IARA objection to Spring Place depot 7.9.21

We would be grateful if you would add this further objection from the Inkerman Area Residents Association to the planning website. 

We note the amendments proposed by Segro in their letter of 6 August 2021.  These amendments fail to address the fundamental problem with this application – namely, that this site is totally unsuitable for use as a delivery depot.

We applaud the fact that Camden is taking seriously the environmental damage caused by road traffic, and have already introduced a range of traffic calming measures in the borough.  These include Healthy Streets, healthy school streets, roads closed except for access and the creation of bike lanes.  We note from recent meetings with Traffic officers that plans for some similar treatments for Holmes Road and Grafton Road are underway, and we warmly welcome further consultation on this.  

In this context, it is a nonsense to consider siting a depot in Spring Place, with routing for HGVs now directed exclusively along these two heavily overloaded roads.  Routing for smaller delivery vehicles is hardly discussed in the application, and will inevitably mean that LGVs, vans and motorbikes will be using all the smaller residential streets in the area, which goes directly against the Council’s attempts both to reduce road traffic and to shift what remains onto main roads.

The applicant states repeatedly that the development would generate negligible amounts of traffic on Holmes Road.  Even the projected figures are far from negligible, and there is absolutely no certainty that these figures are realistic.  

If it were true that the amount of generated traffic would be negligible, it would make a nonsense for any commercial enterprise to have a depot there at all.  

The applicant also comes back to the argument that the number of vehicular movements generated by Addison Lee during the last active use of the building was greater.  The figures quoted are widely disputed and in any event reflect access by cars, not HGVs and LGVs.

The amended application completely fails to address the point repeatedly made by residents and schools that movement by children from both St. Patricks and CFBL is not restricted to school start and finish times.  There are staggered hours for the youngest children, and frequent movements along Holmes Road, Grafton Road, Willes Road and Spring Place itself – all of which provide access to local sports facilities which timetable activities for children throughout the day.  Holmes Road also hosts accommodation for vulnerable adults and students and is a major route for pedestrians from West Kentish Town to Kentish Town Road.

Segro is the developer of this site, and will not be the user. They continue to maintain that conditions can be put in place which will bind any future users of the site, yet they suggest only an annual compliance audit. Whatever conditions are put in place for a future user of the site in a Delivery and Servicing Management Plan (DSMP), there is a huge question about enforcement.  The user could be a company running its own fleet, or using drivers using their own vehicles.  Whatever is agreed in the DSMP may turn out to be notional – or at best take months by Camden’s overstretched enforcement department in the council to address any breaches.