We all share the view that Kensington and Chelsea is a special place to live. It’s a fantastic borough in the world’s best city. From beautiful squares in sought-after residential areas to our wonderful markets, parks and schools there are many reasons why people want to be Royal Borough residents.
An awful lot of work goes into maintaining the quality of life in the borough and, where necessary, bringing people to book when their actions disturb the peace and quiet of a street or create a veritable eyesore.
This week I learned of two cases where action by enforcement officers, from two different departments, tackled a blight on the landscape and a noisy builder who paid no heed to warnings.
If you live on the Fulham Road you may have noticed that a large illuminated advertising hoarding, close to the Boltons and the Sloane/Stanley Conservation Areas, has disappeared. The reason for its absence is the independent Planning Inspectorate upheld a notice served by Royal Borough planners insisting it be removed.
This case began in April 2015 when planners served something known as a Discontinuance Notice. This required Cardigan Estates Ltd and Insite Poster Properties to remove the hoarding at 258 Fulham Road. Officers considered it was having a harmful visual impact on the area.
Appeals against the notice were made to the Planning Inspector who, after examining all the facts, said the hoarding was indeed intrusive and out of scale. We are glad to see the back of it.
The other case concerned a builder, Mr Duclei Ferreira, who was working on Campden Hill Gardens. The trouble was he was working on a Saturday and that’s no longer allowed in Kensington and Chelsea. Residents naturally complained to us and officers paid him a visit. Unfortunately, Mr Ferreira chose to ignore their warnings that noisy work on Saturdays and bank holidays was not allowed. This left our noise and nuisance officers with no choice but to prosecute him on three charges of breaching a notice served under section 60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
He’s now a bit poorer after fines handed down to him and his company, Duclei Construction, at Westminster Magistrates Court totalled £3,900. Throw in the costs of £1,257 and he probably wished he had listened when officers first asked him to stop his noisy work.
What was noteworthy about this particular case is that it was the first time we have prosecuted a builder for Saturday working since we introduced our new Code of Construction Practice which, amongst other things, put a stop to noisy weekend working.
Both of these cases demonstrate that the rules we have in place to keep the borough looking good whilst maintaining peace and quiet need to be followed. Anyone who doesn’t follow them, and ignores reasonable warnings, will find we will take all necessary action to ensure they are adhered to.
In central London peaceful enjoyment has to have some meaning. We cannot have a free-for-all whether it is hideous hoardings or thoughtless workforces.