Planning 2012

Defend our Park - a call to arms! Opera Holland Park has applied for planning permission to leave their huge canopy in place all the year round. Until now they have had restricted consent to erect the canopy between 31st March and 31st October ‘to ensure sufficient periods for this heritage asset to be enjoyed without the interruption from the theatre...and in recognition of the open character of the Park and the setting of the Listed Building’.

The Friends of Holland Park’s committee is appalled that after all their work over 13 years to have the House properly conserved and the public given access to the terrace in front of it, this focal point of Holland Park might now be permanently shrouded and screened by this enormous canopy. During the winter period access to the tranquil, terraced area is much appreciated and enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. It is very right and proper that this Grade 1 Listed

with all its historical connections and Building with all its historical connections and importance should continue to be accessible and fully visible. This is the only time in the year when the House can be fully seen without all the trappings of the opera.

A single-page flyer has been produced explaining why the proposal is so deeply flawed and why it should not be given planning approval. Click here to see it. If you agree, please write or email the RBKC Planning Department with your objection and help to promote this campaign by forwarding the flyer to your friends and neighbours, asking them to voice their objections. Public consultation on the planning application, reference number PP/12/04854, ends on 11th January so please do it today!

Ironically, we had been about to ask for a reduction in the overall time the canopy is in place. It is quite unnecessary for it to be there for seven months a year when operatic performances only take place within a two-month period in the summer!

Please act now if you wish to protect your park - and we must always remember it is just that - a precious public park, not a permanent auditorium for two months of opera. Much as we may enjoy the occasional visit to the opera, local residents, regular park users and visitors should always come first.

[December 2012]