For those residents, and there were quite a lot of you, that supported our campaign to ensure Queen’s Gate remains the beautiful street that we all want to retain – I am assured by those in the know that the Iranian’s will not be pursuing their application to change the face of South Kensington by the inclusion of their proposed build of a massive embassy and cultural centre.
It was, from its very odd beginning, the strangest of planning applications, with the Council seeming to rush the proposal through with almost no notification and as usual, in those summer holiday months. Thanks to some very astute nearby neihbours the plans had to proceed with the normal protocols which the council did attend to. Despite the fact that this massive building was to house just 5 – 6 embassy staff and the cultural centre hardly large enough to accommodate 25 people – the rest of the build remained shrouded in secrecy. Anyone wishing to view had to take their passport with them and then 85% could not be viewed.
Over the past 16 months since the application – South Kensington & Queen’s Gate Residents Association has managed to get the profile of the proposed build onto most major quality national newspapers and also the supportive tabloids. With the help of a very active sub-committee, many of whom have school children or students (over 4,000) in close proximity of the site at the corner of Harrington Road & Queen’s Gate we managed to secure the help of Dr Chris Miele, Montagu Evans Planning Consultants who have steered the whole counter-attack brilliantly on our behalf.
Obviously, the whole subject of a diplomatic presence of the Republic of Iran came into question soon after the Iranians attacked our embassy and staff in Tehran – and we now presume that this will not be high on their agenda for at least the next ten to twelve years whilst the diplomats sort out the problems surrounding this political mess.
Meanwhile , we at SK&QGRA can concentrate on other pressing matters like the new proposal (or not) at South Kensington Underground Station.