Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Celebrities Revolt at Flood of Homes in Chelsea Harbour

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Celebrities Revolt at Flood of Homes in Chelsea Harbour

Article excerpt


IT IS one of London's celebrity enclaves. For more than a decade, entertainers, sports stars and captains of industry have made their homes in upmarket Chelsea Harbour.

But now they are at the centre of an angry row over an attempt by the developers of London's biggest ever housing scheme to build hundreds of flats nearby without erecting the railway station that was promised.

Residents including Sir Michael Caine, Sally Burton, Tom Stoppard and Vestey heiress Julia Stephenson were perturbed in May when St George got planning permission for Imperial Wharf, a huge development of 1,665 homes as well as shops and offices at Sands End in Fulham.

As the site has no public transport and very congested roads, there was stiff opposition from locals who feared traffic chaos would be the inevitable result.

Hammersmith and Fulham council gave immediate authorisation for the first phase of 1,065 homes, with a legal requirement that the next phase could only go ahead "after a station has been built on the west London line".

However, two years on, with no progress having been made on providing the rail link, St George has applied to increase the number of flats in the first phase by 300 - effectively by piling them on top of blocks that received planning approval in Residents to the right of the planned flats (outlined) want a rail link first 2000. A spokesman for the council told the Evening Standard that St George had neither built a new railway station "nor presented a study showing that alternative public transport improvements could work".

Sir Ralph Halpern, who chairs the Chelsea Harbour Residents Association, said: "There is no transport hub within 10 minutes of Imperial Wharf and the much talked about railway station appears unlikely to be a reality for many years. Residents are entirely against the scheme being progressed in this way."

Sally Burton, widow of actor Richard, moved to Chelsea Harbour four years ago. She said: "It is very disappointing they want to go ahead without the railway. We realise there must be development in London and at Chelsea Harbour and we appreciate the need for more affordable housing but there is such a thing as saturation development. …

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