Tonight the planning committee will make its decision on the proposed Hawley Wharf development in Camden Town, which will affect the character of our area for a generation.

We’re hoping for a strong turnout at the Town Hall to show the committee how strongly local people feel about the plans. If you want to demonstrate your support, please come along to Camden Town Hall, Judd Street at 7pm.

I will be speaking at the committee, and have joined together with councillors in neighbouring Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward to send the following letter to our local papers today:

Sir,

We represent different political parties, but have come together to urge our colleagues on the planning committee to reject the damaging Hawley Wharf proposals. We don’t oppose development – but we do oppose bad development.

We have spent almost four years working with residents to influence and improve the developer’s plans. Unfortunately, our conclusion is that they just aren’t good enough for our area. And it’s not just local people who say that – both English Heritage and the Design Council have raised objections to the scheme.

Camden Town is a special place with a unique, vibrant atmosphere. The new plans would replace the independent, entrepreneurial spirit of trading in Camden with a four storey shopping mall, designed to attract maximum numbers of tourists and freeze out residents. We need a development with open space the whole community can share; affordable homes for local people, and diverse shops and services that people of all ages want to use. A new school could be a useful addition locally – providing it doesn’t mean there’s no social housing.

Even at this late stage it’s not too late to protect the future of Camden Town – by sending the developer back to the drawing board and asking him to come back with better plans as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Chris Naylor (Lib Dem), Cllr Pat Callaghan (Labour), Cllr Matt Sanders (Lib Dem)

Update: we won! Scheme thrown out by 7 votes to 5. Camden New Journal has full story here.

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