PLANS APPROVED FOR KENSINGTON FORUM

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Deputy London mayor Jules Pipe has given the redevelopment plans a green light

What - Plans approved for the redevelopment of Kensington Forum Hotel Why - Convoluted process had seen the application in front of the London mayor’s office twice What next - Queensgate has worked up a £300m redevelopment

Plans for a £300m redevelopment of Kensington Forum Hotel, the largest Holiday Inn in Europe, have finally been approved.

Deputy London mayor Jules Pipe gave planning consent to the scheme at a public hearing yesterday, noting the redevelopment plans were of a high quality and factored in improved public space.

The decision, coming despite some concerted opposite from the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, represents the latest twist in a convoluted planning process.

Proposed by owner Jason Kow’s Queensgate Investments and developer Rockwell, the planning application was originally rejected by Kensington & Chelsea Council in 2018, before being called in and overturned by mayor Sadiq Khan in 2019.

A judicial review was subsequently held into his decision, which judged Khan had not followed due process which led to the scheme coming back to the mayor’s office for a second time.

Jason Kow, founder and CEO of Queensgate Investments LLP commented: “Kensington Forum is an extraordinary scheme of exceptional quality, which will benefit both London and Londoners. The benefits of this redevelopment are substantial, and the new world-class hotel will establish a new benchmark for visitor accommodation in the capital that will doubtless become a landmark for the city.”

Donal Mulryan, founder of Rockwell added: “We pride ourselves on the delivery of genuinely transformative schemes and Kensington Forum is further testament to that. Not only will this be one of the highest-quality buildings in the country, but redevelopment of the Kensington Forum will deliver a 300% increase in employment, 100% genuinely affordable Social Rented homes and a new public garden square. This development will benefit those who live, work and visit London for years to come.”

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Queensgate had instructed Savills and Eastdil Secured to explore sale options for the site. That process was ultimately paused due to the pandemic.