North Kensington

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Planning for Grenfell theatre approved despite objections

A £2.4m improvement of a community theatre near Grenfell Tower has been given the go-ahead by councillors despite a recommendation not to approve.

Kensal House community centre
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Youth charity SPID said its proposals for the community rooms in North Kensington's Kensal House estate in west London, was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.

Some 16 objections were lodged and a report said the work "would harm the special architectural and historic interest of the Grade II* listed building and wider estate" and result in the "loss of privacy and open space in the communal gardens" for residents of the 68 flats.

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea planning committee approved the project on Tuesday and chairman James Husband said: "We considered that while some Kensal House residents are concerned about the potential impacts of the proposed extension, councillors decided that on balance the benefits of the new theatre outweighed any harm to Kensal House."

Fourth man arrested over chicken shop fight death

Downham Way, Grove Park
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A fourth man has been arrested after a man was killed in a knife fight at a chicken shop in south-east London.

Omar Smith and a second man were found with stab and head injuries after police were called to the shop in Downham Way, Grove Park, at about 23:55 on Friday.

Both were taken to hospital and 34-year-old Mr Smith was pronounced dead the next day.

The second man, a 51-year-old, was released from hospital and arrested on suspicion GBH along with a 40-year-old man and a 46-year-old man. They were all then further arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Met Police said a fourth man, aged 25, had been arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday and remains in custody.

The 51-year-old man and the 46-year-old man have been been bailed to a date in mid-October while the 40-year-old man has been released under investigation.

Met Police employee charged with theft

A serving member of police staff has been charged with theft.

Agnes Alexander, 60, from the Central South Command Unit, was arrested on 2 September following an investigation by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards. She has been bailed to appear at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. She has been suspended from duty while criminal proceedings take place, police said.

Tube workers to take industrial action over violence

Workers on parts of London Underground have voted for industrial action over claims they face increased levels of violence and anti-social behaviour.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on the eastern end of the District Line will only work from a place of safety from the end of the month when lone-working and will not attend incidents on trains by themselves.

The union said a female member of staff was attacked in her office by a passenger and others have been threatened.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "There has been an explosion of violent crime and sexual offences across the network and our members are bearing the brunt of it, particularly on the District Line."

A Transport for London spokesman said: "Our staff work hard to assist our customers and keep London moving. They deserve to go about their day without fear or intimidation, in safety.

"We have met with the RMT to reiterate our commitment to ensuring the safety of our staff and outline the steps we have taken to address their feedback.

"We will continue to engage with them to ensure all staff feel safe and secure while performing their duties."

Second Section 60 authorised after spate of stabbings

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In addition to the Section 60 around Edgware Road, another has been authorised for the same period of time in parts of Wandsworth and Richmond.

The move follows a number of stabbings which happened in the area within the space of 30 minutes. These are all being treated as linked by Scotland Yard.

Police were first called to Burston Road at 10:42 BST after reports of an attack where it was reported the injured man had left the scene in a white saloon car.

At 10:48 officers went to Eastleigh Walk over reports of a fight where a man, aged in his 20s, was found with stab injuries. He was taken to hospital and police are waiting for an update on his condition.

Then at about 11:10 another man, aged in his 20s, arrived at a south London hospital with a stab wound. His condition was found to not be life-threatening and he was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

Retailers shut 2,870 stores in first half of 2019

Shops
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About 16 shops are closing every day as retailers restructure their businesses and more shopping moves online.

A net 1,234 stores shut on Britain's top 500 high streets in the first half of the year, according to research by PwC and the Local Data Company.

That is up from 1,123 in the same period last year and the highest since the survey began in 2010.

Fashion retailers saw the biggest declines in the period, followed by restaurants, estate agents and pubs.

Greater London saw the largest number of net closures of any region, although when taking into account its higher number of shops, its closure rate was in line with the national average.

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Notting Hill school’s car ban hailed a success

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Road outside school
Local Democracy Reporting Service

A scheme to stop parents driving their kids to a school in Notting Hill has been deemed a success on its first day.

In a bid to improve air quality and make the school run “safer and more relaxed”, Colville Primary School has started placing barriers at the end of its road during peak times with the six-week trial beginning on Tuesday.

Mother of two girls, Nadia Feiner, 43, was helping to supervise the barrier in Colville Road, which will go up at between 08:35-09:05 and 15:00-15:30.

“I think anything that helps improve our air quality is really important,” Ms Feiner said.

Another mum, Emma Kwan, 41, from Westbourne Grove, said: “This road would normally be chockablock, totally bumper to bumper with cars. I think it’s brilliant because I’m quite conscious of pollution, especially being close to the A40."

Hailing the scheme’s early success, head teacher Jagdeep Birdi said he would "advocate this for schools all over London. We want to reduce the number of children developing asthma. By doing that, we think this will improve attendance and outcomes for the pupils."

At the end of the trial, it will be reviewed by Kensington and Chelsea Council, which worked with the school on the plan, and could make it permanent.