No prizes for guessing the outcome of yesterday’s Planning Committee. The Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre development was granted planning permission despite our last minute objections.
It is interesting to note that the Committee Report recorded 259 representations made to the planning authority during the final period of consultation, of which no fewer than 252 were letters of objection. As expected the Planning Committee ignored all objections in it’s rush to rubber-stamp the application.
An addendum report had been hurriedly prepared and tabled in reaction to late submissions from the Kensington Society and the Grenfell Action Group, in an attempt to gloss over some of the errors, inaccuracies and damned lies with which the planning application was riddled, and to which we had belatedly, and unsuccessfully, tried to draw the attention of the Committee.
One of these is particularly revealing and speaks volumes about the shambolic and incoherent nature of the planning application.
According to the Design & Access Statement in the initial application the total building footprint would be 11,326 sq metres.
This was then contradicted by one of the revision documents, which showed a total building footprint of only 9,931 sq metres.
This in turn was followed by a later revision stating a total building footprint of 10,008 sq metres.
The Committee Report, produced just a few days before the decision, then produced yet more figures, this time stating a total building footprint of 10666 sq metres.
At this stage we submitted our letter of objection, drawing the Committee’s attention to the glaring inconsistencies in these figures.
Finally, on the day of the decision, the Addendum to the Committee Report was produced, with yet another, supposedly final and authoritative figure, of 12,739 sq metres.
Please note, dear reader, that the discrepancy between the figure in the Committee Report and the figure in the last minute addendum is 2,073 sq metres.
We would suggest that the tendency throughout this series of documents veered towards reducing the estimates of the building footprints, up until the point at which we blew the whistle on what we perceived to be deliberate under-estimates of the footprints in order to facilitate over-estimates of the open space that would result, bearing in mind that the loss of open space and residential amenity was one of the most contentious, and most fiercely resisted, elements of the project from the perspective of the local community.
We smell a rat – Don’t you?
Question: How is it possible for Churchman’s Landscape Architects, a major professional consultancy company, to make such massive errors in measuring a few bits of ground?
Question: How could it be possible, and how could it be right and proper, for the Major Planning Development Committee of RBKC, when informed of this and many other glaring errors, inaccuracies and inconsistencies throughout the planning application documents, to ignore the objections, ignore the utter incompetence of the application, and approve the application regardless?
Please note, dear reader, that had we not warned the Chair of the MPDC, at the very last minute, that the building footprint measurements were completely wrong, the Committee would have approved the application anyway, wrong figures and all.
What does this say about the planning system in the Rotten Borough, and the corrupt, incompetent and arbitrary way in which major decisions are made throughout this Rotten Council?
This is an utter disgrace.
It stinks to high heaven.
WATCH THIS SPACE BECAUSE WE’RE NOT DONE YET.
Please read the full text of our letter of objection.
You will find it via this link; GAG OBJECTIONS