IARA news – AGM and lots of planning issues, plus report from police liaison

A chance to meetneighbours! Come to the IARA Annual General Meeting – Monday 23 January 7 – 9 pm upstairs at The Grafton

We have booked the upstairs room for the meeting, and hope to see many of you there.  Thanks to the 2022 Street Fair profits, we can buy a first drink for all those who come and will order some snacks.  The formal meeting should not last more than an hour, with reports from the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and some of the subgroups. 

Some of these subgroups are new this year as WhatsApp groups, and dynamic – eg the dog lovers group, the thatre going group, the gardening group and “SustainIara ” – focusing on recycling, alternative power generation etc.  That is in addition to the Local History Group, Elders etc. 

There will be an election of officers – the existing team are willing to stand again but if you would like to nominate yourself or anyone else please let us know before the election. 

One of the issues we will raise at the meeting will be the Alma Street Fair.  As most of you know, this can only happen if enough people come forward to help with planning the fair and taking responsibility for the many tasks involved.  We will arrange an initial meeting in early February when we’ll be able to decide whether it can go ahead in 2023. 

West Kentish Town Estate – proposed redevelopment 

We wrote about this in our last newsletter, and have become increasingly concerned, now that we have seen some of the visualisations of the proposed redevelopment, which are very depressing. 

We have signed up to BETTER WEST KENTISH TOWN, which is the name of a coalition of groups campaigning for a better outcome. There are many negative aspects of the scheme that need to be changed.
 

What can be done? There will be a public meeting in the New Year to discuss this. 

In the first instance it would be good if as many of us as possible objected to the Council’s current planning application to EXCLUDE certain areas from the required Environmental Impact Assessment, which are: 

– Geo-Environmental; 

– Water Resources, Drainage and Flood Risk; 

– Light Pollution4; 

– Project Vulnerability5; 

– Transport and Access; and 

– Waste and Materials. 

We agree that these SHOULD be included in the Environmental Impact Assessment. 

Please object to the exclusion (which is the subject of the application), and also mention any other concerns you have. The more responses they get the better. 

You can do this here View Application 

or email planning@camden.gov.uk, quoting planning application reference 2022/5281/P. 

We are drafting a response from IARA, based on the feedback we have had to date. We have posted a copy on the IARA website https://www.inkermanresidents.org.uk/uncategorized/west-kentish-town-estate-draft-comments-on-the-planning-application

Camden’s Local Plan

We have previously told you about the consultation on the review of the local plan.  You can post comments until 13 January at
Have Your Say Today – Camden Local Plan – Review Commonplace

Some of us, as well as members of the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum, have been invited to a meeting with the Director of Planning to discuss issues that are of particular interest to the Inkerman Area.  If there are planning issues you would like us to raise please let us know.  We have already mentioned something that has often been raised in the past about Camden’s refusal to allow modest, standard roof extensions.  We have already lost a number of families who have moved away as a result, which not only diminishes our community but will have an impact on local schools, who already have declining numbers. 

Police liaisonKentish Town Safer Neighbourhood Panel Meeting 15 December 2022 

John N has sent in this report of the latest panel meeting – and points out that there is a real issue about police resources. 

Changes to the wards/teams in Camden 

As a result of the boundary changes to wards in Camden there are now 2 Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Kentish Town, one for Kentish Town North and 1 for Kentish Town South (IARA is in Kentish Town South). However, it has been agreed to keep 1 Safer Neighbourhood Panel to cover both wards and teams. 

Personnel 

Sergeant O’Hara covers both North and South Teams and Camden Square Team. Kentish Town South has 2 allocated Ward Officers with Officer Bekir Tezgel in post. Kentish Town North has an allocated PCSO, Danny Fitzsimmons, who we know well in IARA and a new PC is due in February. 

There have been lots of changes of personnel and, along with the rest of the MET, an issue about recruitment and filling vacancies. 

Priorities for policing 

The new Commissioner has pushed for a focus on Anti-Social Behaviour, which includes drug dealing, and on burglaries.  This reflects long-standing priorities for our Panel which are agreed regularly at our meetings. 

Within Kentish Town North and South there are crime hotspots for motor vehicle crime around Camden Road on the border with Islington and for robbery e.g. bag snatching in Fortess Road towards Tufnell Park. Compared to other parts of Camden there is no significant burglary hot spot in Kentish Town. 

Anti-Social Behaviour and drug dealing is generally a spill-over from Camden Town. There is a significant hotspot around Castlehaven Road and Prince of Wales Road and this tends to spill over into the IARA area with dealing around the Raglan Estate.  

The SNT have been targeting drug dealers in Castlehaven and there have been some successful arrests. The policy is to prioritise and target drug dealers rather than drug users. 

Drug dealing in Ingestre Estate is an issue and there have been plain clothes day patrols around Acland Burghley School. Drug use by students at Acland Burghley is a problem and a meeting is being arranged with the school, Police and local residents. 

Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour will remain the key priority for the SNT for Kentish Town with Ingestre Estate and Raglan Estate as main patrol spots. 


Hedgehogs!

John T has sent us an interesting article about possible ways to encourage hedgehogs back into our gardens by making a hole low down in the fence or wall between gardens to enable a thoroughfare.  Worth a try? D & D