Last Friday l put in my letter of objection to LBKC on the proposal of building a 24 hour casino on the lower grounds of the Holiday Inn behind Gloucester tube station along Cromwell Road, South Kensington.
After hearing local resident concerns late last year, l also put in some questions to the Mayor to find out where he stood on the issue but the response didn’t make things any clearer to me or to local residents.
Does the London Plan contain a specific policy which addresses proposals for casino development? The clear answer to this is that the Mayor’s London Plan does not include a specific policy for casinos
What London Plan policies are usually relevant during considerations of planning applications for casino development? Clearly some parts are relevant like entertainment uses; retail and related facilities & services but not directly.
Do any of the Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) documents include guidance which addresses proposals for casino development? The Town Centres SPG recognises casinos as a ‘main town centre use’ in line with the National Planning Policy Framework but clearly South Kensington is not a Town Centre but part of Central London so l am not sure how relevant that will be.
How many strategic planning applications which included a casino have you considered in your current term in office? You would think he’s had to deal with the issue but clearly not yet so far making how this particular application is handle very critical for London as it will set a precedent.
Now l hear the Mayor is doing a SPG for Central Area Zone (CAZ) and wonder if it will cover the issue. My question to him on this front will hopefully give him the opportunity to assist the borough and its residents for the rejection of the application, as its sure to be pushed very hard by the backers of the casino, Genting UK.
Whilst l await his response to this question, its quite clear he’s not ready to respond to the challenged posed by this mega 24 hour casino down on Cromwell Rd as his much lauded London Plan doesn’t contain a specific policy which addresses proposals for casino development. Furthermore anything he puts in place through SPG may well be too late in the day as the big business interests behind the 24 hour Las Vegas will have to be dealt with immediately. And anyway as we know this Mayor doesn’t really put up a fight against them at all. So its highly likely then that he’ll be letting down the good folk of Kensington & the borough in their battle against the proposal.