The Planned demolition of the Pizza Express building and redevelopment of the site.

NEWS DECEMBER 2007.

THE COMMITTEE VOTED TO APPROVE THE PROPOSAL. MORE DETAILS LATER.

We have previously circulated to members by e-mail some details of this proposal and given the link to the Camden website where you can see full details and drawings. We also brought copies of the drawings and plans to the last meeting. Most people thought they were pretty poor and almost everyone regretted the loss of the present building. However the advice we have had is that without the protection of listing or Conservation Area status, the council cannot in fact prevent demolition.

We can comment on the plans as several people said they were unsympathetic, clumsy and over- bearing. We would welcome any further comments as we like to act with the best mandate possible rather than just giving our personal views.

We have received a letter from John Powner Chairman of the One Prince of Wales Road Residents Association which spells out clearly the history of the site and makes some cogent points. This has been sent out to everyone on the e-mail list. Can people please read this and let us know which points they agree with? (AND……… if you are not in the e-mail list and are reading this – why not contact us now and get added?! – inkermanara@hotmail.com)

We have asked him if he thinks there is a way that Camden can prevent demolition and we will keep members posted.

Caroline Hill is the Chair of Kentish Town Road Action and she has also written a letter of objection below. Again – do members agree and want us to support these points?

Generally people do not agree with her saying “We do not object to the principle of a new building here” but we do not believe Camden have the powers to prevent demolition.

Please let us have your views as soon as possible as the deadline for comments is very soon.

Debby and David

_From Caroline Hill:

Dear Kiran Chauhan

I am writing on behalf of Kentish Town Road Action, a residents’ group which campaigns for the diversity and vitality of Kentish Town Road as a shopping and social centre.

This is an important site in the streetscape of Kentish Town, a pivotal site on a major corner, looking up the main shopping street in one direction, providing a link to the south to the smaller shops on the route to and from the centre of Camden Town, and marking the head of the road to the west and Chalk Farm which leads away from the road junction. It is joined to the building of the ex-North London Polytechnic, now flats, which has a simple, rather classical design in brick, built in the 1920s or 30s.

The present building on the site, which was originally a lecture hall
or theatre for the polytechnic, is pleasant without being dramatic. If the site is to be rebuilt, it should be with a building of some style, friendly to its neighbours, but important enough to enhance the streetscape, and make creative use of this position. It should be a gateway building, being the first major building to be see on entering Kentish Town from the south.

The current application describes a building which is an improvement on the previous application. However, it is not remarkable and it is overall indecisive and too fussy in its use of surface materials – brick, zinc, timber cladding and white render. The design lacks confidence and doesn’t speak of high quality. Not enough detail is given about the materials to be used. What colour is the brick to be?

Does it harmonise with the brick used on the existing flats? What
colour is the powder coating? What are the ‘screens’ for – are they a design feature and if so, why?

We are not clear about how the ground floor is to be used. How are the A1, A2 and A3 areas to be divided up and where are the entrances for each section?

There are 14 apartments on the plan. These look very small and have been squeezed in. We think there should be fewer apartments of a more generous size.

We are concerned about loading and unloading provision, which will obviously be needed. The Prince of Wales junction is to be redesigned shortly (this is not shown on the plans) and so will be unsuitable as an stopping place for delivery and refuse vehicles. This needs to be thought out more carefully and another stopping place provided.

We see no mention of car ownership restrictions. We trust that
apartments will only be sold to car free buyers?

We do not object to the principle of a new building here, [ IARA does – Ed ]but Kentish Town deserves a building of character and presence on this important site. We are asking for design improvements to be carried out before this application is passed.

Yours Sincerely

Kentish Town Road Action_