Things have certainly been somewhat hectic Maha 20 11 12 006 pembroke square
over the last twelve months. On the one hand
there have been some excellent consultations by
the Planning Department which have been very
encouraging in many cases such as the developing
basement policies, the protection of public houses
and other A classes, and the development of
conservation and open space policies. On the
other hand the consultation about Involving
People in Planning still does not give us the
confidence that there is a real commitment to
engage with the public: involvement is being
confused with the mechanical process of
distributing information which is only one part of
it. We remain concerned that there are
inconsistencies in the application even of existing
policies, and also cases where the policies appear
to be blatently ignored.
There is still a lot to do and if you are interested
in helping please do contact me or Maha Sarkis,
our membership secretary.
For a start there is the review of our
Conservation Areas (page 2). Many thanks to
our Ward Councillors for the financial support
through the City Living Local Life initiative which,
as mentioned above, has allowed us to employ
the services of an architectural historian to guide
us through the study.
We are now developing our Local Business
Membership (page 7). This has sprung from a
belief that these organisations make a major
contribution to the quality of our environment
and that they are often placed under considerable

pressure due to the inflated residential property
values in our area. Help in recruiting members and
in developing our policies concerning this section
of our community would be welcomed.
The Mansion Block Group is growing and is
part of a developing interest in the role played by
mansion blocks in the character and appearance
of the heart of Kensington (page 7).
Keeping in touch is going to be easier for many
of us with the development of our website which
we hope to have up and running by the time of
the AGM For those who do
not want to provide an email address it will be a
means to keep up with recent developments and
provide us with your views. We will continue to
contact residents who do give us an email address
with more immediate information.


This year the Annual General Meeting will
be held on 21st May at
Leighton House, 18 Stafford Terrace.
Doors open at 6.30 for a 6.45 start.
The Annual Address will be by Deyan Sudjic
Director of the Design Museum
There will be drinks afterwards and an
opportunity to talk to the Committee

Barry Munday has been co-opted to serve on the
ESSA Committee to take an active role in the
updating of the conservation area. Barry is an
architect who has lived in Lexham Mews since
1999. He was Chairman of PRP Architects, one
of the UK’s largest practices, until he retired in
2007. Since then he has undertaken a
number of roles including Chairman of The
Housing Forum and of Design for Homes. He sits
on the Development Panel of the Octavia
Housing Association, an active developer of
affordable homes West London. He is a keen
supporter of Opera Holland Park and of Chelsea
Football Club. His wife, Jane, is an active
committee member and volunteer for the
Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital.

You may have read in the press that some
Councils have concerns that without up-to-date
planning policies they may be vulnerable to
presumption in favour of development, as
predicted in the National Planning Policy
Framework (NPPF) which was adopted a
year ago.
You should be pleased that our Council
produced the LDF which was adopted in 2010
and also implemented a series of workshops and
consultations which will lead to further updates
during the course of this year. ESSA has taken an
active role in this process, attending a number of
sessions and submitting comments on the
We consider that considerable progress has
been made in some areas such as better
protection for public houses and others within
the class A category, with improved basement
policies and general conservation and the
protection of open spaces.
On the other hand we are yet to be convinced
that the Council is listening concerning Involving
People in Planning. This is still much more about
them telling us rather than listening to us.

We are delighted that our efforts in making
representations to officers and the planning
committee in support of the Friends of Holland
Park have met with a considerable degree of
success and that the period for taking down and
clearing away the Opera has now been cut back
so that the area in front of Holland House will
be restored to public use a month earlier than
requested by the applicant. There is no loss of
performance time for the opera or related
activities so this is a win/win outcome. We
congratulate the councillors who, perhaps
prompted by our emails, cross-examined the
applicant in some detail about the sequence of
events. We are however concerned that the
first Officers’ Report did not acknowledge a key
policy, ie CR3 which seeks to minimise the loss of
public access to our open spaces, and that they
appear not to have considered it necessary to go
into the detail of the actual timescale required.