Portobello Square Bullet Point Briefing: the latest on the regeneration

In the past month

  • United Living continue to progress with the demolition of Murchison and Wells Houses.
  • We began improvement works to the first phase of Athlone Gardens on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Footpath bases and kerbs have now been installed, and foundations for play equipment and furniture are being excavated. Exclusion zones to protect existing trees remain.
  • The completion of Bond Mansions has unfortunately been delayed, and we have written to affected residents to keep them updated.
  • In the meantime, we continue making good progress in contacting residents and conducting move plans, preparing them for their future move.
  • As part of the Venture Centre’s 4 year Community Programme that Catalyst funds, local children took part in two big exciting events in the past month. Some took part in a range of creative design workshops at Venture Centre, making their own costumes and showcasing them at Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday 24 August. Other attended a back to basics/life skills summer camp in Kent, where they spent time developing valuable life skills, building self-esteem, making new friends and embracing every aspect of camp life.
  • There was a special Coffee Afternoon to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support on Wednesday 25 September at Portobello Hall, hosted by Wornington Green Community Group in partnership with Catalyst.

In the next month

  • Demolition of Murchison and Wells Houses is drawing to a close, however this has been slightly delayed due to unforeseen complications. We now expect demolition to be complete by mid-October. Some material has been transported off site to make space, this removal and crushing will continue until completion.
  • We have written to residents to inform them that there will be an additional short road closure planned for the week commencing 14 October, before the planned link road closure to create Murchison Gardens.
  • This extra work will require the removal of at least one of the two trees which are next to Portobello Road and Chesterton House. These trees are already marked for removal in Phase 2b, in the tree plan approved by RBKC as part of the outline planning application. The rest of the trees next to the link road will be removed in Phase 2B.
  • In Athlone Gardens, we will continue with excavation work for the playground and social areas of the first part of phase 1. This part of Athlone Gardens will be open at the end of October.
  • We will hold one extra session with the Design Working group, to talk through how residents’ comments have been incorporated in the Phase 3 proposals, and look at some aspects of the design in more detail. We are currently taking some extra time to review the Phase 3 plans alongside feedback received, and will publicise dates for a further consultation event once we have progressed this.
  • At the Venture Centre, the following projects restarted after the summer break, and will continue to run throughout the term time:
  • North Kensington Women’s Textile Group – free weekly design, sewing and clothes making workshops for local women; led by a highly experienced tutor who focuses on building confidence, teaching useful, transferable skills in a friendly and sociable environment. Suitable for absolute-never-seen-a-sewing-machine-before-beginners and those returning to sewing alike, these workshops are the perfect way to get crafty!  Every Thursday (term-time only) 10am – 3pm at the Venture Centre.
  • After-School Homework Club – offering free weekly term-time support classes for local children aged 5 -14 years; qualified staff and volunteers help children with their homework, provide access to educational resources and nurture development of general study skills.   Every Wednesday and Friday (term-time only) 4.30 – 6pm at Venture Centre.