Kensington & ChelseaNews

Eight social homes set to be approved at disused site

By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter

A west London council is expected to approve eight “modern” affordable homes at a disused site in Notting Hill.

Kensington and Chelsea council said plans to replace 20 “poor quality” flats at Royston Court with eight modern homes at social rent, as well as installing a new medical centre and office space, was a welcome boost to the area.

The council is also expected to approve a two to three-storey extension and redevelopment of Newcombe House tower to make way for a new office block after deeming the current building no longer fit for purpose.

Developer Notting Hill Gate KCS Limited (KCS) is applying for permission to develop the land along 43-45 and 39-41 Notting Hill Gate and 161-237 Kensington Church Street after the previous permission lapsed in June.

The council said despite drawbacks regarding the design of façades and windows and locating the plant room on the roof, the development was “well considered, engaging, well detailed, highly functional and of an appropriate scale and massing, responding to the context and character of the local area”. 

It also hopes the medical space will be filled by the NHS, which said it needs to find £2.5m to fit out the space with medical equipment, according to the council report. The council also said it expects four one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom flats.

The report added: “Given the council’s failure of housing delivery, the relevant policies of the Development Plan are deemed to be out of date, and the tilted balance is engaged. This is a material consideration weighing in favour of granting planning permission”.

A similar plan had been refused by Kensington and Chelsea Council on two occasions since 2016 over height concerns and the lack of social rent housing but later overturned by the then secretary of state following a call-in in 2020, according to the council report. 

Kensington and Chelsea councillors are expected to decide the fate of the project when they meet on Thursday, January 18.

Pictured top: CGI of redeveloped Newcombe House tower (Picture: Andy Sturgeon Designs/RBKC)

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