Councillor's parting shot over tower of luxury flats

Labour councillor rebels at his final full council meeting

Tuesday, 19th April — By Richard Osley

Paul Tomlinson stock 2018

Cllr Paul Tomlinson

ONE of the seven Labour councillors barred from his own party from standing again at the May 5 elections delivered his final speech in the Town Hall chamber last Wednesday, lamenting how Camden had allowed a tower of luxury flats to be built on a rare bit of open green space in Somers Town.

Councillor Paul Tomlinson was barred from being a candidate after offering similar criticism over the past four years.
The council allowed the Grand Central Apartments skyscraper to go up in Purchese Street in return for the rebuilding of Edith Neville School.

Critics say enough funding could have been secured without allowing such a large development.

In one of his last acts, Cllr Tomlinson voted in favour of a Tory motion calling for new high-rise buildings to be banned in most parts of Camden.

Conservatives have been concentrating more on the O2 Centre site in Finchley Road where developers Landsec are seeking permission to demolish the shopping centre and build a development 15-storeys high in some places.

The motion failed to get through unamended and Labour say current guidelines provide adequate protection.

On Thursday, the O2 Centre came up again at the West Hampstead hustings. Marcus Gold, a Tory candidate in West Hampstead, said: “There are mechanisms within policy that Camden can enact in order to put limitations on the site, but sadly that’s not being done.”

Lib Dem Janet Grauberg said: “If the proposals aren’t right for West Hampstead then Liberal Democrat councillors won’t vote for them,” adding that open space, affordable homes and investments in tube access should be sought.

Labour councillor Shiva Tiwari told the audience: “I’m a pragmatist and for me it’s about fighting to get the right combination of attributes from that development.”

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