The new apartments, almost finished
​In 2013, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea revealed to the public that it had decided to demolish the Young Street Car Park, the back of which overlooks Kensington Court. They planned to replace it with flats. It is true that the Car Park in Young Street was an eye-sore, quite out of character with the buildings that surrounded it. But it was well-used, being so close to Kensington High Street. However the Council said there were two other car parks nearby and they needed to generate some income. So they had signed a contract with Graingers plc to develop the site. All credit to Graingers, who then carried out an extensive consultation with planners and residents, and came up with a scheme to build a complex of 53 apartments of varying sizes, 36 of which were to be rented. In January 2014, the RBKC Planning Committee gave the go-ahead to the scheme. So for the last 5 years, Young Street has been the scene of a major project of demolition and construction.
hankfully, the massive project is now finished. The building is complete and the flats are now occupied. Unusually for projects of this kind, once the schedule was finalised, everything seems to have gone pretty much to plan. The main problem has been the traffic in Young Street. It has never been a traffic friendly street, what with deliveries to the stores in the Barkers building and cars waiting to pick up their rides from Associated Newspapers. So the addition of construction traffic made the situation even worse, despite the best efforts of the traffic marshals. At times it has been a nightmare. Members have complained of being stuck in their cars in Kensington Square for half an hour! Still, it’s now over and with the Heythrop development on hold at least for the moment we can breathe a sigh of relief.
Diggers at work on the site of the demolished car park, two years ago.
Nightmare on Young Street (for drivers!)