be seen from an area as wide as Kensington Gardens to Battersea Bridge, dominating the skyline.
4- The wall of buildings will force a sense of enclosure on nearby residents.
5- The towers will reduce the hours of direct daylight to the neighbouring premises. Residents have a right to light.
6- The relative height and proximity of the buildings will result in overlooking of neighbouring properties. Residents have a right to privacy.
7- The proposed construction is 50% larger than the existing building, and would cause an over-densification of what is already one of the most densely populated areas in Europe. This would add additional strain to an already overstretched infrastructure, such as the water supply and the sewage disposal.
8- There will be an increase in pollution in the immediate area. Apart from the obvious increases due to over-densification, such as loss of air quality and increase in noise pollution, the hotel plans contain an event facility for 1500 people, with an estimated average of 500 people arriving and departing per hour, before and after an event.
9- Air quality, a real concern being so close to Cromwell Road, will get worse from heavier traffic generated by massively increased density - 386 new flats as well as the new hotel.
10- The current 1972 building has been designated by the Council as an “eyesore”. It must not constitute a precedent, nor justify yet another bad decision.
RBKC’s Planning Committee must make decisions in line with the latest Local Plan, including policies which require all development to:
● Respect the existing context, character and appearance (Policy CL1).
● Preserve and take opportunities to enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area (Policy CL3).
● Ensure good living conditions, especially daylight and sunlight, and sense of enclosure, and avoid increases in traffic, parking, noise, vibration and local microclimatic effects (Policy CL5).
● Protect and enhance views, vistas and the skyline that contribute to the character and quality of the area (Policy CL11).
● Respect the setting of the borough’s valued townscapes and landscapes, through appropriate building heights (Policy CL12).
Who We Are
ACGRA has been active since 2005. We have helped the residents in our area on numerous fronts, including most recently fending off Genting's massive 24 hour casino in 2014. Membership is free, to join us or to discuss this application, please contact us on email@example.com . All the members of the ACGRA Committee have been residents in this area for over 20 years, and we're very friendly. We'd like to hear from you... come and talk to us: Claudia Bronda; James Fairrie; Friederike Maeda; Lubna Samara; Alison Sutherland.
Please also see https://www.stopthetowers.org.uk
Ashburn Gardens in about 1965 courtesy of John Rogers
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Too Big, too ugly, and it does not offer anything like enough in return to the local community & the homeless.
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Gloucester Road, Kensington, London
ACGRA, Ashburn Courtfield Gardens Residents Association, has been active since 2005. We have helped the residents in our area on numerous fronts, including most recently fending off Genting's massive 24 hour casino in 2014. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org