CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Dirty deals with developers are causing massive damage

04 January, 2019

• LABOUR’S wholesale adoption of the Community Investment Programme wheeze as a way of funding vitally-needed local homes and services is, like the Tony Blair government’s Private Finance Initiative before it, building on quicksand, (Backbenchers call for Camden’s ‘North Sea Oil’ property deals to be reviewed, December 20).

The approach is fine as long as the negotiators have a firm objective, such as maximising the needs of local people. But developers want to make as much money as they can, and a desperate council is easy pickings for them.

This is why, across the whole of Camden, the council officers are doing dirty deals with developers, causing massive damage while getting the absolute minimum in return.

The skyscraper in Somers Town will be as appalling as the one Camden has allowed here in Swiss Cottage and, I note, will also be full of private flats.

As for Cllr Danny Beales talking of “extensive consultation”, that only works when the comments are listened to and, from my experience, that does not happen in Camden.

Just keep an eye on Swiss Cottage, where developer Essential Living (Swiss Cottage) Ltd has only just applied to use a key section of the tiny park there to make it easy for them to run demolition trucks through this park and the surrounding residential area for at least three-and-a-half years.

Will Camden allow this, despite knowing that these massive trucks will run up and down the main path through the park, in and out of their building site via the Market Square and up and down Winchester Road, bringing noise pollution and downright danger to all local residents as well as the tens of thousands of visitors using the markets, the Hampstead Theatre, and the extensive leisure facilities? As the saying goes, watch this space!

During the single consultation day, a random Thursday (October 11), there was total opposition to this disgusting proposal which will bring trucks within 10 feet of the children’s playground (behind a hoarding – as if that will make it better).

So will the new year see this consultation being listened to? Will it be rejected? I doubt it.

DAVID REED
Eton Avenue, NW3

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