Kensington MP joins local opposition to South Kensington Station redevelopment

Kensington MP joins local opposition to South Kensington Station redevelopment

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The company hoping to build flats and offices around South Kensington Station has hit back after the local MP took the side of residents who are campaigning against it.

Kensington MP Felicity Buchan said she is “joining local residents in opposing” the planning application submitted in June by a Joint Venture (JV) between TfL and Native Land.

It comes after TfL said it will have to “pause” much-needed capacity upgrades to the station platforms and ticket hall, which were part of a separate planning application from 2018.

The JV submitted a second planning application in June, which includes 50 flats along Pelham Street and Thurloe Street, as well as offices above shops outside the station, and a new step-free entrance from Thurloe Street.

More than 150 residents have submitted objections to Kensington and Chelsea Council about the JV’s planning application, the majority of them complaining about its size.

Ms Buchan, who was elected at last year’s general election, said: “This application is mostly about massive developments surrounding the station that would inflict significant harm on the conservation area and listed buildings that make South Kensington special.

“I am therefore joining local residents in opposing this planning application.”

In response, a spokesperson for the JV said: “The proposal… to sensitively repair and develop the buildings and land around South Kensington Station has always been a separate project to the Station Capacity Upgrade Works… 

“Overall our proposals, which follow extensive consultation with the local community and stakeholders, will deliver 50 new homes, of which 35 per cent will be affordable, the restoration of the historic station arcade to its former glory, new shops and high-quality offices.

“It will complete the delivery of step-free access to the Circle and District lines.

“These proposals will not be paused… The buildings across the scheme are all modest in size, reaching at their tallest ground plus four storeys. They are all of a similar scale or in some cases smaller to those in the surrounding streets and all have been designed to… complement the architecture from different historic eras in the area.”

TfL announced last month that it will “pause” its plans to upgrade the station, which included reviving its disused north-side platform, due to its ongoing financial problems.

However it is understood that the project could get back on track in October.

TfL has lost vast amounts of revenue due to the continuing fall in Londoners using public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government provided £1.6 billion in emergency funding, but TfL estimates it will need £3.2 billion to balance its books for the 2020/21 financial year. A new round of Government funding for the transport body will be announced in October.

 
 
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