Residents rail South Kensington Station redevelopment

Residents rail South Kensington Station redevelopment

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Residents are railing against proposals to build “modernist” offices and 50 flats as part of a wider redevelopment of South Kensington Station.

A joint venture between TfL and developer Native Land hopes to revamp the grade II-listed station’s platforms, ticket hall and arcade which millions of museum visitors pass through each year.

Plans submitted to Kensington and Chelsea Council also show a four-storey row of flats and shops could be built on a derelict strip of land along Pelham Street, a conservation area.

Dozens of the street’s residents, and others from nearby, argue the new scheme won’t suit the architecture of their Victorian and Georgian homes, and will create an “enclosed chasm”.

They have vowed to campaign to stop the development, which they say “doesn’t sympathise” with the feel of their neighbourhood.

Of the 50 new flats, 17 “affordable” properties would be built along Pelham Street, with the rest situated in Thurloe Street and Thurloe Square.

TfL has been in discussion with Kensington and Chelsea Council and local residents to redevelop the 152-year-old station since 2016.

At the centre of the development will be four storeys of amphitheatre-shaped offices that Native Land wishes to create above the station arcades.

Among the improvements to the Tube Station that are also promised with the scheme are:

  •       Reopening the derelict north-side platform
  •       lifts to the ticket hall and platforms
  •       Enlarging the staircase
  •       Replacing the canopy that hangs over the District and Circle Line platforms
  •       An additional station entrance on Thurloe Street which would require demolishing one of the existing shops
  •       Restoration of the arcades

Earlier this year, Native Land and architects Roger Stirk Harbour and Partners held a series of public consultation meetings where residents raised similar concerns, in the hope that Native Land might scale down the final proposals.

They say that out of 900 residents who took part, 56 per cent “agreed the proposals would improve and enhance the local area”.

Meanwhile, local Conservative councillor Greg Hammond said: “My initial reaction on scanning the application is disappointment. 

“The applicants appear not to have listened to what residents told them during the consultation phase, as they have responded only in the most superficial ways.”

Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Planning Committee is expected to make a decision on whether to approve the scheme later this year. Locals have until September 4 to write and object or express support for the planning application.

 

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