Sloane Square plans are scrapped after show of local opposition

Residents demands for another design gain official support.

The overriding popularity of a public space has prompted the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) to scrap its plans to build a crossroads through Sloane Square. The traffic-easing scheme would have restored the London landmark to its pre-1930s layout and seen the existing roundabout replaced. However, RBKC’s plans, drawn up by Stanton Williams Architects have now been scrapped after thousands of residents objected to having staggered crossroads through the square. More than 65 per cent of the 6,800 people who took part in a consultation about the plans said they opposed them. Council leader Merrick Cockell said: “The views of our residents and visitors matter to us. The consultation has thrown up a mass of detailed concerns, many of them about traffic, and it would be irresponsible to proceed while people have these anxieties.” The results of the consultation are still being analysed but it could push an alternative design by architecture practice Atkins to the forefront. This design was commissioned by the council earlier this year after a group of residents and businesses formed the Save Sloane Square pressure group. Backed by the likes of actor Rupert Everett and journalist Sue Lawley, the group spurred on the council to commission a second design more in keeping with the current layout. Head of Atkins’ London-based urban design and public realm team Matthew Tribe said: “While we don’t know what the [council’s] announcement will mean for the future of Sloane Square, we are pleased that our alternative vision has stimulated interest and debate among the local community. “Our scheme was developed with two clear purposes in mind — to make Sloane Square a place that people enjoy visiting and to provide a focal gateway to Chelsea and the Kings Road area.”

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