The EARL’S COURT SOCIETY
Chairman’s Report 2016-17
On 17th March 2016 the previous ECS AGM was attended by about 70 members and guests, presided over by Sir Ron de Witt, in the unfortunate absence of Baroness Hanham, still unwell. Our MP Victoria Borwick was guest speaker.
On 25 Oct I applied for to speak against the most recent planning application for the EC CapCo site which sought to discharge a condition relating to w/e and night-work prior to lifting the portal beams. I wrote to planning officers to state that I would continue to object to each and every Conditions application, asking for all to go to Committee until I had secured some compromise, or complete ban, on Saturday morning noisy working. This would bring EC into line with current RBKC Policy – which only applies to completely new applications.
At the subsequent ECS Neighbours Group, the EHOs confirmed that this objective of a compromise solution has been achieved by means of a new s61 Notice on work methods, which will virtually preclude any noisy work at night (outside normal hours) and on Saturday mornings, as well as the remainder of the week-end. Although this sounds almost exactly what we wished to achieve we will have to monitor this very carefully.
Ward Councillors and I continue to meet with the RBKC Public Safety Officers and MPS together with social support hostels managers etc to monitor the EC ASB Action Plan.
Although both Nick and Friederike have been affected by health related problems, we have all tried to support them in keeping the Planning Group functioning. We have now agreed to combine the Planning Group with Licensing so that both matters can be dealt with in a timely manner and Linda has booked 1A for the year ahead for monthly meetings.
Following a visit to the south Health Hub (based in Flood St), which mirrors the north Hub at St Charles Hospital, I have asked Adult Social Care and Health and the CCG to look at a third Hub for the centre of the borough to be based at Earl’s Court (eg ECH&W Centre).
As ward Councillors, Linda and I attended Victoria Borwick’s surgery at the Nucleus advice centre, and the Big Clean-up of Cromwell Road spring cleaning.
There have been meetings with RBKC Highways regarding road layouts, and a walkabout meeting with TfL to look at the ECOWS. I am working closely with London Underground and RBKC on several greening initiatives.
The CapCo-sponsored Christmas lights had a successful turn-on again in early December. Many local businesses also sponsored the Community Carol Service, attended by the Mayor. Many of us attended the ECCT Film Festival sponsored by CapCo.
Many of us were able to attend the CapCo public consultations on Lillie Square and the Exhibition Garden Square plans.
Finally we enjoyed a lovely ECS Christmas Party with our President Baroness Hanham of Kensington, and MP Victoria Borwick. About 80 members attended and enjoyed a Brass Ensemble playing seasonal music. Food and drinks were also sponsored by Urbanista, CapCo and TLC. Special thanks to all organisers, helpers, hosts and admin go to Deborah, Chrissie, Monique, Peter, Margaret, Hilary, Jennifer W, Neil, Julia, Len, Andrew, Jennifer R, Andrea, John W, John GJ, Philippa, Sandra, Ken and Chris. Finally not least, our thanks to Fr. Paul for donating the Church as a venue free of charge as a Christmas present to the Earl’s Court Society.
The Society has been represented by me at the following events
ECS Planning Group (8), ECS Neighbours Group (6), ECS Business Group (3), ECS HHWE (2).
ECS Membership and events (2), ECS HTT walkabout (1),
The following issues are live and ongoing at present:
We have canvassed Carola Hickling (PG) and Jose Florido (NSq) to join the ECS Executive Council as Garden Square reps. We need details for Barkston Gardens and possibly Bramham Gardens
We now have established active RAs and chairmen for Penywern Road RA, and Warwick Road RA, but still need a Barkston Gardens RA.
The Mayor’s Charity is the K&C Foundation. I have asked them to look at funding EC projects.
EC DEVELOPMENT SITE
At the ECS Neighbours’ Group we have requested a copy of the DUST REPORT, but apparently this is still being written up at Oxford University, collated from reports by two independent specialists. We did obtain written confirmation that the dust is not harmful to human health and contains no asbestos.
We submitted major Noise, vibration and Dust paper to CapCo/Keltbray and as a result extra Vibration and Noise monitoring was agreed for Philbeach and Eardley, for four weeks with four monitors in six houses in each. INVC issued a major report of noise and vibration findings.
We held a meeting with RBKC EHOs to help with s61 notices for the next 18-months work, including night operations. We spoke at the Planning Applications Committee which approved this as part of Condition 22.
The flagship building WV03 has been granted full detailed planning permission. This building needs a name – should we suggest something suitable ? Also there needs to be some form of covered space for cultural events and exhibitions
The Farmers’ Market, which we lobbied for successfully, was opened on 15 May for a 14 week trial period. Planning permission for a permanent Market has been applied for. There were a few objections but many supporters (some wrongly labelled as objections). The Market managers have co-operated with us and the resdients in making a few changes to the layout.
Several Queen’s 90th Birthday Tea Parties have been held, variously at St Cuthbert’s, EC Square, Nevern Sq and RBKC Town Hall.
The PRA AGM was held in June with 70 attending, with a presentation by URBANISTA about their development plans for Cluny Mews, which were very widely supported. There have been four presentations to various local groups and interested parties.
I also attended ECRA AGM, ECSq RA AGM, Barkston Gardens AGM, ECVRA AGM and just missed NSq AGM The An Nisa group party was supported by our CLLL funding and I will try to obtain feedback about how targets will be met by other means.
I have held several meeting with Council and TfL Environmental Officers about greening projects in the area. All are now well advanced and should soon appear in Warwick Road (station entrance), the Penywern Road triangle, and on the station platforms. We continue to support the campaign by residents to get the noise abatement achieved with station announcements. I have held two meetings with TfL, London Underground and the station manager about these issues.
I am trying to get the brown TfL Paladin bins removed from these key sites, and am working with residents to have reductions and movement of others.
On the 3 Aug there was a Paladins blue bins trail walkabout (Eardley, Kempsford and Penywern) Generally very well received (with a couple of small adjustments to positioning).
We held a second RA and residents walkabout in February to adjust the siting of the RBKC blue Paladin bins with Officers.
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID).
Having obtained support from the Leader, the deputy Leader and others, I am now well advanced in our ECS campaign for an Earl’s Court BID. I have held several meetings with Cabinet members, the deputy Chief Executive, and several Officers in the RBKC Economic Development Unit.
Following several meetings with CapCo and MetroBank, on 6th April we held a ECS Business Group meeting to relaunch and introduce the idea of an Earl’s Court BID. 120 key businesses invited and about 15 attended along with Council and GLA Officers The next stage was a large seminar on BIDs hosted by the K&C Chamber of Commerce at the Town Hall on 7th June. This was attended by over 80 businesses
Following approaches by major local companies, and the success of our initial ECS Business Group meeting on 6th April, I then arranged with the K&C Chamber of Commerce to hold a borough-wide BIDs seminar at the Town Hall (Council Chamber) followed by a Mayor’s reception. Some 85 businesses attended on 7th June, and all were fully supportive. Key speakers were Nabil Khan (GLA), Ruth Dutson (PRIMERA) and Patricia Bench (CEO HAMMERSMITH BID)
Subsequently, Deborah Cleary, Sam Lever and I attended a follow-up meeting with PRIMERA consultants about progressing to the next stage of forming an Earl’s Court BID Partnership Company.
We are hoping that RBKC will be able to fund the pump-priming costs needed for this. CAPCO and RBKC have now completed the wide-ranging business survey and we will hold a meeting soon to discuss the findings.
PLANNING & LICENSING
We continue to support residents in their campaign against the new restaurant at the Kings Head pub, and attended the Licensing Hearing with objectors. Residents won the planning application for brightly-lit signs which were refused in Kenway Road next to people’s bedrooms.
We also attended an RBKC and NHS conference on ‘Support Needs in Earl’s Court’ where I was surprised to learn that the various agencies all seem to believe that we need more extreme support -needs social housing locally. I tried to explain our situation with over 50% of the borough’s units already, and that our real need is for affordable Intermediate housing for working families. We do not see EC as a concentration area for more and more social units from other parts of RBKC (cf Tournament pub).
WASTE and ILLEGAL REFUSE DUMPING
Paladin bins have been placed in Eardley, Kempsford and Penywern – often in the wrong places – for a three month trial period. Councillors are divided about their usefulness - one against; one accepting a limited experiment; and one requesting more bins.
I have formed a view that much illegal waste dumping is done by very short stay AIRBNB visitors who after a two or three night stay, are dumping their plastic bags of refuse on their way back home via the tube station or on the way to the airport. This is why it is difficult to obtain evidence of address.
“A” boards have been successful, as has mobile CCTV for catching and fining offenders.
SHORT-TERM HOLIDAY LETTING (eg AIRBNB)
PLANNING APPLICATIONS COMMITTEE Tuesday 19th April.
Dear Chairman and Planning Applications Committee members
This is little foretaste of what thousands of Earl's Court residents will suffer at night for up to 2.5 years if you allow it. See especially 1 minute, 3.5 minutes and 5 minutes
You are the only and final democratic part the process, which can represent us, and after your decision, all else is decided in private between Officers and Contractors. The Residents do not get a look in.
You are the only representative body which can ask for a review, and imposition of tighter conditions. This Application is to discharge the details of Condition 22:
These matters are not fully addressed in the report before you, and the s61 agreement has yet to be agreed or re-negotiated.
We do not understand how the Application could be granted without sight of the s61 agreement on environment measures and trigger exceedence levels, in the report before you.
The report at 6.20 merely says "the document considers that the final document includes appropriate mitigation measures and monitoring which would ensure that any impacts of noise and vibration as a result of the development would be minimised"
These measures are not specified and "minimised" is not a scientific measure capable of proper public scrutiny or capable of accurate monitoring and implementation.
The EHO report says that the Application is "unsatisfactory" as regards contaminated land.
We urge you to defer decision on discharging Condition 22 until:
We beseech the Planning Application Committee to impose additional conditions on night-time working:
The Officers' report says at 6.2 "the decisive issue is whether the measures contained in the document are sufficient to ensure there would be no unacceptable adverse impacts on the occupants of the surrounding properties"
We think you should know that we are already suffering adverse impacts of day-time working and therefore that if thousands of residents should suffer night-time impacts, for 2.5 years, is unacceptable and not sufficiently addressed by the DWMP2, and the new s61, which is not yet available, especially since the current s61 is not sufficiently robust for day-time working.
The EARL’S COURT SOCIETY
RBKC Gold Standard
The EARL’S COURT SOCIETY CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2015-16
Since the previous AGM on 19th March 2015, there have been 10 meetings of the Planning Group, chaired by Nicholas Woollven, 5 meetings of the Neighbours Group chaired by Ken Courtenay, 12 meeting of the Health, Housing & Welfare Group chaired by Linda Wade, 2 meetings of the Transport, Traffic and Highways Group chaired by Mark Balaam, 3 meetings of the Business Group chaired by Jamie Coronna, 3 meetings of the Police Safer Neighbourhoods Group, and 4 meetings of the Executive Council. Chris David took over as Treasurer from Hilary Temple, and Chris has now agreed to act as temporary Hon. Secretary until we can find a replacement for Jennifer Ware, who is stepping down.
On a sad note, we remember much loved members of our community Gary Jones and Professor Sue Malcolm, whom we lost last year.
We are very grateful for hosting our meetings to AL QATTAN FOUNDATION, MARRIOTT HOTEL, GEORGE HOTEL. ATLAS PUB, CAPCO PROJECT ROOMS, GALLERY 286, IA NEVERN PLACE ARTS HUB, EC HEALTH & WELL-BEING CENTRE, ST CUTHBERT’S CHURCH, METROBANK, and to the TROUBADOUR and INCREDIBLYFED for catering so well.
In May we held a walkabout session with Cllr Tim Coleridge (Cabinet Member for Planning), Mr Siddiqi (Executive Director of Highways) and Mark Handley (London Farmers Markets) hoping to set up an Earl’s Court Farmers’ Market, which could inherit ten to twenty stalls from the closure Notting Hall Gate. We considered several sites (Hogarth Road, Kenway Road, EC Gardens, Old Brompton Road and St. Cuthbert’s School). We are hoping that Jamie Coronna and Samantha Lever will now take this forward within the Court Community Business Forum.
We also have to thank Jamie and Sam for organising the magnificent Christmas lights in Earl’s Court Road, supported by your Ward Councillors CLLL Funds and with generous sponsorship from CapCo, whom we hereby thank.
The major issues we have tackled this last year have been:
We experienced a very distressing spate of ASB over the summer months. Ward Councillors, Police, SN and Public Safety teams held several local and Town hall meetings. The agreed action plans resulted in several outcomes: Permanent extra Community Police, PSOs on individuals, arrests of individuals for ASB, several drugs raids and arrests of major west London drug crime gangs.
RUBBISH DUMPING and CARDING
The EC Project resulted in 1,582 iIlegal waste-dumps investigated, and 1,227 prostitute cards removed, thanks to RBKC Public Realm group chaired by Cllr Aouane. There were also thousands of cards subsequently removed and major drug arrests due to initiatives by Cllr Gardner (Public Safety).
All ward Councillors together with Public Realm Scrutiny chairman Cllr Rossi and Council Officers held a series of meetings with senior PO management at the Town Hall, resulting the Council organising a large Public Meeting at St Cuthbert’s church, chaired by Cllr Rossi. We did not succeed in stopping the closure, since the PO seem intent on closing themselves down regardless of pubic need or opinion. Most of their services are actually well provided-for by shops (Mailboxes, Rymans and Tesco) or Banks or Bureaux de Change. Help is available from the Town Hall or CAB for other matters like benefits etc.
EC SITE DEMOLITION
In response to the widespread dust problem, the Neighbours Group, who meet with Keltbray contractors and CapCo on a regular basis, asked for additional chemical analysis of the dust to reassure residents. The EHO’s assure us it is over PM10 size and therefore not a danger to Public Health, but we are asking for further scientific analysis.
Noise and vibration has become worse in recent months and we are also asking if residents would like additional monitoring points and instruments. We need you to report any additional problems experienced as they happen so we can build up a log of incidents.
The Planning application for the use of the NAR was approved, which means that some residents in Philbeach Gardens may experience more lorry movements, but the rest of EC will experience fewer.
Several well-known and long –established retail businesses, shops, restaurants and hotels have recently closed, changed ownership or are undergoing renovation. This may be a positive sign of new investment in better services, but we need to monitor and influence the way our high street is changing, for the better. We do not want down-market innovations, and so we are now planning for a Business Improvement District (BID) if we can get enough businesses to support the idea.
Key issues have been: The Casino application in Ashburn Gardens, where we saw a new RA set up, and a victory for the residents in blocking the new Casino. The NAR, as above, and the modified DTMP. The TESCO site, which is due for renewal after three-year expiry and problems with social housing provision. The Warwick Road Council Estate which is to be redeveloped. The Tournament Pub which is up for three-year renewal of its application to build 10 social housing units. A major new application from CapCo with details of some of the key blocks, as approved in outline, are expected during the forthcoming year.
The Borough’s CLP (Consolidated Local Plan) has been out for consultation, and we responded on Chapter 10 Earl’s Court as a Place, and Chapter 26 the Earl’s Court development site, where our prime concern is the nature of the Cultural Venue, and its resulting future effects on footfall, business and the local economy.
We fought hard to stop BESTONE next to the station entrance from having a 24-hour alcohol sales licence, or a second application for 5.00 am. We retained the present midnight hour. We also won to keep the status quo for the EC Tavern next to EC village.
On a happier note, over the last year, members have enjoyed a wealth of cultural and social activities including
•Much Ado About Nothing in Barkston Gardens
•Planting classes at Mary Smith, Inkerman house, 26-56 Warwick Road and the triangle site.
•Consultation on the now delayed Cromwell Road replanting scheme.
•Sibyl Thorndike plant sale and forthcoming nursery greenhouses launch at Olympia.
•Jazz evenings at Barkston Gardens and Philbeach Gardens by TLC.
•EC Square annual Tea party, annual BBQ, and Christmas Tree lighting.
•St Cuthbert’s Community Carols.
•Sharon Robinson’s wonderful series of musical evenings at St Cuthberts.
•The ECS Christmas Party Reception at GALLERY 286 with His Worship the Mayor and 70 members.
Earl's Court Society © 2013