Among the misery – some good news including an astonishing 500 strong community response to a planning threat.
It’s cold, we’re locked down, and some of us need a bit of support. If you’re aware of neighbours – maybe someone you volunteered to help earlier last year, or someone you usually see out and about – it would be great to check up on them and offer any help they might need.
If you need anything yourself, we have a list of volunteers eager and willing to help. There are also some specific ways to get involved locally – please see below for an interview with Gary in Willes Rd.
MEANWHILE….. if you thought planning was boring …wrong! Some quite exciting things have been happening.
Remember we have four major planning matters in hand with a fifth one just emerging.
NUMBER ONE: 3 – 6 Spring Place – application by Segro for a distribution centre
If you haven’t already, take a look at the Camden Planning Application website –
Application number: 2020/5913/P Application type: Full Planning Permission. Click here to View Application where you will see over 500 objections! This is an amazing response and shows unanimous rejection of the proposal for a 24 hr a day 7 day a week distribution warehouse in a narrow residential street with huge implications in terms of lorry and van traffic
Many of you have already sent in brilliant, thoughtful and well-informed comments. And many are from parents and staff at CFBL (the French School in Holmes Road), some are from children at St. Patrick’s, as well as formal ones from both schools and scores of local residents. .
There are a few duplicates (including IARA’s – in twice – once as a pdf in the most recent posts) but even allowing for that the response is extraordinary.
And there is still time for more as the deadline has been extended again and is now 19 February.
NUMBER TWO Monmouth House – planned installation of aerials etc on the roof.
We have sent in further evidence to the Planning Inspector about the visual impact of this proposed installation, and reasons why they should consider an alternative site in Regis Road. We know that some of you have also written in – there is still time if you will be affected as the deadline is 14 February, Monday. See full details in our last email.
NUMBER THREE: The Stay Club – the old Magnet site in Holmes Road
Again, we have written to the Planning Inspector to add further reasons why we object to the construction of a 7th storey on this building. The deadline is also 14 February and details are in the previous email. See above.
NUMBER FOUR: Murphy’s huge site at the top of the High Street:
Most of you are aware of the proposals for a massive development of the land owned by Murphys which lies behind Highgate Road and the railway and runs all the way up to Gospel Oak. They are currently asking for views on community uses of the site, and they say this:
“We are currently undertaking a survey on community uses – which may be accessed via the project website – and would be grateful if you could spend a few minutes completing this for us. Do also get in touch via email or by calling 0203 880 6941 if you’ve any further comments or questions at this stage. We are planning to hold a further round of consultation on the wider proposals for the site in the next few weeks and will keep you updated on this. “
Significantly, the further round of consultation they mention may include the current proposals for the site, which feature tower blocks up to at least 18 storeys in height.
Many people have said they value the fact that from the tube exit and higher up the High Street there is a wonderful view up to the Heath which makes the area feel light and open
Murphy’s proposals now leave only a tiny, narrow view – hemmed in by the tower blocks.
You can see this if you go to website and have a look in the “Have your say” section Murphy’s Yard: Have Your Say (murphysyardconsultation.co.uk), where there are exhibition boards which show this, particularly slides number 15 and 16.
The Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan which was the result of years of consultation by local people and was endorsed by a public referendum and accepted by Camden says that the clear view from Kentish Town Station over the railway bridge and right up to Hampstead Heath must be preserved in any development,
If you have views (no pun intended) about this you can let them know – you can also sign up for their emails to be notified of the next round of consultations.
AND A POSISBLE FIFTH ONE: Partial pedestrianisation of Queens Crescent Market.
Traffic calming and healthy streets
Many of you will have heard directly from Camden about the plans to partially close Queens Crescent and Grafton Road to through traffic. If you haven’t, the consultation link is here: Queen’s Crescent Motor Traffic Free Environment Trial – We Are Camden – Citizen Space The plans very much tie in with local concerns about through traffic in our area. IARA hasn’t been directly consulted, and there may not be a consensus view, but we’d be interested to have any feedback about what people in the Inkerman Area think.
There is also an update from Camden on their Planning Guidance policies. They say:
The Council adopted a number of updated Camden Planning Guidance (CPG) documents on 15 January 2021, following consultation on draft documents between August and October 2020.
The documents are:
Home Improvements (superseding Altering and extending your home – March 2019)
Housing (superseding Interim Housing- March 2019 and CPG2 Housing – March 2019)
Updated versions of :
- Air Quality CPG
- Amenity CPG
- Basements CPG
- Community uses, leisure facilities and pubs CPG
- Design CPG
- Employment sites and business premises CPG
- Energy efficiency and adaptations CPG
- Planning for health and wellbeing CPG
- Public open spaces CPG
- Town centres CPG
- Transport CPG
AND RETURNING TO IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMUNITY MATTERS
As members of the WhatsApp group will know, Gary Lane, among others, has been extremely active during the pandemic, offering to collect prescriptions or food etc for people – both via the WhatsApp group but also via the GoodSam App run by the NHS which helps make these connections.
He has also issued appeals for the support of various local organisations with which he is engaged. We thought it was worth following this up and getting more precise details.
He says that there are two main local organisations that really deserve our support:
There is the food bank operating out of the Queens Crescent Community Association. They provide food packages and hot cooked meals. These have previously been available for collection by those families that need them, but with the lockdown restrictions, that has been replaced by a team of volunteers who deliver this food to people’s homes. Many fellow IARA members have stepped up to help with these deliveries, but there is always the need for more volunteers to do this on a Tuesday & Thursday [1.30pm for walkers (trollies provided) and cyclists and 2.15pm for car drivers: Queens Crescent Community Centre, Ashdown Crescent, Queens Crescent].
Gary also told us about the fact that his appeal via the WhatsApp group for people with IT experience led to various connections being made and now two keen young people are working on improving the database the Community Association needs to run more efficiently.
The other local organisation that he is involved with is Streets Kitchen. This is now a nationwide project, but it started in Camden 20 years ago. Locally, it is essentially a group of organised volunteers that distribute hot food to rough sleepers six nights a week on the open area beside the Camden town tube. On Sundays they distribute warm clothing and sleeping bags as well, and in this weather, donations are desperately needed. He says that the number of rough sleepers has increased rapidly (20,000 newly created homeless since the start of the pandemic), particularly since the end of the “Everybody In“ project which ensured there were no street homeless in the early days of the first lockdown. The surge in street homeless in Camden is in stark contrast to Islington and Haringey where the legacy of that programme thankfully still exists.
Food is either cooked in a new pop-up kitchen at Archway (preparing food donated by OXO Tower restaurants) or donated by various restaurants including the Punjab Restaurant in Covent Garden and our very own Neighbourhood Organic, as well as Franco Manca, Gails and Wenzels.
He tells us, very touchingly, that passers-by who witness the distribution are sometimes moved to go into local shops and buy more provisions to contribute.
If anyone wants to get involved in either project, they can always contact Gary via the WhatsApp group or IARA‘s email address.
He said that he has been enormously impressed with the community spirit that has been generated during the pandemic; it’s truly been wonderful to witness. He’d love people to think this work was by his altruistic self, but he has derived huge personal benefit doing it: getting out and meeting people, keeping busy and having conversations with other than Alexa, Siri and Google. He highly recommends it! [He has told us that our email out on Friday has already triggered more donated clothes]
And another request for help:
Could you share your digital skills with a disabled person in Camden?
Camden Disability Action is looking for people to join us as Digital Coaches. This means you would work one to one with a disabled person, finding out the sorts of online things they might like to do and helping them to get started on doing them – from shopping to job hunting to gaming to zooming their grandchildren.
Being online is more important in our lives than ever – by sharing what you know about using online services you can help unlock a world of online opportunity for someone.
If you could spare a few hours a week contact CDA.
For more information follow this link to the Volunteer at CDA Page