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King's Street Objection

King's Street Objection

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Published by Andy Slaughter

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Published by: Andy Slaughter on Oct 05, 2011
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06/25/2014

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HOUSEOFCOMMONS
LONDON
SWIAOAA
SusieSaraviaLBHFDevelopmentManagementServicesTownHallExtensionKingStreetLondonW69JU28September2011DearSusieSaraiva,
Re:Demolitionofexistingbuildingstoprovideacivicsquare,newcivicoffices,320residentialdwellings,afoodstore,5retailunitsandapedestrianfootbridgetoFurnivallGardens.
ApplicationRef:201
0103465/FUl.
ListedBuildingConsentref:201
O/03466/LBC
andConservationAreaConsentref:2010103467/CAe.Iamwritingagaintoopposeinthestrongesttermstheaboveapplication.DespitehugepublicoppositiontothisschemebyBoroughresidentsandover25localandnationalassociations,theseso-called'revised'proposalsarepurelycosmeticchangesthatdonothingtoaddressthecommunity'sconcernsandstillresultinthelossofmanyimportantlocalamenities.IndoingsoIknowIamjoininghundredsofmyconstituentswhohavewrittentomeaswellastothecouncil,andthousandsmorewhoareaffectedbythisdevelopmentandhavemadeitclearthattheythinkthe'revised'schemewouldbeadisasterfortheboroughanditsresidents.Idonotseeinthelightofthequalityandquantityofoppositionhowthecouncilcanproceedwiththis'revised'scheme.ItseemstheCouncilhasn'tfollowedthroughontheirassurancesthattheywouldlistentotheconcernsoflocalpeopleandhaveonceagainputtheinterestsofthedevelopersbeforethoseoftheresidents.
 
1.Planningauthoritiescompromised.1.1Becauseofthewaythecouncilhasapproachedthisdevelopmentitisfatallycompromisedandcannotbeseenasanindependentplanningauthority.Thesolejustificationforproceeding,givenbyadministrationcouncillorsattheseveralpublicmeetingswhichobjectorshaveorganised,isthattheprovisionofnewmunicipalofficeswillsavethecouncilmoney.Thoseofficeswillbeprovidedatnilcostbythecommercialdeveloper.Thecouncilisthejointdeveloperofthesiteandoneofthemainbeneficiaries.IdonotaccepttheneedfornewluxuryofficesontheNigelPlayfaircarparksite,thecostsbeingallegedtoprovidetheseortheabsenceofanyalternativeschemefordealingwiththedisrepairissuesattheexistingtownhallextension.However,ifthecouncilhasmadethisapreconditionoftheschemegoingaheaditcannotthenobjectivelyjudgethemeritsoftheotherpartsofthescheme,inparticularthehigh-riseluxuryapartments,whichwillcross-subsidisethenewciviccentre.1.2InsuchcasesitmightbepossibletodefertotheMayorofLondon,butitisamatterofpublicrecordthatthechiefexecutiveofco-developerHelicalBarconcedeshis£20,000donationtothecurrentMayor'selectionfund'couldbeseenasanattempttoinfluenceMrJohnson'spolicyontallbuildingsinouterLondon'(FinancialTimesarticlelinkbelow).PleasealsoseethearticlefromEstatesGazettefor10May2008(attachedabove)whichsuggeststhatevenatthatstagediscussionsweretakingplacebetweentheMayorandthecouncil-developertoreducethequantumofaffordablehousing.Thisarticlesuggestsareductionfrom50%to20%.Sincethistimetheapplicationhasreducedaffordablehousingonthesitetozero.IndeedbecauseofthedemolitionofthePocklingtonTrusthomestherewillbealossofaffordablehomes.http://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2008/01/a-penny-for-hishtmll2.Detriment.2.1Thisdevelopmentisunrivalledinthatalmosteverythingitdestroysisuseful,valuedbythecommunityandproportionatetoitssurroundingsandeverythingitcreatesisinappropriate,unwantedandoutofscale.Theoneexceptiontothisisthedemolitionofthetownhallextension.Thisisanuglybuildingthathasneversuiteditslocationandhasbeenregrettedalmostsincethetimeitwasbuiltintheearly1970s.However,thecost(andopportunitycost)ofdemolitionandreplacingitwithalargeopenpublicsquarehavenotbeenproperlydeterminedandalternativeslookedat.HowthesquarewillfunctionandwhetheritisaprioritygiventheproximityofLyricSquareisamatterofopinion,butthedecisiontoleavethislargeareaofpreviouslydevelopedlandvacantplacesimpossiblecostburdensontherestofthesite.Otheroptionssuchasreplacingorremodellingtheextensionhavenotbeenadequatelyinvestigated.Instead,inpursuitofanewmunicipalfolly,thecouncilhasfounditselfendorsingtheruinationofoneofthemosthistoricandwell-lovedpartsoftheborough.2.2Lossofcinema.Thisisoneofthelastindividual,traditionalcinemasleftinaboroughwhichisnowthehomeofthemultiplex.Itispopular,well-locatedandhasthepotentialtobealandmarkbuildingandcommunityhub.Almost5,000peoplehavesignedapetitionjustin
 
supportofretainingthecinema,whichisprofit-makingandhelpstosupportlocalbusinesses,particularlythewiderangeofindependentrestaurants2.3LossofThomasPocklingtondwellings.Theseelegantmansionflatsprovideatypeofhousingfastdiminishingintheborough:amixtureofsomepropertiesreservedforvisuallyimpairedtenants,someforlong-termtenantspayingfairorcompetitiverent.Thisisathrivingcommunitythatwillbedestroyedwithnoreplacementofaffordablehousing.DemolitionwouldalsodamagethefutureoftheTrustforwhichthisprovideslong-terminvestmentproperty.2.4DestructionofCromwellAvenue.ThecombinationofthePocklingtondwellings,theQuakermeetinghouseandtheremainingaffordablehousingpropertiesinthistree-linedcul-de-saccreateahavenofquietdespitebeingsoclosetotheA4andtowncentre.MarryatGardenswillbecometheentryandexitpointforvehiclesusingthedevelopment,includingdeliveryvehicles.Theroadwasneverintendedforthispurposewhichwillbadlyaffectresidents'amenities.2.5FurnivallGardens.Althoughthe'revised'schemeproposestomovethefootbridgethatcrossestheA4slightlytotheeastfromthecornerofSussexHouse-theearthmoundinFurnivallGardensremainsunchangedandwillstillresultinthelossofuptoonethirdoftheopenspaceinthesepopularriversidegardens.ThegrassedareasofFurnivallGardensareverywellusedforplay,exercise,andrelaxationespeciallyinthesummermonthsandareoftencrowded.Residentsdonotseemtofinditaproblemtoreachthemwithoutafootbridge.2.6Luxuryflats.Althoughtherehasbeenaslightreductionintheheightofthetallestsouthblockandasmallreductioninthenumberofflatsinthe'revised'proposals,theconstructionofhighriseblocksofluxurysmallflatsisthemostobjectionablefeatureofanobjectionablescheme.FromtheeffectonthewholeHammersmithRiversidetotheloomingpresenceoverneighbouringstreetstotheutterredundancyoftheaccommodationintermsoflocalneedisobscene.2.7Footbridge.Thismonstrosity,inadditiontothedamageitcausestoFurnivallGardens,NigelPlayfairAvenue,thesettingofthelistedTownHallandtheprivacyofresidentialproperties,isawhiteelephant.Noproperinvestigationofsurfacelevelorimprovedsubwayaccesshasbeenundertaken.3.Affordablehousing.Theneedforsub-markethousingisthemostpressingissueinHammersmith&Fulham,aboroughwithamongthehighestrentandpurchasecostsintheUK.Whetheritissocialrentorsharedownership,familypropertiesorstarterhomesforfirst-timebuyers,anysubstantialresidentialdevelopmentmustincludeanaffordableelement.Thisschemeprovidesnoaffordablehomes,eventoreplacethoselost.Itisnotacceptabletosaythisisaspecialcase.Nonewhomesforsocialrenthavebeengiveneffectiveplanningconsentssince2006.

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