A Happy New Year to you all. In Abingdon Ward your local councillors have been mainly concentrating on planning matters.
"Tesco Towers" - 100 Warwick Road
The application for "Tesco Towers", 100 Warwick Road is due to be heard at the end of the month and we have been consulting with residents groups to co-ordinate our opposition to this development, which is far to large for this site and is without the infrastructure to support such a development. My fellow Councillors James Husband and Joanna Gardner have also objected to this development, and Joanna Gardner will be speaking at the Planning Meeting.
I write on behalf of the residents of Abingdon Ward who are very concerned about this proposed development and object on several grounds, including:
- The overall quality of the design of this landmark building on one of the major access roads into the capital. The direct route in from Heathrow airport attracting millions of visitors a year and at the entrance to the Royal Borough. This is a site of major importance for the Borough and we need to see a more appropriate and fitting use of this site.
- The massing and height of these towers are inappropriate for a variety of reasons. The previous office block design that was approved was 47 metres, and this new building is over 92 metres, so there is no need for the planning committee to feel that there is any similarity between these schemes. The previous office scheme application has lapsed.
- The recent high winds closed the area around Tesco because of concern about the amount of glass. We need to see a more detailed report on the microclimate of this design. This report and more detailed environmental information should be commissioned and be before the Committee prior to any consent being considered. Has this site been assessed as satisfactory for residential use, have the necessary stringent surveys been carried out or are we just relying on the word of the developer? Have the Planning Committee seen these assessments?
- There are serious concerns amongst residents about the amount of green space and useable play space. What there is seems to be in a wind tunnel, in the shade, and inappropriate for the size of the proposed development.
- Community services are proposed for the first floor, this is inadequate and does not create a feeling of community. The location of these services is wrong and insufficient.
- Following on from the Council meeting on 24th January 2007, can we have confirmation about the ventilation and heating systems for residents - this is not clearly stated. How will this be controlled, what independent and separate provision is there for residents? If someone opens a window will that affect the heating / ventilation of the whole floor / block. It would appear that most windows do not in fact open, so what individuals controls are being installed? Please clarify.
- We are disappointed by the amount of play space - how far would you have to walk to push a child on a swing? Or go to a playground?
- Residents are concerned about the infrastructure for the much needed family units. It is all very well providing finance towards education, but what additional educational provision is going to be provided where? All K & C schools are already over subscribed, even with the new academy.
- Where are these residents going to find health provision - what discussions have taken place with the PCT about this and the other developments that are expected in Warwick Road?
- Sports facilities - there is an offer of subsidized sports facilities, but these are not even on site!
All in all there are many reasons that this proposed development is not suitable for this site, and we would urge the members of the Planning Committee to refuse this application.
The Radnor Arms - Warwick Road
The landlord of this traditional and popular pub has been given notice to quit, as the “Charles House” site is also up for redevelopment. Peter & Trudi who are the landlords the Radnor Arms have been given notice that a new lease will not be forthcoming from Prudential and that the pub will be closed. Their last day of business will be 11 March 2007.
Your local Councillors are also meeting with the developers regarding the rebuilding of the Odeon Cinema, and there are a number of other Planning applications in the pipeline for Warwick Road, and I will keep you informed as these come on stream.
Holland Park School
This is the current design for the new Holland Park School, which you will notice is considerably larger than the current building. The Campden Hill Residents Association are leading the campaign for an alternative vision of refurbishment and upgrading of the current school. This would mean that land would not need to be sold off for additional residential development and that the school could have additional playing area. Contact David White, 0207 229 5684 firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a view of the proposed flats on the present school playground, viewed from Holland Park.
There are still a number of thefts - even in these cold months - please take care with open windows and ensure that your doors are locked securely at night. However there are still a number of crimes where the thief has seen the laptop, plasma TV, mobile phone, handbag through the window and have smashed their way in. Stealing Sat Nav systems are still a target from parked cars.
We have a good Community Policing team here in Abingdon Ward, and if you would like to be in touch with them, here is the contact details:
Sergeant Don Casey - Metropolitan Police - Abingdon Ward, Kensington & Chelsea
Phone: 07920 233803
Don Casey Abingdon Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team
Kensington Police Station
72 - 74 Earls Court Rd
London W8 6EQ
There is a public meeting: "Meet the Police" on 31st January 2007, 6.00 for 6.30pm at St. Jude's Church in Courtfield Gardens, SW5 0LX. This meeting is to discuss local crime in the community and we will have an overview report from Chief Superintendent Dominic Clout, the Borough Commander, all are free to attend.
The Devonshire Arms Pub
There was a meeting of local residents with the landlord on 17th January regarding this pub, particularly with regard to street drinking, and disturbance to local residents when rubbish is collected. If you do have any comments, please let me know. Email: email@example.com.
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