January Newsletter

Dear Members 

This is our first newsletter for 2024, and there is quite a lot going on already. 

IARA WhatsApp group 

The main group now has over 200 members and buzzes with news, requests, offers.  We also have subgroups for History, Dog Lovers, Theatre Goers, Trees and Gardening, Sustainability.  There are plans in the spring for a walking group. 

If you’re not already a member and would like to join please email us with your phone numbers and your street address.   

Alma Street Fair 2024 

A planning group has already met to discuss plans to hold the Alma Street Fair.  We have agreed a date – Sunday 23 June – when we hope as many people as possible will volunteer to help on the day and/or take a stall.  If you would like to get involved at this planning stage please let us know. 

The Stay Club – application for an internal conversion to create more student rooms (and presumably the end of Gorillas delivery depot?).  Let us know if you have views on this. 

65 – 69 Holmes Road London NW5 3AN 
Division of the existing internal double height E(g) office space into two separate storeys to create 8 additional student accommodation rooms. Application number: 2024/0094/P
Application type: Full Planning Permission View Application 

Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum – (KTNF)  Annual General Meeting and update on plans for Regis Road 

IARA, our very local association, is a part of Kentish Town and there is a wider community group, KTNF, which is focused on more  strategic planning matters.

Here is a link to KTNF’s newsletter https://ktnf.org/news/.  The AGM will focus on plans for Regis Road which is the large industrial area at the top west of the High St where the recycling centre is, the car pound and the UPS depot.  Our local resident nature expert, Jeff Waage, will also be speaking on ecological issues. 

Yoo Capital has agreed to speak about the proposed Camden Film Quarter and how it will affect the area at the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum AGM on 29 January at the Kentish Town Community Centre, 7pm.

In April 2023, Yoo Capital acquired the land at Holmes Road Depot and the Recycling Centre on a subject to planning basis. In a statement Yoo Capital said it is following the Kentish Town Framework and Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan which includes 50% affordable housing, creation of jobs and workspace with employment and training strategies, new pedestrian and cycle facilities, a zero emissions neighbourhood, green open spaces and community facilities. 

Also speaking is local ecologist Jeff Waage, a Kentish Town-based ecologist with the University of London. Local councils are creating Nature Recovery Networks (NRNs) to improve urban biodiversity and deliver mental health benefits. Camden’s strategy is to improve, enlarge and link up its existing Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINCs), using them as nature-rich “stepping stones” and developing green spaces in between to create continuous, green corridors. 

We’d also like to highlight that KTNF is about to start revising the Neighbourhood Plan, which sits alongside the Camden Plan in defining the future of Kentish Town.  They are running a survey to find out what residents think –  It’s quite short and you’ll find it at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HH7YRMD 

Camden Council – also revising the Local Plan  

They say: 

The Council is consulting on the draft new Local Plan from Wednesday 17 January to Wednesday 13 March 2024. 

The draft new Camden Local Plan sets out our vision for future development in Camden for the next 15 years and includes the planning policies and site allocations to help achieve this. It identifies how many new homes and jobs are needed to support Camden’s population, and where and how they should be provided. The Local Plan also has an important role in shaping how Camden’s places look and feel, promoting inclusion, reducing inequality, enhancing the environment, tackling climate change and securing sustainable neighbourhoods. 

To read and comment on the interactive version of the draft new Local Plan please visit our commonplace site Have Your Say Today – Draft New Camden Local Plan – Commonplace

View the draft new Local Plan here

Kentish Town Safer Neighbourhood Panel Meeting 7 December 2023

John N, who attends this panel on behalf of IARA, has forwarded this report: 

Sergeant Howard of the Kentish Town SNT updated the panel on recent police activity in Kentish Town North and South: 

– Following intelligence, a warrant was issued for a shop and flat in Kentish Town Road which was a centre for drug importations. Cannabis and cash were taken from the premises. 

· A youth involved in robbery involving a knife was arrested and is currently on bail. 

· Patrols continue across both Kentish Town North and South. 20 burglaries, a mix of residential and commercial were recorded in October/November. The launderette on Fortess Road has been targeted several times. No overall pattern emerged and none of the recorded burglaries were during the night. A number involved homes which were empty while the residents were away at the weekend. One individual linked to burglaries has been taken into custody. 

· Ingestre Estate continues to be a focus for anti-social behaviour and a number of warrants have been issued. Late patrols are taking place. 

· Welfare checks are underway on a number of Camden properties where potentially ‘cuckooing’ has been identified. 

· A reported case of XL Bully Dogs has been dealt with successfully. 

· The SNT were asked about any incidents of anti-semitism in Kentish Town. They reported that a Jewish owned bakery on St Pancras Way had been vandalised twice with graffiti. There were no other known/reported incidents. 

The priorities for Kentish Town SNT policing remain Anti-social behaviour including drugs and Burglaries.