Stephen Bayley is a leading UK leading design authority.
When someone of his stature lends his muscle to a campaign supported by in excess of a thousand residents we should heed him....
What has so angered residents of Chelsea and beyond?
According to the Dame's impeccable sources RBK&C's Planning Committee has behaved in a quite disreputable and discreditable way.
Well known Chelsea hairdresser Heinz Schumi has run his salon at 18, Britton Street for twenty years.
|A LOCAL CHELSEA BUSINESS GOING|
It has two tenants on the upper floor on an unprotected let-and Mr Schumi, on the ground and basement floors.
A local and longstanding resident, Michael O'Brien described to the Dame what made the little business so special....
"It is a wonderful meeting place in the character of old Chelsea. There are the hairdressers' own paintings on show, together with those of some of his clientele. There is even a piano which anyone with any talent is welcome to play."
Another, David Cameron's aunt, Lady Dugdale, is quoted in the Independent.....
"I'm very upset by the treatment Heinz is getting, he has become a good friend. Whenever I go up to London I have my hair done there. He and I always talk about painting, which we both do a little. He always had an easel up in his salon, and we had fun talking. He'd cross the road to help anyone. But it's not just that he offers a good, straightforward haircut. It's a very social place, a real part of the community. It's very unfair at a time when we should be helping small businesses. The council are entitled not to give planning permission if it will have an impact on the character of an individual area, and this certainly will do that. It's terrible what the developers are doing."
The Inde goes on... "Schumi's hairdressing salon in Chelsea's Britten Street faces closure next month, because the landlord has been granted permission to alter the building. Now, customers including Jilly Cooper, Stephen Bayley and Jenny Agutter, are calling for the council to repeal the permission. Austrian-born Heinz Schumi opened his first salon in 1973, and tended to high-profile barnets belonging to Diana Ross, Julie Christie and members of The Who."
Having bought the freehold our 'offshore investor' sought to enhance the value of his 'punt': he applied for planning permission to alter the ground floor.....
Now RBK&C is a council which pretends to support small business so no surprise to find in this case they have done all they can to destroy Mr Schumi's business.
Not one member of the Planning Committee had the common courtesy to carry out a site visit: not quite true....one councillor did come to look.
Mr O'Brian said, “ It is extraordinary that it took a Labour Councillor, Bob Mingay, to lend support and vote against the application.”
We need to know why no ward councillors got involved in assisting Mr Schumi.
So now the Freeholder has been granted permission to make a staircase to the basement in the only small area of the salon suitable for client seating:this, despite over a thousand letters, emails and Petition signatories all violently opposing the changes.
Mr Schumi will now have to close if permission is not revoked and another feature of old Chelsea will be lost forever.
The Council has now enabled our Middle Eastern investor(who doubtless does not live in the Borough) to serve a Section 25 Notice on Mr.Schumi telling him to quit the premises.
So, in just two years, the owner will have forced out a local business and made himself £3 million in the process.
The Planning Committee have made a very serious error of judgment: they need to issue a Revocation-which they are legally entitled to do-without payment of compensation. There is a great mystery to this which The Dame needs to investigate......more info needed please.