Late night licensing threat. New Raglan Street housing. Ideas for using a local community centre. Climate action day. IT help wanted

Evening and Night Time Economy and Licensing Rules.

Camden is seriously suggesting a change in licensing to allow  more late night opening – up to 2.00 am in places. 

This proposal follows various consultations Camden have had on the Evening and Night time Economy.

Some of you may have contributed to the Commonplace consultation on these issues which gathered the views of a large number of local people. The results of this have not been published.

Camden are relying on views expressed by a group they call “The Camden Assembly”. This was a panel selected by Camden which excluded most of the local representatives who wanted to attend and was heavily weighted in favour of business.  

In spite of this it is clear that there is a wide gap between the views of businesses and the views of residents, and clearly Camden is so far largely disregarding the overwhelming view of residents across the borough who have said that they do not wish to see more late night opening.

Camden are pushing ahead despite the fact that their reports talk about the need for balance. 

People who live in areas that already have some late night opening have described noise disturbance, litter, gardens being used as toilets, and antisocial behaviour.  The police have also linked areas with late night opening to higher crime rates. The report was due to come to a Camden committee but that was delayed following police comments which seem to have been forceful enough to cause a cancellation of the meting so they would be valuable to know about but they have also not been published.

IARA’s policy has for many years been to object to applications for opening hours that go beyond the agreed Kentish Town Framework hours, and Camden has generally upheld these hours.  If the current proposals go through it would be much easier for licensed premises to extend their hours – in some cases well beyond midnight and in some cases to 2.00 am.

Last week we attended a meeting of local groups to discuss these proposals to allow licensed premises to stay open later and there was unanimous opposition based on the views of their members. 

We are therefore happy to join with other groups across the borough to ask Camden to delay their decisions and to engage in a proper dialogue with residents groups about the likely impact of extended hours. We welcome comments form members.

We have agreed to sign a letter to this week’s CNJ, and we will also write separately to our ward councillors and to our MP. 

New housing on the Raglan Street Estate – drop in session on Thursday at the Library. 

If you live in Raglan Street you should already have had a leaflet from the Council.  It relates to plans to build new housing on the Raglan Street Estate.

“Please see attached for the latest newsletter from the New Homes for Small Sites Team on the proposals for new affordable housing at Raglan Street Estate.

As mentioned in the newsletter, we would like to invite you along to our Meet the Design Team drop-in session, coming up on Thursday 22 February 2024 at Kentish Town Library, 262-266 Kentish Town Road, NW5 2AA from 3:30pm to 6:30pm.

At the event you will be able to meet our newly appointed architects as they prepare to start work on the proposed designs. As a key group in the local area, we hope to see you there!

Alternatively, if you cannot make this time and would like to find out more about these proposals, please get in touch with us at NewHomesSmallSites@camden.gov.uk or call us on 020 7974 8792. You can also visit our project website at camdensmallsites-raglan.co.uk

If anyone is planning to attend the drop-in, we’d be interested to hear your feedback.

#2 Prince of Wales Neighbourhood Space Refurbishment

We’ve previously told you about plans to make 2 Prince of Wales Road (the old Law Centre building) into a new ‘Neighbourhood Space’ which will include affordable workspace and a variety of spaces for community innovation.

We’ve now had an update from Camden:

“The project hopes to be an exciting chance to create a new type of community space that enables collaboration, citizen participation and innovation, building on the ‘Number 19’ pilot project in Kentish Town in 2021.

2 Prince of Wales Road is still being squatted and we are awaiting court appointed bailiffs. Unfortunately, this has put the completion date back to the second half of 2025. In the meantime, we are developing our strategy and talking to potential operators about how the building could be run to support financial sustainability whilst providing the most community benefit.  

We are planning a programme of engagement activities this Spring/Summer and hope to work with local groups and organisations to co-create what happens in the building and how it will be run day-to-day.  

Prior to this we are asking a small selection of local stakeholders to share their needs for space to inform our strategy. 

What we’d like to know:  

1.    What types of activities would you like to see in the building?

2.     What needs for space do you have that are not currently being met? What type of space would you need for this? How regularly would you need the space      or how long for?” 

We’d love to have your ideas to feed back to Camden.  So far, and to get you thinking, we’ve said:

“Ideas for the use of the space could include exhibitions by local artists, possibly space for dance sessions, book group discussions, support groups for IT, craft sessions. local history discussions, plant swaps … and, crucially, meeting rooms (from small groups such as our Elders group which is usually 10 – 12 people, to our AGM and general meetings which can be 50 – 60 people).  A big question is, of course,  affordability.”

Community Climate Action day 

Camden Sustainability officer has written to us to say:

“Please join us on Saturday 2nd March for Camden’s first Community Climate Action Day at the Greenwood Centre (37 Greenwood Place, NW5 1LB) on Saturday 2nd March.

The event is bringing together residents and local organisations taking action on the climate crisis. It is a market-style event which will have representatives from a range of local businesses committed to sustainability including Lifeafterhummus, Camden Fair Trade, Power Up North London, Veg Box, Library of Things, Think & Do, Your Bike Project, Somers Town Future Neighbourhood 2030 and Retrofit Kentish Town. A series of talks and workshops will also be available throughout the day.

Join us on the day to:

  • Receive expert support from the ‘Fixing Factory’ to repair a broken electronic item
  • Get a free bike check
  • Make a low-carbon smoothie with our smoothie bike
  • Sign up to our local seasonal fruit and veg scheme
  • Sign up for an air quality monitor loan
  • Get started with your home retrofit journey
  • Learn more about food redistribution networks operating in Camden and how to set up your own
  • Hear about Think & Do’s ”Sharing Spaces” about how they are facilitating local climate and social action

 Free snacks and treats will also be provided by local chefs from ‘Sharing Space Eats’.

Please visit this link to see the full programme and register to attend: https://camdenclimateday.eventbrite.co.uk “

Regis Road development

Some of us attended the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum annual general meeting at the end of January.  The main item was a presentation by Camden’s appointed developer for the site, Yoo Capital, which told us about plans for a Kentish Town Film Quarter, as well as affordable (including social) housing on the site.

We’re aware that a big concern for a lot of us is retaining a recycling centre on the site, and we will reiterate that when we get back in touch with the developer.  Yoo Capital tell us that they will be running a series of consultation meetings throughout the year before they submit a planning application to the council.  They are aware of what happened with the plans that were put forward for the Murphy site in 2022 and do seem genuinely keen to work with the local community in developing their own plans.  Watch this space!

IT help wanted for the Alma Street Fair. 

As you know, this is scheduled for Sunday 23 June. There is a small group of us working on the fairly complex arrangements necessary for this to happen, led by Jonathan B from Willes Rd.  David P also from Willes has taken on a lot of work organising the stalls which line the streets – local people and groups, restaurants and shops.

He would welcome some help from someone skilled and with practical experience in database and mail merge. Please contact us if you can help.   

D & D