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David Le Lay, chairman of the Chelsea Society – obituary

David Le Lay
David Le Lay

David Le Lay, who has died aged 72, was an architect and champion of the Royal Borough of Chelsea in its many guises.

He was born on January 10 1945 and brought up and educated in Jersey where, as a schoolboy, his design skills were recognised when the float he designed for the Jersey Battle of Flowers was awarded a prize.

He arrived at Canterbury School of Architecture aged 18, completed his three-year course and spent a year with the conservation practice of Purcell, Miller and Tritton. This was followed by two years of study at the Regent Street Polytechnic and a further year with Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe’s practice.

In 1970 the newly qualified 25-year-old set up his own practice in Chelsea, where he had lived since 1966. He ran the practice well and built a reputation for achieving planning consent for residential developments on sensitive sites as well as for the restoration and adaptation...

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