Planning and heritage advice for a new building at Kensington Palace

RPS secured planning and Scheduled Monument Consent for a proposed new building to the rear of the Grade I listed Queen Ann Orangery, including a double basement, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 

The building was required to provide accommodation for HRP to maintain and operate the public areas of the palace. Following pre-application discussions with Historic England and RBKC the scheme and application case were developed to support the client’s requirements and the planning application was unanimously supported at planning committee.

Key details

Project name
Kensington palace

Client
Historic Royal Palaces

Location
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Services provided

  • Planning
  • Heritage

Challenge

Additional accommodation was required by HRP to undertake their responsibilities for the upkeep of the palace and the storage and presentation of the Royal Dress Collection, which is housed principally at Kensington Palace.

The proposed siting of the new building was within an area designated as Metropolitan Open Land, and is identified as a scheduled ancient monument, as well as being within a conservation area, a registered park and garden and adjoining a Grade I listed building. The proposal also included a double basement, which are strictly prohibited by RBKC planning policy.

Kensington palace - project image.jpg

Solution

The team coordinated the design development work, liaising with the architects and consultant team to develop a proposal which meets the client’s requirements, whilst addressing the technical requirements of the site and responding to the Council’s policies. Our work involved developing a strategy and robust case to overcome the principle policy matters, including the development of a building within the MOL, the heritage sensitivities of the Grade I listed building, and construction of a double storey basement. We developed a needs case, and justification of very special circumstances, to overcome the presumption against the proposals and secure support for the scheme.

The work required a comprehensive consultation strategy to be developed and implemented due to the local and regional interest in the proposals. This included consultation and engagement with local residents and resident’s societies within the local area, ward councillors, users of the facilities including local colleges, heritage and amenity societies within the area and other landowners, including Royal Parks and the Royal Household.

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