Kensington & ChelseaNews

New ice rink in London to open in time for Christmas expected to see 10,000 visitors a day

By Ruby Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

A gigantic ice rink is coming to Kensington Palace Gardens this Christmas.

Last night, Kensington and Chelsea council’s planning committee approved the plans, which will see a temporary ice rink pop up in the Perks Field area and will open from November 30 until January 7, 2024.

As well as the ice rink, Londoners can enjoy other attractions including a carousel and a swing ride while food and drink stalls will also be situated nearby.

Up to 750 people will be able to skate on the 2,800sqm ice rink at a time, which will be available to the public from 9.30am until 9.30pm.

According to council documents, the Christmas fair could draw in as many as 10,350 visitors per day with hourly sessions for skating so people can come and go during the day with staggered arrival times.

Councillor Josh Rendall, lead member for local economy and employment called the plans “brilliant” and said he hopes local businesses will benefit from the crowds of people visiting the Christmas fair.

He said: “It’s brilliant to have another amazing space in our borough with this new winter ice rink back for everyone to enjoy.

“My hope is that this will be a real boon for local business in the lead up to Christmas and the festive season.”

During the public consultation, the plans received seven objections, with one resident warning it was a “major safety disaster waiting to happen”.

They told the council: “The issue is access to Perks Field by large numbers of people.

“It is a major safety disaster waiting to happen – and this problem has not been properly addressed and will inevitably result in injuries or worse.”

Another objection was received by the French Embassy, which said “-due to its proximity and the significant volume of people it would attract”, the ice rink would create a “serious security risk” and “nuisance” to the French Ambassador’s residence.

However cllr James Husband, chair of the planning committee, said extra conditions had been added “to ensure the safety and security of members of the Royal family and Diplomats living nearby”.

The plans were approved with a condition that a fence, measuring three metres high, will be put in place to separate the Christmas fair from nearby embassies.

(Picture: Mircea Iancu/Stockvault)

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