Traders and residents of Portobello are rallying support to fight an appeal to allow seven-day trading at the Admiral Vernon Arcade.
As reported in ATG No 1988, on April 19 Kensington and Chelsea
Council's planning committee unanimously rejected the application
by Holland Park Investments Ltd for permission to bring seven-day
trading to the basement of the arcade. Councillors reinforced
conditions established in 1995, which made the protection of local
residents' peace and amenities a priority.
Antiques dealers, who spend much of the week sourcing goods
around the country for sale in the arcade on Saturdays, believe
that permission for seven-day trading would see them squeezed out
in favour of other traders who would be prepared to open all
They fear this would create a precedent that would spread to the
rest of Portobello, sounding the death knell for the antiques trade
So they were delighted when councillors decided to ignore
planning officers' recommendation for permission to be granted for
the basement to be used throughout the week and threw out the
application on the basis that lifting the restrictions would remove
the protection for residents.
However, the landlords believe they have grounds for appeal as
the council's Director of Environmental Services has argued that
residents would be unlikely to suffer as a result.
Existing restrictions on when deliveries and loading can take
place would remain in place and the records show that there have
been no complaints about noise.
The ground floor of Admiral Vernon, where there are no such
restrictions on trading, would be more likely to have an effect on
neighbouring residents than trading in the basement, yet there is
no evidence that it has done so, the Director argued, concluding
that: "The condition prevents the efficient and effective use of
the building for its permitted use and serves no reasonable
The appeal document reinforces this argument by referring to
Circular 11/95, which stipulates that "conditions should only be
imposed where they are necessary, reasonable, enforceable, precise
and relevant to planning".
There has been some difficulty gaining access to the appeal
documents online, but the council have helpfully supplied the
following link, which does work:
Anyone who wishes to comment on the appeal may do so by writing
to The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay
House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN to arrive by July 28. Please
send three copies marked with the PINS Reference:
Please do not send letters to Kensington and Chelsea
By Ivan Macquisten