We need a plan and supervision for Swiss Cottage Open Space

Thursday, 30th June

• OVER Saturday night and during the early hours of Sunday we who live overlooking the green known as Swiss Cottage Open Space (SCOS) were subjected to heavy electronic music and a wildly excited group (around 30 in number) of singing and dancing young people having great fun.

The thud, thud, thud of the bass was an unbearable, unescapable, torture. Unfortunately this open space comes with a lot of baggage.

Camden decided that the space was to be opened up as a vibrant community area while forgetting that it had built family homes and a senior citizen home closely surrounding the area, that is, homes for workers, schoolchildren, old folks who need to sleep at night and who now found themselves in this unsupervised, uncontrolled, open space.

Camden appointed Gustafson Porter at enormous expense to landscape the space. This company had on offer many categories of design from which to chose.

With the proximity of family homes, ideally the space should have come in the category of “residential landscaping” but Camden, with its muddled aims, had them design a park, a far more open kind of space.

The experienced designer Gustafson Porter undoubtedly realised Camden’s misconceived plan and helped the residents by compromising the site with some degree of possible tranquillity which at the time the local residents were pleased to accept. Hence the present design of a fountain, and undulating grassed surface to deter it being taken over by football.

However SCOS has no supervision day or night and is therefore open to whatever use anyone wants. Even with the ill-conceived category of park, no one from Camden’s parks office has taken any responsibility for it.

I am hoping that our new Labour councillors, Matt Cooper, Anna Burrage, and Ajok Athian (we are now in Primrose Hill ward) will support the residents here in getting Camden to take responsibility for this open space.

It is at present without byelaws and totally devoid of supervision. There needs to be in place a responsible plan that protects the residents from day-time vandalism and night-time noise. Let’s see what can finally be achieved.


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