Gillespie Robertson addresses Seriously Narked Residents and other anonymous posters.....
.......It would be appreciated if you would either publish some sort of evidence which would give the slightest credence to any claims of duplicity on our part, or else realise that such claims are entirely wrong. They are in fact wrong both in the motives attributed to our campaign and in the publication and repetition of unfounded rumour and incorrect hearsay. When you do realise this, we would be genuinely delighted if you would join us, and if you would kindly accept that our motives and actions are honest and honourable.
Any of those of us on stage on June 2nd. (and, to the best of our knowledge, most and probably all of our group’s supporters) who might in the past have expressed any kind of support for a station “further west than the Fire Station site” did so in the honest belief that many residents further west both needed and wanted better public transport. Residents living near the Fire Station are within a short walk of both South Kensington and Sloane Square tube stations and are very well served already by multiple bus routes as well. Over the past year or two we have gradually, through Freedom of Information requests and through TfL’s own published material, appreciated how massive and intrusive and generally damaging a Crossrail mass-transit station, and all that this implies in terms of surrounding development, would be, anywhere in Chelsea. That fuller understanding of the implications is surely now shared by residents in both “east” and “west” Chelsea. The latter have our absolute sympathy, especially residents concerned about their homes being torn down.
We never have promoted and certainly would not now promote any site at all further west in Chelsea than the Fire Station site, let alone one involving demolition of existing homes. It was RBK&C, not residents, who initially floated the concept of a site further west, and then said clearly this was their preference. It was TfL at RBK&C’s suggestion and with RBK&C’s support who indicated they were considering a site on or near Cremorne Estate, NOT ourselves. We protested at RBK&C’s last-minute change of preference NOT because we were promoting a station anywhere at all, but because of the effect which RBKC’s change of position had on the responses to their own consultation. It was, as the LWN article stated,RBKC’s consultation which we criticised as fundamentally flawed. Their consultation in turn resulted in the results of the TfL consultation being effectively flawed too , in the sense that they gave a very misleading impression of residents’ true views. Anyone reading the full report on the TfL consultation on their website can clearly see the pattern of “tactical” voting, driven fundamentally, we believe, by fear both in SW10 and in SW3 of the negative effects of having a Crossrail station on one or the other of the flip-flopping Council’s “preferred” sites.
We are NOT talking to our MP, nor to anyone else, about other sites in Chelsea. We have however supported the idea that a site in Battersea, not in Chelsea, would save massive amounts of public money compared with diversion of the Crossrail2 line through Chelsea, and could also provide a much-needed public transport boost to all the new development around the Battersea Power Station.
NO CROSSRAIL2 IN CHELSEA.