TACHBROOK WARD ACTION REPORT – October 2017
NEWS FROM THE LABOUR ACTION TEAM IN TACHBROOK WARD
We are supporting residents who are opposed to Westbrook’s redevelopment proposals for Dolphin Square.
- The scheme proposes the complete demolition of Rodney House, the whole block on the northern side of the square, which comprises the Dolphin House apartment hotel, a number of residential flats, the residents’ shopping arcade. the letting offices, the hotel reception, the Westbrook first floor management offices, the swimming pool and associated gym complex with squash courts etc and the whole of the Spanish garden at the rear.
- Westbrook proposes to replace the Rodney House building with a huge new block which is much deeper and three stories higher. In addition, the shopping arcade will be replaced with shops opening out to Chichester Street.
- Westbrook intend to replace the Rodney House block with serviced apartments rather than residential apartments and operate them as a new apartment hotel.
- There are no plans for more affordable housing, despite the scale of the proposals and the increased commercial content.
- Another part of the plan is to add an additional floor to all of the remaining buildings in Dolphin Square, which will lead to an over-scaling of the height in relation to the surrounding buildings of the conservation area.
Dolphin Square sits on a seven-acre site and comprises a total of 1,200 apartments occupying a built area of around 1 million square feet. Of these apartments, roughly 200 are held under protected tenancies. Around 100 apartments form part of the apartment hotel, called Dolphin House, within Rodney House. The building was the largest apartment complex in Europe when it was built in 1937. It is still the biggest single apartment complex in the UK.
Call for halt to further Metropolitan Police cuts
We have launched a petition calling on the Government to halt its cuts in the Metropolitan Police budget immediately. Further police cuts will make it more difficult for the police to keep neighbourhoods in Westminster safe and secure, as well as dealing with the increase in everyday violence and the constant terrorist threat.
The petition to the Government says:
“Halt the cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget. Having lost £600 million in real terms over the past 7 years, the Metropolitan Police face a further £400 million cut over the next 4 years. 70 per cent of all police spending in London comes from the Home Office, meaning that any change in that funding has a disproportionate effect.”
You can sign the petition here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543
Tackling polluted air – Mayor introduces the T-charge
The Mayor of London has introduced the Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) in central London to tackle London’s polluted air. Research shows that polluted air contributes to approximately 9,400 premature deaths a year in London and costs the health service between £1.4 and £3.7 billion.
The T-Charge is a £10 supplement on the Congestion Charge for vehicles that do not meet certain environmental standards. The Mayor has set the standard at Euro 4 for both petrol and diesel vehicles, and applies to vehicles registered from 1 January 2006. The charge applies during the operational hours of the Congestion Charge Zone, Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm.
There is a 90% discount for residents living in the Congestion Zone area, a 100% discount for blue badge holders and exemptions for emergency service vehicles and motorbikes. You can see the full details of the T-charge online https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/emissions-surcharge
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg
Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson
Westminster City Council
TACHBROOK WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – September 2017
We are supporting residents who are opposing Westbrook’s development plans at Dolphin Square. Residents say:
“Westbrook Partners bought the remaining lease of Dolphin Square in 2005. This lease runs until 2034 and Westbrook have now obtained the freehold. They have been holding meetings of up to 40 tenants at a time. They plan to demolish the whole of the north facade and add two storeys to each of the houses, depriving the courtyard gardens of sunlight. After questioning at the meeting we discovered that they also intend to dig down deep into the basement in order to relocate the offices which are at present in the north block, formerly Rodney House, plus relocating below the ground the restaurant, the sports centre and the swimming pool. This would also destroy the structure of the award winning gardens which are preserved much as they were designed in the 1930s. The Spanish Garden would be demolished as it is over the restaurant which it is planned to move underground. In addition, they conceded that they also plan a building for the croquet lawn on the riverside of Grosvenor Road. We also discovered that they plan to build mews houses on the west driveway.”