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Plans for £1bn Kensington Forum redevelopment approved

Plans to redevelop the Kensington Forum hotel have been greenlit by the Deputy Mayor of London, Jules Pipe, and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The site is already the largest Holiday Inn in Europe, hosting over 900 rooms. 

However, the new development will include a 1,100-room hotel, multiple restaurants and bars, a health spa, and conference facilities. 

Rockwell, a property developer who is working on the project alongside Queensgate Investments, said in a statement: “Designed by world-renowned architects, SimpsonHaugh, the new scheme will replace the existing 906-room hotel with an exceptional high-quality development providing outstanding visitor accommodation.

“Despite the hospitality sector facing unprecedented challenges, this ambitious £1bn scheme, which is set to become one of London’s largest hotels, is perfectly placed to come forward as part of the capital’s recovery.”

Rockwell added that the site will aid “the creation of over 800 employment opportunities”, with over £1m being invested into “training initiatives to ensure jobs are created for the most in need”.

The proposals, which were originally rejected by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in September 2018, also include a 2,700 sq m garden-square and 62 affordable homes.

Johnny Thalassites, lead member for planning at Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “London’s Deputy Mayor has stated that he will approve a monstrous redevelopment of The Kensington Forum Hotel, subject to referral to the Secretary of State. This means that yet again the Mayor and his team have failed to listen to Kensington.

“Our residents have genuine concerns about the plans, which will cause harm to our unique borough, particularly to nearby listed buildings and conservation areas. We want new developments and crucially more affordable housing. However, this development offers limited affordable housing as an excuse to justify a massive hotel. We will continue to resist this inappropriate scheme on behalf of our residents.”

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