Do We Still Live In a Democracy?

Why has this potentially dangerous, possible nuclear state, been given kid-glove treatment by our council? Why is normal access to the public viewing these plans refused unless you take your passport to the Town Hall? Why the Strict Secrecy on details apparently imposed by the Foreign Office? Why was no time given for normal planning notices to be sent out? Why were so few invited to comment and given less than the statutory 21 days to reply? We must stop this invasion in South Kensington by formally writing and objecting and by signing the petition.

It will be serious threat to school children and to local residents

From previous experience of other unwanted ’emerging embassies’ in this beautiful boulevard, considered a ‘Preferred Embassy Zone’ by the FO and the Council, we know there will definitely be an increased police presence, frequent and noisy demonstrations and the more worrying evidence we know is present in many of these ‘diplomatic immune’ residencies. This site has already attracted several fires, protests and of course no one forgets the SAS siege at their current site at the top of the street in the late 80’s. There are five large schools and education centres surrounding this site, Glendower, Queen’s Gate School, Our Lady of Victories, The Lycee and MPW directly opposite – plus some smaller kindergartens and crèche’s. Over 900 children will be passing by this site every day. And many more tourists and school parties on their way to and from the museums.

It will seriously compromise our beautiful conservation area

The suggested design is totally out of keeping with the elegant street architecture of this famous street, with terraces dating back to the 1850’s and which will sit alongside a famous Butterworth designed Church. Originally, this site was a terraced hotel. It has never changed its use from this designation. It has never applied for diplomatic embassy status and was (until these plans were submitted) only to act as a cultural centre and the agreed plans then were to conform to the conservation constraints. Never an over sized glossy embassy structure in saffron yellow. We are told only three cars will be allowed in their underground car park with space for 200 cars? What will also be placed underground? The office area – again only to accommodate the ambassador and a small team is vast – but un-viewable – and we ask again why? What is all this ‘office space’ for?