CamdenNewJournal

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The streatery has been amazing for Belsize Village

15 April, 2021

Belsize Village streatery: ‘Happily we now have a village square that we can all be proud of’

• I WRITE to praise the Belsize Village streatery and look forward to returning.

As someone who has lived in Belsize Village for more than 57 years I have to say that the village is looking the cleanest it has ever.

While having lived through many changes in the village I have to say that the streatery has been the best thing that has happened.

The streatery has rejuvenated the village and I am thrilled to see the addition of new shops and restaurants.

It was terribly sad to see units go empty for years and to worry about what we would get, if anything.

Clearly, the fact that the streatery has encouraged yet more independent shops and restaurants to locate here is key.

In addition, the fact that the streatery has increased the capacity for outside dining during the pandemic is critical.

I’m sure many older people feel as I do. Going out and seeing people is a vital part of keeping healthy (both mentally and physically).

However this has to be balanced with infection risks and our duty as citizens to keep the R number down.

By attending the streatery I can tick all of these boxes. And do my bit to help small local businesses survive, while meeting up with family and friends in the safest way possible.

Additional improvements such as: the benches being moved to create a more coherent space; the location of beautiful planters that not only provide security but also give a secluded square where one feels as if one is on holiday, though actually just a few minutes from home; parasols to protect young and old skin alike; and proper bins that has allowed the foul rubbish mound with smelly leakages and the associated foxes and rats to be removed.

Happily we now have a village square that we can all be proud of and that the whole community can utilise. Prior to this amazing transformation the square was so dirty that I wouldn’t take my grandchildren there.

Now it is a delight and one that last year was a saviour for many people’s mental health and has given Belsize Village a throbbing community heart that previously was missing.

I was delighted that this project got Community Infrastructure Levy funding last year and am very grateful to the local councillors for all their hard work to make this happen.

It is wonderful that a huge number of volunteers have worked tirelessly to keep our village tidy and take it to a hitherto unseen level. I only hope funding can be found for it this year, so all the good work can continue.

Looking forward to seeing many local residents in April and to getting back to some level of normality which the Streatery helps provide.

PATRICIA PEARCE
Belsize Park Mews, NW3

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