What does 2016 hold for developments and planning in Kensington?

The new Design Museum

Design museum construction - planning in Kensington

Construction of the new Design Museum in Kensington. Photo from French + Tye

Design Museum Kensington roof - planning in Kensington

Roof of the new Design Museum. Photo from French + Tye

What does 2016 have in store for those of us living in and around Kensington, W8? Well one thing we can at least be sure of is that by the end of the year we will have a new museum to visit. It is over a decade since we started taking an interest in developers’ thoughts about the Commonwealth Institute and in pressing the Council to take a lead with a design brief for the site. Now we are assured by Deyan Sudjec, Director of the Design Museum that this new facility – which we have so eagerly awaited – will be open by the end of the year. It will be a great asset to the vitality and interest of this end of Kensington High Street, as well as a new experience for visitors and somewhere to take the grandchildren.

This is what Sir Terence Conran, Founder and Trustee of the Design Museum has to say about their move to Kensington:

‘Moving the Design Museum to Kensington is the most important moment of my long career in design so far. It will allow all our dreams and ambitions for the museum to come true, to create a world class space with the size and scope for the serious promotion and celebration of design and architecture in this country.’

If you want to know more, why not come along to the ESSA AGM on the 24th May, at Leighton House, when Deyan will be speaking and bringing us up to date with progress and precisely what we can expect. In the meantime, check out the progress of the new Design Museum on their Tumblr site.

More news on planning in Kensington

Just when we might have felt that we could relax after all the battles over basement and design planning policies, RBKC has published a new consultation document: ‘Local Plan Partial Review, Issues and Options. This is not a total surprise to us as we have been aware of the need for a continuing review of the planning policies. It will go through a process similar to that for basements, pubs and design policies, with consultation first on the issues and then on the draft policies, followed by Submission and Examination in Public early in 2017, and anticipated adoption in the Spring of that year. ESSA will be actively involved in this process and will, from time to time, be seeking the views of our membership.

In the meantime, while you are reading this, ESSA representatives together with those from Edwardes Square Garden Committee, Pembroke Close and the Kensington Society, supported by specialist witnesses, will be making use of the Rule 6 status to present our case to the Planning Inspector at the Odeon Inquiry which starts at the Town Hall on January 12th and will run until the 20th. This is an appeal against the refusal of planning consent by the RBKC last January for an arrangement in which most of the cinema accommodation was sited in the Earls Court Road; it included an additional glazed penthouse floor and use of the historic portico as a foyer to the luxury flats. Following that, a far better scheme emerged with the much loved historic portico retaining its original use as access to all the new auditoria, and a level removed from the penthouse. The appellant however is still pursuing the refused scheme. Do come and listen to the case as it unfolds.

Happy New Year to you all and please do take a look at our website for the latest news: www.essaw8.com

Anthony Walker, Edwardes Square, Scarsdale and Abington Association (ESSA)