The Kensal Gasworks Site

In June the Council published an Issues and Options paper for the Kensal Gasworks site in North Kensington. This is a massive site, just up the road from Lancaster West, which they are planning to develop into;

“…a thriving and valued community of over 2,500 dwellings, well connected, high density, mixed use and environmentally responsive, knitted into the surrounding urban fabric, with offices and a range of community facilities, that will provide a successful precedent for the remainder of the Borough.”

The Council are intending to prepare a Supplementary Planning Document early next year. However, given the huge size of the site, and of the major development that is planned,  it is likely that this project will be further progressed via a Development Plan Document, in which case it will be subject to examination by a Government Planning Inspector.

This is also, of course, the site chosen by RBKC for the ill-fated crossrail station which ‘Transport for London’ and the Government have already decided will be best sited elsewhere – at Old Oak Common to be precise.

We always thought this would be a far more appropriate site for the new Kensington Academy, which they are planning to shoehorn onto the Lancaster Green site.  Everybody knows Lancaster Green is far too small for a school of this size. The proof of that pudding will certainly be in the eating – the new academy will have no external sports facilities, and will have a tiddleywinks sized playground.

Here’s what they said in 2009 when they were supposedly exploring options for the new academy, and were looking for excuses to rule the Kensal Gasworks site out of the running:

“The access to the site will be improved considerably by the area’s regeneration, however, the area will still struggle to accommodate high trip generating uses such as a secondary school.

The area is located in a tight corner of the borough and is unlikely to address the needs of the borough.

Due to the potential value of the land, a section 106 planning obligation requiring a secondary school may jeopardise the regeneration of the area.”

Pardon us for saying, but doesn’t this earlier statement completely contradict their more recent and far more grandiose ambitions for the Gasworks site?

Black is white when it suits them, it seems, and two plus two is five.

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