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Friends of Holland Park rejoice over opera canopy victory
FRIENDS of Holland Park are rejoicing this week after learning that a planning application to have the opera canopy remain all year has been withdrawn.
The Friends of Holland Park Committee campaigned against the planning application saying that the public's enjoyment of Holland Park would be compromised if the canopy were allowed to become a permanent feature.
The group say that they hope to further campaign against the length of time it takes for the canopy to be erected and dismantled. The contractors are given a month either side of the two months it is operational for it to be put up and taken down.
Stewart Katz from the Friends of Holland Park said: "This was a collective effort with help from English Heritage, Kensington Society and the public. Under the weight of public outcry thankfully the council have listened. For too long the opera has taken the park for granted. This is a battle we are delighted to have won. But now we would like to ride this wave and try to reduce the amount of time it takes for the canopy to be erected and dismantled.
"The ground becomes incredibly muddy and they really do not need a whole month to take the canopy down. This means we have the canopy obstructing the view of the Grade I Listed building in which the council has invested more than £100,000 in conserving the frontage, including landscaping the terrace"
A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Council confirmed that the planning application to keep the marquee in place for a trial period had been withdrawn.
A Council spokesman said: "We felt that leaving the canopy up all year round would help the opera significantly financially for little impact on users of the park. A number of residents and users of the park felt very strongly that the impact would be far greater and we have listened to them."
Stewart Katz added: "Holland House is Grade I Listed, and of national importance, so deserves to be seen to best advantage for the majority of the year, a requirement recognised by previous planning consents. This clear view of the house would no longer be seen at any time in the year.
"A permanent canopy would have required continuous maintenance and cleaning. Being exposed to the elements for 12 months of the year would also have reduced its lifespan. They have made the right decision to withdraw the application."
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