This morning representatives of the Save Cork Street Committee and I met with Christopher Battiscombe (SLAD), Sarah Percy-Davis (LAPADA) and Mark Dodgson (BADA) to discuss the proposed developments on Cork Street by Native Land and The Pollen Estate. Also present was Costas Kleanthous, Chairman of the Portobello Antiques Dealers Association and director of LAPADA.
We discussed in detail the implications of these property developments in terms of the eleven Cork Street art dealers that would be forced off the street, and the huge impact that four years of major construction would have on the galleries that remain. SLAD, LAPADA and BADA reiterated their full support for the Save Cork Street campaign and have agreed to help by lobbying the government, Westminster City Council, London’s Mayor and other key political and cultural figures. Beyond lobbying it was agreed to step up the press campaign that in the last few weeks has gained huge public support, with over 11,000 signatories registered on the Save Cork Street e-petition.
SPECIAL POLICY AREA
This press campaign is already gathering pace with James Mayor, the longest standing galleriest on Cork Street, giving an interview on today’s Robert Elm’s art show on BBC London, whilst Louise Jury, Arts Editor of the Evening Standard, is writing a feature this week on the Save Cork Street campaign. Meanwhile news of the campaign will go international with CNN filming the Save Cork Street Rally that will take place on Saturday 13th October and David Batty’s feature on the Rally in the forthcoming issue of the Sunday Observer.
The Save Cork Street committee is also working closely with Westminster’s City Councillors and the West End Commission to resist these developments. The campaign strategy includes appealing under Westminster’s Core Strategy Policy CS26, which requires it to protect buildings and uses of buildings that are of international and national importance. Also to create a Special Policy Area (SPA) for Cork Street, making it a protected area for art dealers in the same way that Savile Row is for bespoke tailoring.
Please join our public rally on Saturday 13th October from 11am – midday outside Native Land’s offices at 10-12 Cork Street that will include a group photo at midday of the assembled crowd of artists, gallerists and Mayfair residents.