Members may have seen from the national press that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, Tessa Jowell, is reputed to be considering a further attempt to 'de-list' the Commonwealth Institute as a precursor to its then almost inevitable demolition. It is said that the Trustees are seeking a Parliamentary Bill to effect the de-listing of this iconic building. This would be a most dangerous and devious precedent, which would seriously undermine the whole principle of listing and the future protection of all our important heritage buildings.
Many letters of objection have already been sent to the Culture Secretary, including one from the Friends, who drew attention to its description by experts as being "one of the two most important post-war buildings in London". In addition to objecting strongly to the undemocratic method of de-listing being proposed, we pointed out that demolition would almost certainly open the door to further high-density residential development towering over the Park, instead of the exciting and stylish backdrop created by the Commonwealth Institute, separating the Park from the noise and bustle of Kensington High Street.
If you also feel strongly about this, do please write to The Secretary of State, Department of Culture, Media & Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH. [Autumn 2006]
|Holland Park School||
We understand that a submission for planning permission will now be made in mid-September. The Royal Borough will be issuing a newsletter to coincide with this submission and plans of the proposed school and residential development will be available for viewing at the Council's planning department. The Friends expect to be invited to a meeting with the architects to view the plans and will subsequently decide whether or not to lodge a formal objection to the granting of planning consent. If you are concerned that either the proposed new school or the residential development to the south would be detrimental to the Park, please register your concerns with the Planning Department at the Town Hall.
|Telecommunications mast refused||
A recent planning application was for a 12.5 metre telecommunications mast and aerial to be erected in Abbotsbury Road adjacent to the Park fence, beside the Adventure Playground. The Friends objected, suggesting that the applicant should be encouraged to find a more suitable location where the mast would be less intrusive. The application was refused. [Autumn 2006]