Lancaster West residents should take note, and be warned, that as part of the consultation on the Local Plan Partial Review (Issues and Options) the Council are holding a consultation event at;
The Harrow Club on Thursday 28th January, from 6pm to 8pm.
This may be the only chance we get to question the Council and express our feelings concerns and opinions about the plans they have, and which they are currently seeking to restate and reinforce, for what appears to be a ‘scorched earth’ regeneration of North Kensington generally, and the Latimer area in particular. Although it would seem unlikely that the proposed restoration of the pre-sixties streetscape illustrated in blue in the graphic above could or would be completed exactly as illustrated, nonetheless the Council is certainly intent on implementing a version of this plan and has repeated this and recommended it at every opportunity and in every version of the strategic planning documents for North Kensington which they have published in recent years. There is little doubt, therefore, that their intention is, and always has been, the largescale demolition of the social housing estates in the affected areas which would obstruct the streetscape restoration envisaged by them.
The ‘Issues and Options’ paper is 319 pages long and the public have, as usual, been allowed only a limited time to study and respond to it. Indeed one has to wonder how, given the length of these consultation drafts and their complicated internal structure, the average resident can be expected to find the time and energy to deconstruct them and then identify and make sense of whatever relevant local detail can somehow be uncovered. We believe it would be reasonable to conclude that these documents were deliberatyely and cynically designed, not for transparency, but to be opaque and impenetrable.
This particular document contains the text below which is evidence of a very real threat to the Council’s social housing estates in the Latimer area – including both the Silchester Estate and Lancaster West Estate;
Some of our estates date from the 60s and 70s and exhibit all the faults of that
far from golden era of public architecture. A few of them are coming to the end of
their lives. Redevelopment could give our tenants better-quality homes, while all residents could benefit from the restoration of traditional street patterns, new shops and other infrastructure, as well as from a dramatically more attractive public realm.
It should be possible to transform the conditions in which many of our existing
tenants live. The difference between a social home built as part of a 1960s estate
and one built today in a street-front property integrated into the wider
neighbourhood really is that dramatic.
Latimer will have been rebuilt, in a phased way, to a new street pattern, guaranteeing all existing tenants the opportunity of a new home as well as creating capacity for new
residents to move to the area. It will be a place that focuses on the provision of high-quality services through excellent architecture and urban design.
This last passage is a direct quote from the Latimer Masterplan of 2009 and is an expression of the Council’s intention to radically regenerate this entire area over the next 10-15 years ( ie 15-20 years from the date of the Masterplan’s publication in 2009).
We believe there is little doubt that the Council fully intends to realise the aspirations clearly stated above, as they were in all previous iterations of the Local Plan and in the current so-called consultation document, regardless of any objections or criticisms arising from the resident populations who will be most impacted, or any other individual or body who disagrees with their utterly ruthless approach to the so-called regeneration of the borough’s social housing estates.
Read more here about the Council’s intentions for the Silchester Estate and a swathe of nearby areas around the margins of Lancaster West;