Plans for a new entrance to Kensington Palace have been dismissed as "just a few steps above a garden shed" by the local councillor in charge of planning. This is the second scheme by architect John Simpson to be put forward for the doors of the royal residence after the first idea, which Prince Charles also supported, was rejected by the council last year. Daniel Moylan, deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea council and its cabinet member for planning, had condemned the first plans as "embarrassingly twee" and akin to "something from a garden furniture catalogue".
The new application is to be considered by the council planning committee today and has been recommended for approval by planning officers. It involves the construction of a free-standing iron loggia intended to mark out a new entrance on the east side of the Grade I-listed palace. Mr Moylan is calling on members of the planning committee to reject the new plans.
English Heritage supports the new design, but Mr Moylan insists it would damage the building, built by Wren, without any real justification. His objections have been backed by the Society for Ancient Buildings, the Kensington Society and the Knightsbridge Association. Mr Moylan wrote in a statement: "If the last application was decoratively over-elaborate, this is just a few steps above a garden shed.
The latest design is for an open cast iron arch four metres high and nearly nine metres wide with a glass roof and a flush stone flag floor.