Residents for Refurb
Fight for investment in social housing! Greenlight £2.4m community funding for neglected estate
Residentsforrefurb was set up to fight for investment in social housing. Our mission? To challenge Kensington and Chelsea council’s decision to deny landlord’s consent for £2.4m proposals to save the neglected heritage of Kensal House estate community rooms. Please join us in signing our petition .
We live in Kensal House estate amd work with supporters on and off the estate as part of this campaign. SPID Theatre manage the community rooms for the benefit of the community, and we share their dream to restore, expand and improve this run down space . After 15 years of fighting for investment in social housing, they had raised the unprecedented funding from the Mayor and the Lottery – with no contribution from the council. They even pledged their own reserves towards improvements for the whole of the estate.
The long neglected Grade II* listed building suffers chronic damp, mould and leaks so damaging they force residents into temporary accommodation. Having had the Tenants Management Organisation as our former landlord has taken its toll. SPID asked the council to invest at the same time by finally doing their statutory duty and bringing all of Kensal House up to standard. Instead, RBKC refused a timeline for fixing the estate’s leaks and vetoed the urgently needed refurbishment.
This means the community rooms will remain unsafe as its heritage continues to decline – with frequent leaks, ancient electrics, no disabled access, and blocked fire exits. Kensal House residents will no longer receive investment to spend on improving their neglected homes or on a communal benefit for the estate. There will be no additional space available when the hall is booked, and local people will be deprived of paid work placements, new jobs, and free business mentoring. Local youth will be deprived of free drama, heritage , sports, filmmaking and homework clubs.
The council have denied consent because of objections from other residents on the estate. But resistance to disabled access and to an extension for free youth activities were deemed unreasonable at planning committee. Permission was granted to alter the layout of the garden because no green space would be lost and the changes would make the community rooms both accessible and sustainable. The plans also have listed building consent, and support from Historic England – for plans which can not now be altered without losing funding.
If the council listened properly to North Kensington residents, they would have fixed the chronic leaks on the whole estate, consulted with the thousands of local residents who use the space each week, and granted consent for the urgently needed refurbishment. Please help us restore the dignity Kensal House community rooms deserves by finally giving this crumbling building and local young people a future.
By Kensal residents Joseph Rodrigues and Ivor Flint
The refurbishment of Kensal House community rooms was funded by the Mayor and the Lottery on condition that the communal space expand and include disabled access. The council have denied consent because of objections from residents on the estate. But planning permission was granted to alter the layout of the garden because no green space would be lost and the changes would make the community rooms both accessible and sustainable. The plans have listed building consent, and support from Historic England – for plans which it is now too late to alter. Unless landlord’s consent is awarded, they will have to turn down the offer of £2.4m investment to save the neglected space and scale up free activities.