'Hole in the Wall' to close for three days
'Hole in the wall' must close for about three days
Expected from Tuesday 12 May to Thursday 14 May inclusive
Works to restore and improve the 'Hole in the Wall', including its lighting, commenced on Tuesday 5 May 2020.
These works are expected to involve the full closure of the 'Hole' itself from Tuesday 12 May to Thursday 14 May inclusive, while the arch is removed carefully, worked on and rebuilt. Closure is necessary to protect pedestrians and those working on the project (including from COVID-19) so please bear with FM Conway, Westminster City Council's contractors, who are working hard to minimise disruption and protect residents and others. Please check the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Forum's Twitter or Facebook pages for updates on timing including possible changes e.g. due to the weather or practical matters:
Please consider alternative routes during these three days. Here is a Google map of Knightsbridge to help you. We have asked FM Conway to reopen the 'Hole' as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.
The structural works are scheduled for completion by Friday 22 May 2020 with lighting improvements to follow separately.
Aim of the project
The aim of the 'Hole in the Wall' project is to restore and improve the Wall and its lighting. Restoration is expected to include: the repair and repointing of brickwork on both sides of the Wall; structural repairs to the Wall; much needed repairs to the arch (which is crumbling and propped by an ugly bracket); and modernisation of the lighting. Westminster has rightly decided that these are 'critical works' necessary to undertake at this time.
Neighbourhood portion of Community Infrastructure Levy monies
The Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Plan 2018-2037 (the 'Plan') included 'Principles' and a list of 'General' and 'Area-specific' projects for the use of the neighbourhood portion of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and other monies raised from developers. These monies are ring-fenced for use in the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Area unlike 'strategic' CIL funds which could be spent anywhere in the City of Westminster.
The Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Forum (the 'Forum') submitted an application to the Council in September 2019 for part of the neighbourhood portion of the CIL to be spent by the Council to restore and improve the 'Hole in the Wall'. The Knightsbridge Association and our three local councillors supported our application. The project was approved in principle by the Council in October 2019 with matched funding to be added from the larger 'strategic' portion of the CIL monies held by the Council.
This was the Forum's first application for the use of these monies which are raised from developers to improve the infrastructure in the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Area. Achieving a 'made' neighbourhood plan' on 12 December 2018 increased the neighbourhood portion of the CIL monies from 15% (capped) to 25% (uncapped). This difference could be worth several millions of pounds over the life of the Plan.
Please contact the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Forum if you have suggestions for future projects that would be consistent with the 'Principles' (section 11 on page 76) and 'General' or 'Area Specific' categories (Appendices C and D on pages 84 to 86) approved in the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Plan.
The restoration and improvement of the 'Hole in the Wall' is an exciting project and the necessary (and brief) full closure of the 'Hole' will remind us why it is such a valuable asset at the heart of our community.
Please contact the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Forum or ask one of your neighbours for help if you are a vulnerable person needing help to carry shopping on a longer route during this period of full closure. We will try to help.
We have taken lots of 'before' photos and are looking forward to sharing these with you and marking the successful completion of this important project!