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Simpson's palace plans approved - but 'twee' loggia blocked

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Plans by John Simpson & Partners’ to build a ‘twee’ loggia as part of the £12 million redesign of Kensington Palace Gardens have been vetoed by the local planning committee

However the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) did grant conditional planning permission for Simpson’s wider proposals for the overhaul of Kensington Palace Gardens. The loggia, designed by the classical architect, cannot be built under the terms of the consent issued at last night’s committee meeting (26 August).

The controversial proposals, which also included enclosing an internal courtyard and the reconfiguration, had been recommended for refusal by council officers. The plans, in particular the loggia, had also come in for criticism from Daniel Moylan, the Conservative party Deputy Leader of RBKC. He described the propsed new loggia on the eastern elevation of the palace as ‘decoratively overelaborate and almost embarassingly twee’. He had also said: ‘Although designed by a leading architect, one could easily imagine its being replicated one day in a garden furniture catalogue.’

Anti-monarchy group Republic took the opportunity to lay into the Prince’s Foundation again - this time criticising the foundation for commenting on the planning application. The group has repeatedly accused the Prince’s built environment charity of trying to influence the democratic planning process.

But Hank Dittmar, chief executive of the foundation, fired off a robust response to the claims.He said: ‘Several other charities including the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings have commented on this application as well. To single out the Prince’s Foundation is tantamount to harassment.’

Discussion of the proposal at the planning committee lasted for several hours and was attended by news reader Trevor McDonald, a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces.

A spokesperson for RBKC said: ‘The “loggia” element was deleted from the current application because it was considered detrimental to the building’.



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