Kensington & ChelseaNews

Green light for ‘modern homes’ and office block in Notting Hill

By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter

A west London council has backed plans to replace poor quality housing in Notting Hill with eight ‘modern’ affordable homes.

Kensington and Chelsea councillors voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the scheme, which will see Newcombe House Tower and flats along Kensington Church Street turned into ‘high quality housing’, office space and a medical surgery.

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 was later overturned by the then secretary of state in 2020, according to the council report.

The latest application will now go to the Mayor of London’s office for final approval partly because the new building’s height would be more than 30 metres – a rule that applies outside the City of London.

Some residents told councillors during the meeting they feared the development would ruin the area’s characteristics and history, which they claim attracts visitors.

A representative for Hillgate Village Residents’ Association said homes would be ‘dominated’ by a new Newcombe House Tower, which is expected to be two to three storeys higher than it currently is. The resident said: “It is not only an unsatisfactory proposal, but a missed opportunity for a landmark building in this location.”

But the applicant’s architect, Henry Squire, said the development would be a ‘complimentary and sensitive’ backdrop for residents.

He said: “This proposal draws to an end, hopefully, more than a decade of planning with a high quality proposal. It retains as much of the existing structure as possible and will be an exemplar building when it comes to sustainability and carbon emissions.”

Pictured top: How the new tower block would look (Picture: Andy Sturgeon Designs)

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