A Land of Contrasts


Kensington and Chelsea – The land of the ‘have-a-lots’ and the ‘have-nothing-at-alls’; an example of a contrast too far


The mere mention of the area of Kensington and Chelsea brings all sorts of connotations: One thinks of the Albert Hall and Hyde Park, Harrods and Harvey Nicks and one imagines affluence and culture. Here is an area that one associates with a certain kind of genteel elegance and one where both dowager duchesses and an educated, international community has long lived in harmony. Sadly, however, the apple cart has tipped and the area has descended to become a place where homeless people shiver on the streets whilst multi-million pound mansions lay rotting. This is an area that has had its soul ripped from its very being and this is an area that has fast become nothing but a money park with a hidden edge.


The cause of this undoubtedly unwelcome change chiefly can be laid at the door of foreign ‘High Net Worth’ (HNW) investors – individuals and corporations who’ve brought ‘Home-aggedon’ to the Royal Borough by snapping up buildings that were once filled with families for crazy sums – and greedy landlords focused on kicking out local businesses in favour of high-paying, trophy tenants. Where once prosperous operations, such as La Brasserie on Brompton Cross, traded for nearly fifty years, are now empty units and outside them sit homeless people begging for scraps.


Yes, there are ‘fake homeless’, but the problem is real and beneath the surface one also finds what can be termed the ‘hidden homeless’. These ‘have-nots’ and ‘have-nothing-at-alls’ sit in Pret stores and mind their own business. They cause no trouble but have been let down by the system. You’d be surprised how many such people there are in the Royal Borough and you should realise one thing: Us mere non-HNW mortals are just one pay cheque away from joining them.


Pictured top: A homeless man in Pelham Street; he ‘lives’ just across the road from the £105 million home of billionaire Professor ‘Muck’ Flick.


A Land of Contrasts – Meanwhile, in Knightsbridge, ‘homes’ (not that anyone lives in them) in One Hyde Park sell for up to £140 million
A Land of Contrasts – Now, in Fulham Road, even “trendy” cafes such as L’Eto are unable to afford their rents and are so desperate to get out of their tenancies that they display ‘to let’ signs whilst still trading
A Land of Contrasts – The area’s new wealth, meanwhile, flaunts its money in the most ostentatious fashion possible and has not a care for the community
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  1. It is a very sad state of affairs. I am perplexed that Lady Borwick does nothing to help these people. From what I’m told, she prefers cocktail party conversations to talking with locals. As a property professional, I try and support homeless charities when I can – we all deserve a safe place to sleep at night and in a borough so wealthy, it is a scandal that our care homes for the elderly are substandard (as you pointed out some time ago) and people, through no fault of anything but a stupid system, sleep on the pavements.

    • There is no such thing as a ‘property professional’. The only professionals are those in the law, Church and Army, medicine….not property salespeople.
      I can assure you that Borwick has done more for those in need than a ‘property professional’ like you. Pretentious thing, you!

  2. If you can’t afford to live somewhere, f**k off and live somewhere else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s pretty f**king simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. This shocks me. I urge everyone to offer this poor man help. I shall certainly be taking him a coffee next time I pass.

    • There is no such thing as a ‘property professional’. The only professionals are those in the law, Church and Army, medicine….not property salespeople.
      I can assure you that Borwick has done more for those in need than a ‘property professional’ like you. Pretentious thing, you!


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