Ballymore/Sainsburys planning application at Kensal Canalside

These proposals for a major development at the Kensal Canalside Opportunity Area were submitted to Kensington and Chelsea Council in October 2023. The public consultation period advertised by the Council runs until January 12th 2024.

The application will remain ‘under consideration’ by the Council for many further months and possibly until late in 2024. There remain issues to be resolved with the applicants. The Council needs its Draft New Local Plan to be adopted and in force before deciding the application, if it wishes to avoid potential policy conflicts with the current 2019 Local Plan.

There will be a further stage of public consultation on ‘Major Modifications’ to the New Draft Local Plan, before this updated version can be adopted,

Meanwhile several hundred responses have been submitted on the Ballymore/Sainsburys application. Many are very brief comments supporting the proposals on the basis that Kensington needs to see more homes being built. The applicants have used two PR firms to collect such responses from shoppers at the existing Sainsburys store, and from door-knocking in the surrounding area.

Responses from local community organisations and amenity groups in the area, and from many individual residents, object to the application. Objections relate to the high housing density of the proposals, the insufficient public open space, building heights up to 29 storeys, and the impact on traffic in Ladbroke Grove. The housing numbers involved (at 2,516 units on this part of Opportunity Area) are near double what the Council envisaged back when it consulted on options in 2012.

Previous ‘development capacities’ for this site assumed a new Crossrail/Elizabeth Line station at the heart of this development. The Council and the developers have now accepted that there is no prospect of this happening, within the 2022-2042 period of the New Local Plan. Levels of access to public transport will remain low for a site in inner London. Ladbroke Grove will be the nearest Underground station, a 16 minute walk from the new development.

For these and other reasons, the StQW Forum and St Helens Residents Association are submitting an objection to this application. A final draft of our objection letter is below. This will be submitted on January 12th subject to any last minute edits or additions.