New Iran embassy ‘to fail’

Plans for a new Iranian embassy are be considered by Kensington & Chelsea council in January despite the recent expulsion of the Iranian diplomatic delegation. The application, which was first submitted in May 2010, has stirred up a huge row with local residents in South Kensington. The proposal is for a site on Queen’s Gate which has been owned by the Iranians since the early 1970s and originally contained a row of elegant Victorian buildings including a hotel. The owners were allowed to knock the buildings down after a mysterious fire and the site has been a car park ever since. The application is still going ahead despite the almost total break down in diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran which resulted in tit for tat expulsions last week. But the Evening Standard understands it is almost certain to be turned down. A council spokesman said: “We asked for further information about the Iranian embassy planning application some time ago, which has not been forthcoming. Our planning officers will review the case and we will come to a decision early next year.” Caryl Harris, chair of the South Kensington and Queen’s Gate Residents’ Association, said: “The council has done nothing but keep us in the dark all along.” >>>

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