Supporting Crossrail 2 but only if station development is low key

I was concerned, but not surprised, to read reports in the media that the Crossrail 2 project could be derailed or side-lined because of cost and competing infrastructure demands.

Residents will know that the Council is a staunch supporter of a Crossrail 2 Station on the King’s Road. We believe there is an overwhelming case for a station in an area that many people visit but is poorly served by public transport. Continue reading

We must bring Crossrail 2 to Chelsea

The London Underground was and is pivotal to London’s growth and prosperity. It meant the urban poor were able to travel to work cheaply. It meant families were able to move out a little, to where they could afford two rooms rather than one. It meant the end of gruelling daily walks to and from the workplace in all weathers. It meant children being able to see trees and fields. It led to the development of our glorious suburbs and it also led to a less stratified society with people of all classes travelling together on the same trains.

In other words, the London Underground was a revolution and now London is poised on the brink of another. The tunnelling for Crossrail 1 is now complete. The tunnelling for Crossrail 2 could start as soon as 2017. There is already talk of Crossrail 3. The Crossrail revolution is coming. The question is: will Chelsea be part of it?

Personally I hope the answer will be a very big yes.

Continue reading

Busy year for planning enforcement

So far 2014 has been very busy for the Planning Department’s enforcement officers.  In fact it’s a record-breaking year for notices issued and we’ve only just passed Bonfire Night!

I was reliably informed that, before this year, we would typically issue about 35 notices in a twelve month period.  Now it has rocketed to an astonishing 94 and counting.  So what’s going on? Continue reading

The noble 600

Every now and again on my travels around the Royal Borough – and further afield – I run into people who claim that, apart from having their bins emptied, they don’t really use council services.

And for all I know it may be the truth. They may indeed live in splendid isolation untroubled by the strains, tensions and compromises characteristic of living in a big city. But it’s far more likely I think that those who claim they do not rely on the Council haven’t really thought it through. Continue reading

Planning policies in the borough and major developments

In June the Council proposed new policies to control the size of developments above and below ground and to increase the supply of affordable homes.  Cllr Nick Paget-Brown, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea explains the thinking.

Wealthy people from all over the world want to own property in Kensington and Chelsea and that’s no bad thing.  It’s good for our shops, good for our restaurants, good for employment and it’s good for the Exchequer too.  But as with so much else, it’s a question of balance.
Getting the balance right between the sorts of development favoured by some high-net-worth-individuals and the more traditional forms of development isn’t easy but after long consultation we have come to the view that some adjustments are needed.

That’s why we are proposing new policies designed to reduce the scale of subterranean developments and control the growth of very large properties. Continue reading