Posh Square Saved

By Londonist Last edited 141 months ago
Posh Square Saved

The Save Sloane Square campaign has apparently Saved Sloane Square.

Backed by Knightsbridge celebrities, the campaigners opposed plans by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to turn the area into a busy crossroads. Despite the uber-posh location outside the often jammed tube station, the square itself is a forgotten place, lonely and stranded by traffic.

The council wanted to replace the square with two public spaces that would extend the pavement areas. However, campaigners pointed out some key problems: the lack of a pedestrian crossing at the crossroads, which would effectively cut the area in half; the damage that would be done to the grade 2 listed surroundings; and increased traffic levels for residents. K&C vehemently denied these claims, but they unfortunately used a mixture of out-of-date traffic models that didn't add up when combined, just adding fuel to the opposition's fire.

It's obvious they had little chance when faced with the likes of Rupert Everett, Sue Lawley and Bryan Ferry in opposition, although perhaps Ferry would have been happier if the traffic were replaced with torchlit parades.

Now, it looks like a different design – from consultancy firm Atkins and championed by local residents - will be picked up instead. This will see the square restored with improved pedestrian access through raised granite road crossings, more trees, and the current historic position of landmarks retained.

There's no date yet for the council moving ahead with the project, but unless they want to face the wrath of thousands of local residents who even threatened to form a political party to get rid of the incumbents at the next election, they don't have much choice but to plump for something that resembles the Atkins scheme.

James Newman

Last Updated 25 April 2007