The independent London newspaper

Stop the blocks! Camden’s message: Build whatever you like wherever you like

09 February, 2017

• WE would like to thank Cllr Phil Rosenberg and deputy mayor Cllr Richard Cotton for voting against the 156 West End Lane proposal on key issues of pedestrian and road safety and the affordability of the widely championed “affordable” housing.

The fact is that over 72 per cent of 164 units would be completely unaffordable to those on average and below average salaries; this is no way for Camden or any borough to attempt to tackle the housing crisis, particularly on council-owned land.

Despite the opposition from the two principled councillors that acknowledged the severely negative impacts on notionally protected open space, pedestrian and transport safety, residential amenity, loss of daylight and sunlight, employment space, conservation areas, pedestrian amenity, and transport capacity to name just a few, the application was approved by a cross-party coalition of Labour and Conservative councillors.

It is not lost on thousands of West Hampstead residents that, for all the noise made by the local Tory party about their opposition to the proposals, the reality is that two of their councillors failed to attend the planning committee meeting and that both Tory councillors present voted in favour of approval.

Camden has set a series of dangerous planning precedents that developers across the borough can cite to counter just about every legitimate objection to applications.

The end result is that Camden planning policies as a whole, together with specific guidelines regarding conservation areas and subsidiary planning considerations such as neighbourhood plans as well as over 1,100 individual objections from the community and every local tenants’ and residents’ association, are now not worth the paper they’re written on.

The message to developers from Camden Council planners and planning committee members is loud and clear: Build whatever you like wherever you like.

SAVE WEST HAMSPTEAD ‘STOP THE BLOCKS!’ CAMPAIGN & on behalf of residents opposed to the proposals for 156 West End Lane  


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