Those who care about beautiful Holland Park need read the below with care.
At last, the council admits Opera Holland Park is an unwelcome and unsightly intrusion.
This should be the moment when interested and adjoining RA's combine their voices in commenting on the proposals.
Royal Borough looking at options to improve Holland Park
The Council recently appointed architects Robin Snell and Partners and landscape architects Camlin Lonsdale to draft proposals which will enhance the historic aspect of park and reduce the impact of temporary marquees which each year are erected to service the Opera.
I am writing to let you know that users of Holland Park, Friends groups and the local community will be asked to give their views on the proposal options when the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea begins a consultation process in the summer.
· Refocus on the historic buildings and provide a more appropriate setting for the Grade 1 listed Holland House, including a hard landscape scheme for the Terrace.
· Move the existing service road which runs adjacent to the café to improve safety.
· Consider how the temporary accommodation for Opera Holland Park can be re-designed to be more aesthetically in keeping, and more efficient.
· Improve toilets in the park and the Stable Yard changing rooms.
Currently much of the support services for Opera Holland Park are provided from marquees which take considerable time to erect and dismantle meaning parts of the park area out of bounds to park users for significant periods of time. In addition, the marquees are deemed to be unsightly and not in keeping with the historic nature of the buildings in the park. The architects have been asked to design a more attractive, efficient and cost-effective solution which will benefit the park and its users as well as the Opera. The cost of the proposals will be met from the grant funding already provided for Opera Holland Park when it became a separate independent trust in 2015.
The service road needs to be realigned in order to minimise the risk to café users from vehicles servicing the Opera or other areas of the park. This will include moving the external café seating area so that it is adjacent to the café, rather than separate as it is currently.
Robin Snell and Partners have a track record of sensitive design in parkland settings, have developed the theatre and support buildings for Garsington Opera on the Wormsley Estate in Oxfordshire.
Camlin Lonsdale has extensive experience of designing landscape schemes to complement listed buildings. Schemes include the recently completed Chichester Festival Theatre (Grade 2*), as well a major landscaping scheme for the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park.
Holland Park is the jewel in the crown of our parks, and we are proud of it, like everything it needs rejuvenating from time to time. I am pleased that, as part of our latest Parks Strategy, we are exploring improvements that can be made while retaining the essential character of the park.
Proposals are likely to be ready for consultation after the beginning of June. I look forward to hearing resident’s and visitor’s views on the proposals.
If you have any queries please contact Edward Sakyiama via email at