The Kensington Society blog

The Kensington Society annual for 2019-2020 is here!

Although the Kensington Society AGM has been postponed until Covid-19 has been beaten (or at least severely wounded), the annual for 2019-2020 is ready and will be mailed to all members within the next few days.

When the library is closed: go digital!

Kensington's libraries may be closed because of Covid-19, but the online services available for those with a library card are still available, offering books, newspapers, magazines and music. And the Metropolitan Police have useful digital booklets about internet scams, while the NHS offers advice about how to stay sane when scared of viruses and being isolated. Your PC or mobile phone gives you access to it all!

RBKC: much is closed, but parks remain open (updated 04/04/2020)

Following the government's increasingly stricter Covid-19 rules, the council has now stopped almost all its activities, although parks continue to remain open for now, as do food stalls at the Portobello Road and Golborne Road markets and the three farmers markets.

No Kensington Magazine in the letterbox this month – but it’s available online

The April 2020 edition of the Kensington Magazine will not be distributed to the households, due to Covid-19 production problems, but it can be read online, containing important local Covid-19 related news.

The new rules: These shops may remain open

On Monday 24 March, new and stricter rules were imposed on individuals as well as shops, churches, councils and businesses. Basically, everyone who can should stay at home and not go out except to buy food, and most shops and other businesses must keep their premises closed. But there are many exceptions, and some of them can be surprising.

TfL: 40 tube stations closed, no night tube and free bikes for NHS

Transport for London has closed the night tube, 40 smaller tube stations and the special Waterloo & City Line, and announced that the tube trains will gradually run less frequently. TfL will also suspend the congestion and pollution charges from Monday, and give NHS staff free rental of bicycles for all trips under 30 minutes.

The RBKC council rejects TfL’s cycle lane plan

At the public meeting about TfL's bicycle lane plan for Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue, held in Kensington Town Hall on 13 June, three days before the public consultation ended, the council leader Elizabeth Campbell announced to the 600 attending residents that the council would reject the plan. This somewhat chocked the London mayor’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, as the council previously had said that it would be neutral about the plan until the result of the public consultation had been published.

Public meeting on 13 June about TfL’s cycle “highway” plan

The Kensington Society will be hosting a large public meeting in Kensington Town Hall's Great Hall at 6.30pm on Thursday 13 June, about Transport for London's plan to create a dual bicycle lane along the south side of Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue. Staff from TfL will be present to answer questions and listen to residents' concerns.

Update: Third public hearing about Newcombe House

Following housing secretary James Brokenshire's decision to call in the application for the third version of Newcombe House scheme on 14 March, the Planning Inspectorate has now announced that there will be a third public hearing about the planned development in Notting Hill Gate on 5-14 November 2019.

Major traffic changes to Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue

Transport for London (TfL) plans to totally refurbish Holland Park Avenue/Notting Hill Gate between the Holland Park Roundabout and Kensington Gardens, as part of a major plan to improve cycling, air quality and pedestrian road crossings between Notting Hill Gate and Imperial College on Wood Lane. The plans were published on 1 May, and there is an ongoing online public consultation until 16 June.

Sadiq Khan will decide the Kensington Forum plan

On 5 November, London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that he would call in the Kensington Forum Hotel (i.e. Holiday Inn on Cromwell Road) application after the RBKC planning committee had decided to refuse it on 27 September. A public hearing, followed by Khan's decision, is expected in the beginning of 2019.

Why we have backed Newcombe House

Ever since the first Newcombe House application in 2015, the Kensington Society and the Ladbroke Association have supported the project, in spite of the height. At the public hearing in City Hall on Tuesday 18 September, Peter Mishcon spoke on behalf of the two organisations and explained why.