High Street Chaos. Pizza Express Building. Anglers Lane x2. Elders group

MONDAY:  Serious Disruption to traffic – High Street resurfacing.

Everybody should have received through their letters boxes the notice from Camden Council about the resurfacing of the High Street.   The implications for travel may be worse that people realise.  The notice mentions five weeks or less.  TFL say four weeks…

Camden’s notice talks about southbound traffic being diverted up Leighton Road to connect with Camden Road before turning south again etc.  So we expected to be able to catch the buses in Leighton Road.  But a look at the TFL website seems to say this is true for the C2 but that the 134 southbound will divert at Tufnell Park:

KENTISH TOWN ROAD/LEIGHTON ROAD NW5 – ROUTES 134 N20: From 0800 Monday 19th August until Tuesday 17th September, buses will be diverted southbound due to carriageway resurfacing on Kentish Town Road, NW1.

The following bus stops will not be served:Lady Somerset Road (point letter TQ), Fortess Walk (point letter KA), Kentish Town Station (point letter KB), Kentish Town Post Office (point letter KC), Kentish Town Road/Prince of Wales (point letter KD), Royal College Street (Point letter KL), Camden Gardens (point letter D).

Diversion as follows: Routes 134, N20 southbound towards Camden

From Junction Road at junction of Tufnell Park Road with be diverted via left Brecknock Road, ahead Brecknock Road, ahead Camden Road, ahead York Way, right Camden Park Road, ahead Camden Park Road, left Camden Road and line of route

The C2 has different information which refers to southbound and northbound and looks as if it may go up Leighton….    

Try:   http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/livetravelnews/realtime/buses.aspx?offset=15 

A phone call to TFL took a long time to get through and the lady just read out what was on the website….

All will be revealed tomorrow…  maybe… But  –  for the 134… it looks like we may have to walk through to Camden Road. Given the extra load that road will now take and the roundabout route described above the tailback could be considerable – unless the August holidays mean that traffic is light enough to offset this.

Suddenly the tube seems more attractive – assuming the Northern Line is working on Monday after the weekend closures……  

Or – more radically – is it time for a bike?  Three local shops and the very active Camden Cyclists:  http://www.camdencyclists.org.uk/   (our own Anne Boston is what you might call a ‘leading light’)

Or shanks pony?  Try:  http://walkit.com/cities/london/  a great site which offers you the quickest route or less busy or least polluted route. And tells you how long it takes at various speeds of walking and much carbon you have saved and how many calories you have used… 

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Pizza Express Building


We previously reported there was to be a meeting with the architects appointed to design 187  Prince of Wales – which most of us still think of as the Pizza Express Building.


Martin Plaut reports on the meeting:  

I attended with Paul Seviour and Robert Livock:

The architectural team from Allies and Morrison was led by Steve Walker, tel. 0207 921 0109 email: swalker@am-up.com

Also attending the meeting were representatives from: Kelly Street (Rosemary Lewin) plus Prince of Wales Road existing residents

Introducing the discussion, Steve said they had around 200 people at the exhibition and had met a further 100 on the street.

They had received 153 responses in writing.

Overall, the key areas raised were: 

  • The facade and window detailing and the use of materials
  • Retention of the character of the building
  • The roof extension was out of character and too large for the building
  • A cinema or restaurant would be appropriate uses for the commercial space


For IARA Paul and I raised the following points:

  • The corner property should not extend any higher than the roof of the main building
  • The extension should be set back and made more sympathetic to the main building
  • There should be no on-street parking for any residents
  • Detailing of windows and other features should be retained
  • The ‘ugly space’ between the building and the next shop (is it Church Lane?) should be improved
  • A cinema was a possible use for the commercial space, but so too would be ‘incubator spaces’ for craftsmen/artists making new products


The architects responded by saying that they had been approached by ‘Shortwave’ in Bermondsey – who already run a cinema there. They also run the programme for the Tricycle theatre and so have experience of these things. A cinema would fit into the space and there might be also a cafe/coffee bar to attract all day custom.

The representative of the residents association for the main building said they liked the idea of a cinema, wanted to keep the neo-classical features of the building so that it blended in with the main building and were opposed to extending the corner site upwards more than one floor.

There then followed an extensive discussion on whether or how far planning permission could limit or restrict the use of the commercial space between categories A//A3 or D1. The architects said the client wanted to make a return on the project as a whole and was not desperate to maximise the return on the commercial space on the ground floor. They said they would try to get agreement with the church on how to best use the ‘ugly space’ just South of the site, but needed co-operation from the church. Rosemary Lewin said the current priest was leaving which might make agreement easier.

Paul Seviour adds: 

We went in to some detail why they are changing the windows. Because they are changing floor levels the old windows have to go. They said that they can’t replicate the current design with the new windows that will be needed to meet building regulations.  They said its not possible to make them. They were pressed a lot on this, but even Alan Morris accepted this. That said, we asked why the metal designs were needed in front of the windows. These are meant to hide the level of the floors that would otherwise be visible from the outside. We said the designs look weak (Adam Leys made this point in his submission to IARA). They are going to think again about disguising the floors from the outside.    

The architects said that the owner wasn’t looking to MAXIMISE income from the ground floor but did not “want to give it away”. The suggestion was that if a viable cinema/flexible use space occupier came forward, he would be amenable as a sort of “contribution” to the community if the residential consent is approved. So he makes his money from 12 flats with a bit from the ground floor. Apparently talks are at an early stage and we should not say a cinema IS coming, but it seems Shortwave think it could work as they use similar space in Bermondsey.    

Also we want to see what can be done to improve the rear of the property. This means getting the Congregational Church onside to sort out legal wrangles that have gone on for years between them and the owners of No 1 PoW Rd, the flats that were converted from the old University building. It is felt that if legal agreements could be made, the developer might be able to landscape/pocket park the area and even incorporate it into the ground floor use. 

We are sending views to the architects – who people in the know say are some of the best architects doing this sort of rehab work.   Let us have any further comments asap.

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Anglers Lane again – The Chinese Herbalist Building:

We previously reported on the application and we fed back comments.  There is now a new application: 

Planning applications (by property).
Application Number: 2013/5168/P, Type: Full Planning Permission, Address: 26
Anglers Lane London NW5 3DG
, Ward: Kentish Town, Proposal: Demolition of existing single storey retail
unit (class A1) and erection of a two storey dwelling house, including a
roof terrace and associated privacy screen (Class C3)
search for planning applications online…

Click on the link and put in the number – and let us have feedback. Thanks.

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5-8 Anglers Lane

We have mentioned the application for the factory in 5-8 Anglers Lane – which is currently squatted – to be converted into flats. 

Feedback has been mixed so we cannot have a strong view on the principle.  People have mentioned loss of employment and plan for too many flats – but also as one response said:

In view of the great demand for residential accommodation locally I would agree with change of use for this building, rather reluctantly as I do think the continuation of local employment is very important.   

People have mentioned the need for some of it to be affordable and issues about parking. These will come up at the detailed application stage but the points will be fed back to Camden now on the basis that if change of use is allowed it should be on conditions.

Further comments welcome.

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Independent Elders of IARA

We met again recently and discussed a wide range of issues which we will be following up – including the ongoing bridge group (new members welcome) the possibility of an occasional street closure for a playday, the need for some replacement trees, Anglers Lane traffic, ideas for social activities and more…  If you would like a copy of the minutes and/or would like to get involved, please let us know. We have previously discussed retirement issues, local adult education, social and health care, walking groups, skills exchanges – all ideas welcome.