Portobello Road under threat: Only 1 day left to object

Residents, (including THINKers) and tourists alike love Portobello Road and its unique, historical, colourful and vibrant character. The market, antiques shops, and other independent small businesses there are part of the lifeblood of North Kensington.

But this is under threat as developers have plans to redevelop 3 shop fronts and disgracefully eject the antiques traders at 171-175 Portobello Road in favour of a super-size restaurant and bar. The Portobello Star pub – there since 1870 – will also be relocated to what is mostly a basement.

We are appalled by these plans – which will harm our valued antiques trade, detract from the independent nature of Portobello Road and its history as well as affect the local conservation area – these are big factors which attract tourists here.

Also the work will cause severe disruption to so many other local independent businesses as they are trying to recover after having to close for Covid-19 lockdown measures.

Some locals say this is an echo of what happened 10 years ago when the RBKC Planning Committee approved plans to eject the silver dealers from the corner of Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove round the corner in favour of redeveloping the site which was then occupied by large fashion chainstore All Saints. The shop has since closed.

THINK encourage all our readers who too share our concern for the future of Portobello Road, its history and character and care deeply about our local antiques businesses, to join us in objecting and commenting at the RBKC Planning website here:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/planning/searches/details.aspx#tabs-planning-5

We also think this is far too large a restaurant and bar premises for Portobello Road, it will also cause noise, nuisance and disturbance to nearby residents and likely take business away from our existing smaller pubs and restaurants. It is better suited for a larger high street, such as High Street Kensington where big restaurants and bars and chainstores are more commonplace.

On a separate but (not entirely unrelated) matter, we think that RBKC’s deadline – tomorrow, the 14th of May is completely inappropriate since it will be the Grenfell 3 years and 11 months Anniversary, and the minds of so many affected North Kensington residents will be on this. We are sending tbis post to Cllr Johnny Thalassites, RBKC Lead Member for Planning, Place and the Environment, and we ask him that the deadline is extended past this weekend to Monday the 17th of May instead.