Studio International

Published 05/01/2009

Saatchi’s new gallery, a subtle re-use of the old Duke of York’s Barracks bordering the Eastern end of the King’s Road, augurs well for his purpose. But sadly, close by along the Chelsea Bridge Road, then Ranelagh Gardens and Chelsea Hospital (famed for Christopher Wren’s Design), developers are proposing tightly packed in, nine-storey apartment blocks (with a lack of inter-block privacy bordering on the crowded Shanghai precedent) having lower blocks along Ebury Bridge Road but which rise again to 13 storeys. This is an absurd proposal for such a sensitive site and area close also to the River Thames. Here, in the guise of affordable housing, comes the perfect context for a new immigrant ghetto, for refugees perhaps from the Middle East, today’s most likely applicants. London and Chelsea should think again. This could well be one for Boris Johnson, which he could hardly lose, to oppose as Mayor of London.