Community update & FAQs

Extensive consultation with the local community has been undertaken on our proposals, during 2019 and early 2020.

Feedback from our consultation in February showcasing the plans, which had over 900 attendees from the local community that live, work and study in South Kensington, included:

  • 60% welcomed the delivery of affordable homes through the proposals
  • 68% welcomed the restoration of Thurloe Street shopfronts
  • 57% agreed with the project team’s approach to designing the scale of the buildings
  • 56% agreed the proposals would improve and enhance the local area

A full summary of our community engagement and consultation programme can be found here.

The plans have now been submitted to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for approval.

 

 

Summary of public engagement activity

  • 3 public exhibitions (May 2019, July 2019, February 2020)
  • Over 900 people attended our final public exhibition in February 2020
  • 5 pop-up stalls at Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Imperial College London and the South Kensington Station subway
  • 6 meetings with resident associations and accessibility forums
  • 7 meetings with councillors
  • 7 meetings with cultural institutions
 
 

PROJECT MATERIALS

South Kensington Station
A Guide to our Planning Application
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South Kensington Station
Design and Access Statement
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South Kensington Station
Heritage Statement
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South Kensington Station
Planning Statement
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South Kensington Station
Statement of Community Involvement
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South Kensington Station
February 2020 Exhibition
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South Kensington Station
February 2020 Exhibition Boards
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South Kensington Station
February 2020 Heritage Restoration
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South Kensington Station
July 2019 Exhibition Boards
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South Kensington Station
July 2019 Additional Materials
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South Kensington Station
May 2019 Leaflet
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South Kensington Station
May 2019 Exhibition Boards
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FAQs

WHY ARE YOUR PROPOSING OFFICES AT THE BULLNOSE?

The proposed building at the Bullnose will provide new retail at the ground floor and three storeys of offices above. The small and bespoke nature of the office space may appeal to independent businesses and is important for the area’s local economy. Overall our scheme will support 250 new jobs and provide almost £1m additional business rate revenue per year

WHY ARE YOU PROPOSING RETAIL ON PELHAM STREET?

We are proposing a limited number of retail units at the station end of the street only. These are being designed to appeal to small and independent businesses rather than retailers that require large floor plates. The provision of a limited amount of retail floorspace on Pelham Street was also agreed with resident groups as part of our consultation.

WHY ARE YOU PROPOSING TO DEVELOP HOMES ON PELHAM STREET?

On Pelham Street we are proposing to develop 17 affordable homes on vacant land alongside the station. Historically, Pelham Street was a two-sided street with terraced shops on the station side that were demolished in the 1970s. The buildings we are proposing are all of a similar scale or smaller than those on the opposite side of the street and we will be creating insets to facilitate the movement of pedestrians. Our proposals will create a typical two-sided London terraced street in terms of scale – similar to many of those in the surrounding area – and will deliver much-needed affordable housing.

WILL YOUR DEVELOPMENT BLOCK ANY PROTECTED VIEWS?

No. The buildings across the scheme are all modest in size, reaching at their tallest ground plus four storeys. They are all of a similar scale or in some cases smaller to those in the surrounding streets. No protected view will be blocked as a result of our proposals. Referencing the scale of the development, the London Review Panel of Mayoral Design Advocates, part of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth By Design programme, commented: “[We] applaud the design team for finding, in a complex and diverse context, an appropriate scale and density throughout the proposals.”

ARE ANY LISTED BUILDINGS BEING DEMOLISHED?

No. All the listed buildings across the site are being are being retained and restored as part of our proposals. We will restore the Grade-II listed station arcade in its entirety, sensitively refurbishing the historic shopfronts to reflect the original designs from the early 20th century. The only element being altered is an existing wall to the rear of the Arcade – part of the original station – that is being opened up to connect the new Bullnose building with the arcade, improving accessibility through the arcade and into the station. On Thurloe Street we will restore the historic façade and create a high-quality residential building behind that will include 20 accessible homes designed to the very highest modern standards

WILL THE PAUSE TO TFL’S STATION CAPACITY UPGRADE WORKS IMPACT ON YOUR PLANS?

Our proposals to sensitively repair and develop the buildings and land around South Kensington Station has always been a separate project to Transport for London’s Station Capacity Upgrade Works, which were approved by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) in 2018. The Station Capacity Upgrade Works has been paused and is now being reviewed by TfL/LUL.

We continue to progress our planning application for the Around Station Development, which was submitted to RBKC in June. Overall our proposals, which follow extensive consultation with the local community and stakeholders, will deliver 50 new homes, of which 35% will be affordable, the restoration of the historic station arcade to its former glory, new shops, high-quality offices, and will complete the delivery of step-free access to the Circle & District lines.

Our proposals will not be paused and we are currently working through the detail of the complex phasing of the project to ensure the wide-ranging benefits of our scheme will be delivered. We remain fully  committed to delivering step-free access to the Circle & District line platforms as part of the development and, subject to planning permission, the development remains on track to start construction in 2023.

HOW WILL YOU MANAGE CONSTRUCTION AND TRAFFIC?

As part of the planning application, detailed construction and traffic management plans have been submitted for each building across the scheme.

WILL THERE BE PERIODS DURING CONSTRUCTION WHEN THE STATION IS CLOSED COMPLETELY?

The station will remain open throughout the construction programme.

HOW LONG WILL CONSTRUCTION TAKE?

We hope the scheme will be completed in early 2025.

WHEN DO YOU EXPECT TO START DEVELOPMENT?

We are developing our construction plan but are awaiting the outcome of the planning application. We hope for construction to start in early 2023.

WILL THERE BE MORE GREEN AND OPEN SPACE

Due to the constraints of the site the opportunities for landscaping and open space is very limited, but we will explore options with RBKC to enhance the Cromwell Place public plaza to the south of the station. This could involve a mixture of hard and soft landscaping to improve the public realm. The proposed buildings also feature green and blue roofing systems, which are aimed at improving biodiversity and enabling the slow release of rain water.

HOW MUCH MORE VISITOR TRAFFIC WILL THIS GENERATE?

TfL is undertaking transport studies to determine any impact on visitor numbers.

WILL THERE BE CAR PARKING PROVIDED IN THE DEVELOPMENT?

The development does not include additional car parking, although there will be cycle parking.

WILL YOU BE IMPROVING THE SUBWAY TUNNEL?

The subway tunnel, which is owned by TfL, is not part of our development or future ownership, but we are nonetheless exploring opportunities to improve the tunnel experience.

HAS NATIVE LAND DELIVERED A PROJECT OF THIS SCALE AND COMPLEXITY BEFORE?

Yes. Native Land has been delivering residential and mixed-use developments with a focus on quality and place for more than fifteen years. The highly capable senior team has delivered more than 550 private apartments, 185 affordable homes, 40,000 sq ft of commercial space and significant public realm improvements, including in Kensington and Westminster. Native Land is currently bringing forward a major mixed-use scheme called Bankside Yards, next to Blackfriars Bridge on the Thames, which will create a new cultural, commercial, retail and residential neighbourhood by the riverside.

HOW WILL YOU ENSURE THE QUALITY OF THE RETAIL OVER THE LONG TERM?

The commercial and retail space will be held and managed for the long term by Native Land and TfL. Both are committed to ensuring the quality of the development and its occupiers is maintained to the highest standards for the long term.

WHAT TYPE OF RETAIL OPERATORS WILL YOU HAVE?

The enhanced retail and food and beverage spaces across the scheme have small floor plates and may appeal to independent businesses rather than retailers that require large floor plates. We expect there will be a range of retailers to meet needs of local people and visitors, which are of a type and quality that is in keeping with this important location. Over the long term the commercial and retail space will be held and managed by Native Land and TfL. Both are committed to ensuring the quality of the development and its occupiers is maintained to the highest standards and that the retails offer provides a considered mix of tenants.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THE STATION ARCADE?

Our proposals will restore and enhance the station’s Grade-II listed Arcade in its entirety to create an arrival experience befitting London's world-renowned museum and cultural quarter.Many of the retail spaces within the Arcade have been altered over the years without due regard to their heritage. Our sensitive refurbishment will restore the shop frontages to be in keeping with their historic style, while also ensuring the long-term integrity of the Arcade. We have appointed heritage specialist Julian Harrap Architects to work on the restoration of the Arcade, as well as other heritage aspects of the proposals.

WHY CAN’T YOU KEEP THE BUILDING BEHIND THE THURLOE STREET FAÇADE?

The Thurloe Street building is not listed, nevertheless the façade and the historic shopfronts are valuable heritage assets. Therefore we are proposing to retain and restore the façade and sensitively restore historic shop fronts in the style of the historic designs and provide a new entrance to the station with a lift, completing the delivery of step-free access.

However, the building behind the façade is unfit for modern day residential use, with inadequate stairways and irregular floor levels and doesn’t adhere to current building regulations. So we are proposing to create a high-quality residential building that will include 20 accessible homes designed to the very highest modern standards.

WHY ARE YOU PROPOSING MODERN ARCHITECTURE RATHER THAN RECREATING THE HISTORICAL STYLES OF THE SURROUNDING STREETS?

Our proposals will provide contemporary architecture of the highest quality that respects its unique historical context, with an approach aimed at complementing the existing architecture without imitating it. The area is characterised by the introduction of successive contemporary styles over time.

Each intervention is of its time but sits comfortably in the surrounding context, being of similar scale, using similar materials, and having a form which ties together the neighbouring architecture. We aim to continue this architectural tradition of the area, creating buildings of their time which respect history, rather than blur it with imitation. 

We have consulted extensively on our proposals and listened carefully to feedback and believe this is a considered scheme that responds sensitively to its context. This includes having extensive meetings with the Design and Conservation Officer within the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.The designs were also submitted to two independent design panels to ensure they are in-keeping with the local area, both of which endorsed the scheme

DOES THE ARCHITECT ON THE SCHEME HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE OF HERITAGE DEVELOPMENT?

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has considerable experience of major transport infrastructure projects. However, the architect for the station improvements, which are part of a separate scheme, is Weston Williamson + Partners, one of the UK's leading transport architects. RSH+P will work very closely with Weston Williamson to ensure the step free access and new retail units tie in well to the new station. Historic building specialist Julian Harrap Architects is also working on the heritage elements of the scheme, including the restoration of the station arcade.

DOES THE ARCHITECT HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE OF STATION DESIGN?

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has extensive experience of transport infrastructure projects. The architect for the station improvements is Weston Williamson + Partners, with whom RSH+P will work very closely, to ensure the step free access and new retail units tie in well to the new station.

HOW DO YOUR PROPOSALS FIT WITH THE STATION IMPROVEMENT PLANS THAT HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED PLANNING APPROVAL?

Our proposals are for the development of the station buildings and the properties and land around the station. They are designed to complement the proposals designed by architect Weston Williamson + Partners and led by TfL that will provide improvements to the ticket hall and platforms of South Kensington Station. These plans already have planning permission, but our proposals will obtain the necessary planning consent to reconfigure the ground floor of Thurloe Street in order to provide a new entrance for the lift that will facilitate step-free access.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO UNDERTAKE THIS DEVELOPMENT TO DELIVER STEP-FREE ACCESS?

Transport for London requires the revenue from the development to enable the investment in step-free access. Our proposals also aim to obtain the necessary planning consent to reconfigure the ground floor of Thurloe Street in order to enable the much-needed step-free access.

WHAT WILL THE STEP-FREE ACCESS INVOLVE?

Our proposals will obtain the planning permission to provide a new station entrance on Thurloe Street with a lift, providing step free access to the ticket hall and completing the delivery of step-free access to the Circle & District line platforms. As well as providing better accessibility into the subway from the station, this will improve access for wheelchair users, parents with buggies and other passengers with restricted mobility.

HOW WILL YOU ENSURE THE NEW HOUSING IS AFFORDABLE?

As part of the planning application we are committing to provide 35% of the homes as affordable housing. These will be intermediate tenure homes, such as affordable rent or shared ownership.

WHO WILL MANAGE THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING?

Native Land will partner with a Registered Social Landlord, to be confirmed in due course.

WHY DOES THERE NEED TO BE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON SITE?

We believe the provision of affordable housing in London is vitally important. The local authority is keen to see the provision of affordable homes on-site and we are working with them closely to ensure our proposals deliver on this important policy objective.

WHAT TYPE OF AFFORDABLE HOMES WILL THERE BE?

35% of the homes provided will be affordable and these will be provided as intermediate tenures, such as affordable rent or shared ownership.

WHY ARE YOU NOT PROPOSING MORE HOMES OR WORKSPACE?

We have been working very closely to understand the local context and the opportunity for development around the station. We are seeking to strike the right balance between realising the potential of the site to create new homes, workspace and retail, while respecting the local heritage context.

HOW MANY HOMES ARE YOU PROVIDING?

We are providing 50 high quality homes, of which 35% will be on site affordable housing.

WHAT BENEFITS WILL THE DEVELOPMENT PROVIDE?

Our proposals, are aimed at sensitively repairing and enhancing through development the buildings and land at South Kensington Tube station. Providing 50 new homes, including 35% affordable, as well as new retail, improving the overall arrival experience with the new buildings and street environment that we are creating, and completing the delivery of step-free access to the Circle & District Line.

Our scheme will also sensitively restore the historic station arcade in its entriety, providing new curated retail in the Arcade, as well as at the ground floor of the Bullnose building and on Thurloe Street and at the station end of Pelham Street.

The scheme will create a renewed sense of arrival for the around 34 million visitors and residents per year to the station and an improved pedestrian experience around the station.

The proposals will support 250 new jobs and provide almost £1m additional business rate revenue per year.

HOW TALL ARE THE BUILDINGS?

The buildings across the scheme are all modest, proportionate and appropriate, reaching at their tallest ground plus four storeys. They are all of a similar scale or in some cases smaller to those in the surrounding streets and all have been designed to sensitively respond to their context and complement the architecture from different historic eras in the area.

The Mayor of London defines tall buildings as “buildings that are significantly taller than their surroundings and/or have a significant impact on the skyline”. RBKC’s policy on building heights states that “tall buildings are 1½ times or more the height of their context”. None of the buildings we are proposing meet either of these definitions. The proposed Bullnose building is taller than the existing Bullnose but is lower than the surrounding buildings and the local context. Our proposed development therefore by any relevant definition does not include ‘tall buildings’.

We have consulted extensively on our proposals, including with RBKC, local residents and other key stakeholders, and have listened carefully to feedback on our plans and believe this is a considered scheme that responds sensitively to its context. The designs were also submitted to two independent design panels to ensure they are in-keeping with the local area, both of which endorsed the scheme. 

Referencing the scale of the development, the London Review Panel of Mayoral Design Advocates, part of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth By Design programme, commented: “[We] applaud the design team for finding, in a complex and diverse context, an appropriate scale and density throughout the proposals.”

WHAT CONSULTATION HAVE YOU UNDERTAKEN SO FAR?

We have undertaken a lengthy and comprehensive consultation programme, including three public exhibitions between May 2019 and February 2020. We have met with key stakeholders, including resident groups, cultural institutions and local representatives. We have also held pop-up information stands in the area and at local institutions such as Imperial College London. Our proposals have evolved to take into account the feedback we have received over the consultation period. We will be continuing engagement as the planning process continues. Full details on our community engagement and consultation programme are available here.

WHAT STAGE ARE YOU AT IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?

We submitted our planning application to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in June 2020.