CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Say no to the neighbourhood forum’s ‘vision’

23 January, 2020

The seven-storey Haddo House in Highgate Road

• VOTERS must say no to the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum’s vision for the area until it is amended to the needs of 21st century climate crisis living, (Vote could safeguard area’s history, January 16).

It must encourage external wall insulation, to help those one in seven people in area in fuel/food poverty, needing local food banks, and also to substantially cut fossil fuel carbon emissions.

We all need encouragement to urgently reduce to zero, our carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, for heating and electricity, and also for more comfortable warmth and cool.

The community needs this plan to give climate crisis guidance, to give hope for our children’s future, not just about the good guidance on historic character, open spaces and green trees. There is also a high level of energy/food poverty, in our area. There is no mention in the plan of essential external wall insulation to reduce these crises.

The main purpose of the plan is to control “town planning development in the area”, but it misses out some of the biggest town planning development issues of the next decade – of urgent climate change, and energy poverty.

External wall insulation and solar panels will be the major development of the next decade of climate crisis preparations in the area so should not have been omitted.

What is not mentioned in the plan: our older, uninsulated homes, of solid-brick, are the worst in Europe for wasting heating energy with discomfort, with high carbon emissions, being very expensive to heat and cool, and cause energy /food poverty.

They need insulating on the outside, as first priority, because homes overheat, and people die in heat waves, with internal wall insulation (waterproof insulation with render, not expensive fake bricks, which will fall off ).

The Chester-Balmore Camden estate looks traditional brick, but with good external wall insulation and solar hot water panels does not need boilers, with huge increase in comfort, cutting of both poverty, and fossil fuel carbon emissions. It is illustrated twice in plan but with no mention of its energy saving.

While the plan well encourages heritage, open spaces, green planting and trees, its minor end note has a Trojan horse, craftily slipped in.

The author is trying to stop installations of external insulation and solar panels etc, which are legally allowed. Residents have wrongly been told by Camden, they cannot do these energy sustainability improvements in this conservation area, when they legally can.

You are now permitted to install solar panels on roofs of all terrace houses and flats, in conservation areas, both facing the road and garden, and also other renewable energy like: wind turbines 15metres high – with reasonable conditions – without any town planning application needed.

See: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/596/schedule/2/part/14/made.

Sir David Attenborough (as a scientist) said recently that the terrible Australian floods and wild fires, which are caused by the climate crisis heating, will destroy many homes and cities round the world if not prevented by urgently cutting to zero our fossil fuel burning carbon emissions, within the next decade.

The United Nations says the seas are rising several times faster than expected, and London (including tube trains) would be flooded this century, during life of our children, if we do not cut our carbon emissions urgently.

ANTHONY EDWARDS
Architect (retired)

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