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Step-Free Scam?

Developers are telling residents that their application will bring step-free access to South Kensington Station, but the reality is:

Step free access does not require HUGE office buildings, retail space for chain restaurants and luxury housing! 

Step free access does not require irreparable damage to the Conservation Area.

Will these plans add street-to-platform step-free access? 



At the moment TfL is only committing to add step-free access from the street to the ticket hall.

So who will build access to the platforms?

Circle & District: NO ONE!

Piccadilly: NO ONE!

TFL has suspended their plans to add step-free access to the District & Circle line platforms.

So what is the scam?

Developers know that residents don't want huge new buildings that blight our neighbourhood and are trying to make us think it's an all-or-nothing choice with step-free access!

We residents support full step-free access for the station, but we won't let the developers, Native Land, manipulate us into accepting over-sized, out-of-character developments on public land for their profit. TfL may have temporarily paused step-free access to use it as a bargaining tool. We will not fall for the tactic!

Around Tube Station Development

The TFL/Native Land application has been amended and re-submitted to RBKC.

At present, we do no view these changes as significant and are not asking campaigns to take any further action.

You can view the amendments here:




Transport for London and Qatari-backed developer Native Land (NL) have submitted a planning application for the South Kensington tube station and the local area.

Residents support step-free access and an improved ticket hall, but these don’t require development on such a massive scale.

This is a private commercial venture which would over-develop the station, the neighbourhood, and the surrounding streets.

We are local residents, small independent businesses and residents associations campaigning for development that meets the needs of all who visit, work and live in South Ken.

The application disregards the views of residents, expressed in the 2016 plan previously agreed with TfL, which TfL/NL have now discarded without consultation. 

​The mass and scale of this over-development puts South Kensington’s cultural and historical heritage at risk.

It ignores the village atmosphere of RBKC’s oldest conservation area, and would be catastrophic for our unique independent local businesses.

Join our campaign to stop this development and put local consensus back at the heart of changes to our community.

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The historic terrace will be largely demolished and rebuilt with an additional floor. An extended basement will be dug to facilitate the future introduction of large chain stores which could extend across the ground floor and new basement level, in place of current small independent shops.



There has been no building here since the tube was built in 1868. The scheme proposes a new 5 storey high-end apartment building which dwarfs the neighbouring cottages and low buildings on Pelham Place and Pelham Street, and blocks protected views to the Museum of Natural History.

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New buildings are proposed between 4 and 5 storeys high, overshadowing Pelham Street's cottages, and turning Pelham Street into an urban canyon. Intensive overdevelopment creates issues concerning servicing, noise, nuisance and traffic management.



The low-built Bullnose (the building curving around the tube station) would be demolished, and replaced by a looming (20 plus metre) building. Visible from every vantage point in South Ken, it would extinguish the station’s open and airy atmosphere, and block the protected views of the national museums.



Felicity Buchan, MP for Kensington

Whilst South Kensington station needs step-free access and increased capacity, which revealingly TfL has now cancelled, this application is mostly about massive developments surrounding the station that would inflict significant harm on the conservation area and listed buildings that make South Kensington special.


I am therefore joining local residents in opposing this planning application.


Rory Stewart, former Minister and London Mayoral candidate

I think this is a terrible example of development. We should be working much more closely with communities and respecting the surrounding built environment, and the heritage and context of the area. A community-led approach would deliver more affordable housing, more quickly, without having a negative impact on the surrounding area.


Julian Lloyd Webber, Musician and President of Onslow Neighbourhood Association

TfL’s appalling proposals for the redevelopment of the South Kensington Station fly in the face of everything that was previously promised and, if passed, would result in yet another bland, commercial development which would destroy South Kensington’s unique character forever.

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Cllr Greg Hammond, Cllr Janet Evans, Cllr Quentin Marshall, Cllr Sof McVeigh, Tony Devenish AM, Cllr Mary Weale,

As elected representatives for the areas including and adjacent to South Kensington station, we believe that this proposal is one of the clearest cases of over-development in terms of height and density, and a design philosophy that ignores the world-famous heritage of this very special urban village.  We strongly urge refusal of both Planning Application PP/20/03216 for developments in and around the station and its associated Listed Building Consent Application LB/20/03217.

and also...

Thurloe Owners and Leaseholders Association (TOLA)

The Kensington Society

Pelham Residents Association (PRA)

Knightsbridge Association

Ovington Square Residents Association

Earl's Court Square Residents Association

Milner Street Area Residents' Association

South Kensington & Queen's Gate Residents Association

Drayton Neighbourhood Association

Melton Court Residents Association

SouthKen Station Tenants Association

South Kensington Business Association

Cllr. Elizabeth Campbell, Leader of the Council, RBKC

"We want to work with residents…for the good of this place and the people who live here. First and foremost, that means listening to our communities, fully engaging people in decisions that affect them, and properly balancing professional judgment with the lived experience of our residents…We put residents at the heart of everything we do."


We want to hear from all residents, please get in touch!

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