Core strategy: Putting the neighbourhood first
The Royal Borough is famous for its
diverse range of social, cultural, business and retail activities, all of which
make it one of the most desirable residential areas of London in which to live.
While this popularity brings with it its own set of challenges, the Council is keen
to ensure that the borough continues to flourish. In an attempt to shape the way
the borough evolves over the next 20 years the Council has drafted The Core Strategy,
a document that sets out the future development of the borough.
It looks ahead to 2028 and identifies where the main developments will take place
and how places within the borough will change – or be protected from change
– over that period.
While the Core Strategy is very consciously a plan for all of Kensington and Chelsea,
it does seek to reduce the disparity between the north and south of the borough.
RBKC Direct has covered the Council's plans for North Kensington in previous issues
including the case for a new school and the Council's support for a Crossrail Station
Central to the Core Strategy is the Council's aim to build a better city life. To
do this the Council needs the right planning policies.
The Council is seeking to:
- ensure that demand for residential development in the borough does not result in
fewer shops, offices, community and social facilities.
- make it easier to travel around the borough without using a car and improve public
travel networks in the north of the borough.
- protect the borough's historic building and renowned streetscapes and parks and
ensure the new buildings will be valued by future generations.
- provide housing at the right prices and address the social housing needs in the
- reduce the carbon footprint of the borough.
- reduce the disparity between the north and south of the borough by increasing opportunities
in North Kensington.
As well as stimulating regeneration in North Kensington, the strategy looks at how
to enhance the reputation of the borough's national and international destinations
such as Knightsbridge, Portobello Road, South Kensington, King's Road, Kensington
High Street and Earl's Court by supporting and encouraging retail and cultural activities.
Further along Kensington High Street, the redevelopment of the Commonwealth Institute
site will help attract more visitors to the area and maintain the vitality of Kensington
High Street, which is facing competition from other retail centres such as Westfield.
It wants to ensure that in 2028 King's Road will still be seen as an iconic shopping
street and not just as a successful shopping area.
One of the ways of achieving this will be to require new large-scale retail developments
that take place near the King's Road/Sloane Square Centre to provide for small and
affordable shop units by way of Section 106 agreements.
The Earl's Court area will change significantly. Warwick Road will undergo a major
transformation that will potentially result in 1,600 new homes in the area, as well
as accompanying community facilities.
The redevelopment of Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, due to close after the 2012
Olympics, will provide an opportunity to bridge the divide with Hammersmith and
Fulham caused by the West London Line, but the Council is also keen for Earl's Court
to retain its reputation as a national, if not international, cultural destination.
The redesign of Exhibition Road will enhance the area's reputation as one of the
country's internationally-renowned cultural destinations. Kensington and Chelsea
Council is keen to build on its historic successes and create the right balance
for life in the borough in 2028.
It is concerned, though, that the price of land for residential development in the
borough, coupled with a highly desirable living environment, could lead to the slow
homogenisation of the area.
The Core Strategy seeks to ensure that there is a place in the borough for the small
shops, galleries and community facilities that bring such vitality to the area,
but the Council is not all powerful when it comes to local planning matters.
However much it might like to prevent antiques shops closing and being replaced
by clothes shops, it simply does not have the power to prevent this.
The document is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by the Council, its
partners and, importantly, the residents who have participated in its preparation.
To read it in detail visit http://ldf-consult.rbkc.gov.uk/portal