Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for HammersmithShadow Minister for Justice House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA020 7219 6052
Dear Secretary of State,
Re: Planning Application 2011/02001/OU, to be considered by London
Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham Planning Applications Committee on 12
September 2012 and PP/11/01937 to be considered presently by the Royal
Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s Planning Applications Committee
I write with regard to the above named applications, which together describe the
redevelopment of the Earl’s Court and West Kensington areas.
I am requesting that you use your powers under section 77 of the Town and CountryPlanning Act 1990 to call in these applications, and to make an Article 14 direction until suchtime as you have determined your course of action under section 77.I believe that the size and scope of the applications, coupled with the interest andcontroversy they have occasioned across London and beyond, require them to bedetermined at a public enquiry to ensure an open and fair outcome.I am aware that since the Barker review in 2006, successive Secretaries of State have beenkeen to ensure that planning decisions are determined locally as far as possible. I agree withthat stance.However in the case of this application, the nature of the proposals and the widespreadopposition to them, which goes far beyond any local considerations, mean that a locally-determined decision is impossible.This is one of the largest inner-urban developments currently under consideration anywherein the world. The immediate area is already the most densely populated in Europe, butincrease in density is a major element of the scheme. It proposes the demolition of the
Earl’s Court Exhibition Centres, an internationally
-known driver of cultural and economicactivity for decades. The loss of these buildings alone would radically change the characterand economic prospects of the area.There are several buildings within the proposed development of above 30 storeys, whichwill impact not only on the immediate neighbourhood but the skyline for miles around.Transport infrastructure will come under pressure, and insufficient provision is made in theapplications for other public services, including health and education.