Fight for a BETTER scheme for the regeneration of Notting Hill Gate – OBJECT to the proposed Newcombe Tower!
The developers’ first planning application for the Newcombe House site was refused by Kensington and Chelsea Council last year and their Appeal dismissed this summer. They have now submitted a new application with the same Tower with no changes in bulk, design or height. The Council is expected to make a decision within the next two months.
Hundreds have already objected. You too can make your voice heard and still OBJECT to this new planning application on the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) website: www.rbkc.gov.uk/PP/17/05782 or by emailing your objection to email@example.com
Please make sure to label your comment as OBJECTION and quote the case number: PP/17/05782.
1. The proposed 72m 18-storey Tower on Notting Hill Gate will be 50% taller than the existing Newcombe House of 47m. It will dwarf the whole neighbourhood, especially Hillgate Village’s small-scale houses (3 storeys, 9m), affecting views in west London and the skyline for many decades, for residents, visitors and future generations.
2. The developers’ plan is for 37 “high quality residential accommodation” units with an average “achievable” price of almost £4.5 million, including at the top of the Tower two duplex flats with 360-degree views, one with a “winter garden and terrace”, and prices of £14-15 million each (the “cheapest” flat is just under £1M). They are likely to appeal to non-resident buyers as “buy-to-leave” investments and remain empty, winning few new customers for our local shops, pubs and restaurants, and adding little our local community and its social fabric.
3. The proposed on-site affordable housing (9 flats) falls far below the Mayor of London’s threshold of 35%, which he wants to raise to 50% in the long-term.
4. The building works, demolishing all buildings on Kensington Church Street from Waterstones to Kensington Place, excavating a two-storey basement on the Farmers’ Market location, building the Tower and five large additional buildings, will last at least three and half years according to the developers’ own calculations.
5. The Farmers’ Market will have to move for the duration of the building works and we understand that it may be relocating at the far end of Portobello Road. Will there be any Farmers’ Market to return?
6. The works will affect significantly local traffic, parking, noise and air pollution. The developers’ own estimates indicate 20 lorries per day on average, or 3 lorries per hour, over the development period. You can guess how this would affect the neighbourhood with its small, narrow streets, nursery and primary schools.
7. In the current economic climate, some large building projects appear to be experiencing problems and many local shops are vacant. What guarantee is there that this major application will actually deliver promised benefits?
8. The proposed public benefits do not outweigh the harm likely to be caused to the surrounding heritage assets and the community by a much taller Tower which the Council found to be of “insufficient high design quality”.
9. Letting one developer build an excessively tall Tower could create a precedent, opening the floodgates for other Towers on Notting Hill Gate and elsewhere in west London.
10. Kensington & Chelsea’s own Architectural Review Panel judged the Tower’s architecture “neither elegant nor accomplished” enough for such a tall building in such a prominent position. The option of renovating and refurbishing the site should be considered. Other of Notting Hill Gate’s 1960s buildings are being refurbished with a modest increase in height, so clearly it is possible to make an economic case to do this.