More on Murphy’s, a new plan from Segro. local talent, a warning and an Elders Meeting

Dear members

Sadly, Covid is again (or still) around in our community.  If you are affected and need any help (shopping, collecting prescriptions, just a chat …) please let us know.  There are friends and neighbours willing to help.


Our councillors’ views about the Murphy’s Yard proposals

For anyone new to these emails, this is about the proposed massive development at the top of Kentish Town.  We thought you would like to see some recent correspondence. The link below gives an introduction to the subject.

We wrote to our councillors, saying:

“Dear Councillors Everyone in the area is grateful for your support during the consideration of the planning application by Segro which has, at least so far, had a satisfactory outcome.Obviously in the area there is widespread concern about the very high level of development proposed for Murphys Yard as well as Regis Road and West Kentish Town Estate.
You will see that the number of comments about Murphys Yard is getting towards 1000, almost all of them very strongly opposed. 
IARA has been extremely careful to present a balanced picture and has consulted across all our members to produce an equally balanced submission.  You would have received the email containing this and it is also on our website.
People have been asking what you as local counsellors are thinking and saying about this massive local issue.  Are you in support of the majority of members of the local community? And if not, people would want to know why that is the case.”

They replied:

“We share resident concerns about the development at Murphy’s yard. 

Below is our letter to planning officers and we are actively listening to local residents feedback to inform future submissions on this application. 

We read your very balanced submission and thank you for the thoughtful approach you are taking as ever. 

I think it is important to note one piece of further context which is putting pressure on developments like this which is that Camden as a borough is falling below housing targets (like many in London). This is despite our own building programme and speaks to our commitment to only allowing projects which deliver affordability. These housing targets are in our view irresponsible and unrealistic and don’t take account of housing tenure or size of home, and in Camden the need is affordable homes/family homes. However they have been imposed on the council and we are currently around 1 per cent off falling to 75% of our government target, which means Camden is at risk of the government introducing a  ‘presumption in favour to develop’ which would leave Camden with less ability to resist unsuitable development, even when it doesn’t deliver for example affordable housing. Therefore there is a push on all new developments to deliver a good quantum of housing numbers and this is part of the problem. 

We are pushing very hard on affordability and lobbying government to reduce housing targets to give more flexibility in responding to developments like this.”

Dear Jonathan McClue,

We are writing to you as ward councillors on behalf of many hundreds of residents who have raised significant concerns about the Murphy’s Yard development. 

While we recognise this is an area that has potential to positively contribute new housing and amenities we are concerned about the plans in their current form.

Firstly and most importantly we do not feel the current plans do enough to address the urgent need for affordable family size homes for local people. They do not meet the council’s policy on genuinely affordable housing and they do not acknowledge that a section of the site is public land (Network Rail). We have over 6,000 people on the waiting list in Camden with a ratio of 13 families to each available larger family size council home. We are seeing young people who grow up here driven out of the area by high house prices and school rolls falling. We would like to strongly push for an increase in affordable housing on this site.

Secondly, we want to see guarantees of community amenities and benefit such as step free access for Kentish Town tube station and a new bridge linking Kentish Town to Gospel Oak.  

Thirdly, Issues such as the impact on neighbouring areas, their amenity and key public views needs to be fully considered and weighed in the committee’s decision.

Finally we are asking you to work with local residents, understand the strong feeling locally and ensure they are listened to as the process continues. 

Kind regards, 

Meric Apak,  Georgia Gould,  Jenny Headlam-Wells

Kentish Town ward councillors


And talking of Segro ..

We have received a letter from Segro, who have just submitted a new planning application for the site at 3-6 Spring Place.  We attach a note of the content, and you can see the full application on the Camden site at

This time, the application is for the general refurbishment of the building so not an application for change of use (which was strongly opposed last time, when a last-minute delivery depot was the plan).  On the face of it, the new application is unobjectionable but please let us have your comments (one eagle-eyed member has already spotted a reference to warehouse space in the building).

You/we can post comments until 19 April – let us know what you think.

A warning?

A member has sent us an email saying that he has just been visited by a Mark Wadey, who says he to be antique dealer and that you may recognise him from previous occasions when he has been in the area . He says he is interested in buying any pottery and china. He leaves a card with a Westdene Brighton address. The member did some research which discouraged him from having​ dealings with this man.

Film Screening 

IARA member James Dawson is having a screening of his documentary film “Organ Stops” in Hampstead on Sunday 10 April.  James writes: 

“It’s a music documentary using the pipe organ as a lens through which to see the growth of the UK’s secular culture. I mainly follow the work of pipe organ enthusiasts trying to save instruments from the scrapheap (because so many churches are closing) but also meet some wonderful organists – mainly women who have made the instrument their lives and love it.”  

Independent Elders of IARA

… as we grandly call ourselves … are meeting at 12 noon on Tuesday 12 April in The Grafton, for a general catch up.  If you don’t know about the Elders (no particular age requirement) and would like to know more, you can look at and/or get in touch.

WhatsApp group    As usual we remind members that there’s a lot of action on the IARA WhatsApp group with beautiful pictures, quality items on offer, requests and offers of help, opinions and views.  Email us with a request to join and your phone number.

D & D