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I fear for the sake of our neighbourhood

14 February, 2020

Bacton Tower in Gospel Oak

• FURTHER to Sue Shepherd’s letter about the falling number of school children in Gospel Oak, I am writing to express my grave concern about the fate of our neighbourhood, (School numbers crisis can be linked to mismanagement of the Community Investment Programme, February 6).

If Camden Council has its way we will soon be living in a place that is unrecognisable. The design for West Kentish Town estate includes lots of high-rise buildings.

The new buildings destined to be built at Bacton are enormous blocks crammed with flats. Areas of council housing are being turned over to the private market, with many small flats for sale.

Thousands of flats are likely to be bought as buy-to-let investments or by young professionals and people who want a second home close to the centre of town. New residents will be very unlikely to have families.

Those young professionals will have to move out of their one-bedroom flat when they start having children and are unlikely to be able to afford anywhere in the locality.

So Gospel Oak will change from being a family-friendly place to an anonymous inner-city area with no schools; an area where people do not say hello to their neighbours and stay cooped up in their high-rise flat with no connection the community.

It is a shame that Camden Council, supposedly a progressive borough, should be responsible for this disastrous programme.

Other boroughs, such as Islington, are much more caring about the communities that are lucky enough to live within their border, and schemes are only permitted when they have a high proportion of affordable, family-sized homes.

Malden Road, NW5


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