100 Avenue Road: Respect the very real concerns of residents

Friday, 10th January 2020

• I WAS surprised and saddened that Camden Council officers recently decided that the latest revision of the CMP for the 100 Avenue Road development should not to be scrutinised by the planning committee.

Instead it will be decided imminently by council officers behind closed doors. This is despite the members’ briefing panel, a body of councillors that sift applications that should go to committee, recommending that it be subject to that full scrutiny.

Camden’s justification appears to be that there is a legal requirement to be fair to all parties in the process and that sending it to committee could be unfair to the developer and thus open to challenge.

This is true, but not sending it to the committee seems deeply unfair to residents, who have been so active in seeking to protect the area from any avoidable harm. The committee had previously given very useful feedback.

This stand-off has left the strong impression that public debate has been stifled. The result will be that the council will merely take in consultation responses and then consider them in private.

Procedural fairness requires decisions are made fairly and seen to be made fairly. Deciding this time to make the decision in private prevents this.

I would urge the council leader, the cabinet member responsible, and the director of regeneration and planning to seriously reconsider this action and to set out a clear and supportable process for dealing with these technical submissions in future.

This would properly respect the very real concerns of residents and might help rebuild confidence in Camden’s stewardship, which sadly appears exhausted.

Conservative, Belsize ward

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