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The South Hampstead Synagogue have listened to the concerns of residents and taken their redevelopment plans back to the drawing board.
The Synagogue say that they have outgrown the existing building on the corner of Eton Villas and Eton Road, and that it needs updating and modernising. They are planning new community facilities and a larger hall for
worship. However, in a series of meetings chaired by local councillors, Steele’s Village residents have expressed concerns about the bulk and mass of the new development and the impact of additional traffic on local streets.
The Synagogue have now appointed a new architect, the widely respected Allies and Morrison, and will be presenting revised designs to us on 10th October. A formal planning application could be presented to Camden Council before the end of the year.
Please get in touch if you would like us to keep you up to date on the plans as they develop.
Residents and businesses in Chalk Farm and Steele’s Village are calling on the Mayor of London to extend the Cycle Hire Scheme further North.At the moment, cyclists using the popular scheme can only get as far as Castlehaven Road in Camden Town. While Chalk Farm Station and Haverstock Hill would be popular extensions, the Mayor insists (somewhat bizarrely) that the local “topography” is not suitable for cycling. In other words: it’s too hilly.
South West London will be seeing more and more hire stations over the next few years, but the next time the Mayor has said he will even consider more sites in Camden is 2016. This means that Chalk Farm residents miss out on the opportunity to cycle all the way home and local businesses don’t get the benefit of being on the cycle network.
I raised this issue at the last Full Council meeting, and asked Camden to help residents prepare sites and lobby the Mayor.
Camden Council are threatening to water down road safety procedures at Dalby Street, a road used by hundreds of people a day to access Kentish Town Sports Centre.
Dalby Street was controversially officially handed over to a developer last year. With plans to build luxury flats over the road, an independent inspector found that traffic marshals would be required, all day, to allow people to reach the sports centre safely. He also said that Camden Council, as the body supposedly representing the interests of the public, should have the final say in how these access arrangements operate.
Remarkably, Labour-run Camden is now considering cutting the marshaling provision – because it will be too onerous a responsibility on the developer. Worst still, Camden may offload it’s duty for regulating and instructing the marshals onto the private developer and his customers – who have a financial interest in keeping road safety procedures at a bare minimum.
Talacre Sports Centre is one of the most popular and important facilities in our borough and it’s users need to be able to access it safely. I have written the the council to raise these concerns, and to urge them to remember whose side they are supposed to be on. Road safety has to come first.
Camden is looking fresh and white today, after heavy snow fall last night. I’ve just got back from a walk on Primrose Hill, dodging the hundreds of people who’ve dug out the sledge (and the odd snow board) to enjoy the cold weather.
However fun the snow may be for some, there will inevitably be an impact on some council services. You can keep up to date with the lastest news here.
I’ve reproduced the council’s email to councillors below. As ever, do get in touch if there are issues you need us to raise with the council on your behalf.
Because we starting gritting early yesterday and carried this out throughout the evening all priority roads remained open and many side roads are also passable with care.
We will continue to grit priority roads throughout the day and evening as necessary.
Cleaning services remain suspended today with all staff redirected to snow clearance and pavement gritting. We will focus on priority areas such as hospital entrances and high footfall areas.
Refuse collection services have been suspended this morning so staff can assist clearing snow but we expect the service to resume by 2pm today. On Sundays we only collect from the main high roads so we are not expecting this to be a significant problem and we aim to catch up with the collections when the service is resumed.
All parks are now open, but some parks on the higher ground areas, such as Waterlow and in the Kilburn area, were opened later due to access difficulties.
Parking enforcement will be affected today.
North of Euston Road, main roads only will be enforced by both CCTV and on foot patrols. Main roads are bus routes.
South of Euston Road, bus lane and moving traffic contraventions will be enforced by CCTV and there will be on street foot patrol on main roads.
Haverstock Resident in Sloane Square: “Please could you take me to Haverstock Hill, just above Prince of Wales Road?”
Cab driver: “You mean Steele’s Village?!”
The above coversation was happily related to me this week by one of the leading lights of our campaign to re-brand the area between Chalk Farm and Belsize Park as Steele’s Village. As many know by now, the name pays tribute to Sir Richard Steele, founding editor of the Spectator and a local celebrity of the eighteenth century.
Fast forward three hundred years and there’ll be a modern day local celebrity – Sir Derek Jocobi – at Steele’s Village this Tuesday 6th December to switch on the Christmas tree lights. The event kicks off from 4pm outside the Legal Cafe.
Last year I asked for comments on the 393 bus route, which was under review by Transport for London.
One of the main things that came back was that people wanted the route to go all the way up to Morrisons, rather than stopping at the bottom of the hill.
We fed these comments back – and I’m pleased to say that it may have taken a while, but transport chiefs have listened and agreed that a bus stop at the top of the hill makes more sense.
The change took effect on 22nd October, and should make it much easier for Haverstock residents to get home with heavy shopping bags.
Thanks to Camden’s transport planners, Transport for London and the staff at Chalk Farm Morrisons for working together and making it happen.
Confused commuters are currently being confronted with blank information screens inside Chalk Farm tube station.
The electronic screens have been out of action for three days in a row and, after several people have been in touch, I have now complained about these to Transport for London (TfL) and asked for repair work as soon as possible.
Without the screens it is impossible to tell when the next train is coming, or which branch of the Northern line it is running on. OK, so it’s not the biggest problem we face in Haverstock right now, but nevertheless an unnecessary inconvenience for passengers that should be pretty easy to put right.
I’ll let you know if I hear anything back from TfL.
Update 11th November: I had a message from TfL yesterday saying they were on the case, and the screens seem to be back in working order this morning. Good news.
Plans for the mass redevelopment of the Hawley Wharf site opposite Camden Market have been submitted to the council this week.
For over two years, I have been working with other local councillors, residents and business groups to influence the developer’s proposals. While it’s great that this ramshackle and tawdry site (partly gutted by the fire back in 2008) will finally get a make over, we need to make sure the development respects our local area and makes Camden Town an even better place to live.
Judged against these criteria, and despite the developer taking on a few of our ideas, I believe the proposals currently fall short on several scores:
- Just 8% of the new housing on the site will be affordable, despite Camden setting a target of 50% and housing being the priority need in the area;
- Open spaces are poky and overshadowed by huge blocks;
- No evidence has yet been provided that local transport infrastructure will be able to cope with large numbers of extra visitors to a new four story “market”;
- There is no mechanism to secure new outlets that will bring retail diversity to Camden, to appeal to a different demographic.
Frankly, this new development feels like a shopping mall disguised as a market. Yet there is already a huge, commercial market on the other side of Chalk Farm Road, attracting thousands of visitors a week.
I believe most residents and local businesses would like to see a scheme that looks to Camden Lock’s origins as a place for craftsmanship, entrepreneurship and creativity, while offering something for the local people who currently feel frozen out of their own area.
Now, the Mayor of London has also agreed to my other requests. In a letter dated 9th September, he says: “I understand the stop signs should be changed in the next few weeks, together with the on-board bus announcements. Other publicity, such as timetables, will be updated during routine reprinting. I wish the local businesses and residents well in this venture.”
So next time you’re on a 168 or an N5, listen out for an announcement saying “alight here for Steele’s Village”.
Meanwhile the Evening Standard has given our campaign some publicity. It’s true, of course, that to properly rejuvenate an area it takes far more than a new name – but it’s a good first step. I met with local residents and businesses last week and we have heaps more ideas to develop the area: watch this space.
If you were spending public money on new signage, the first thing you’d do is check the basics like spelling, yes? Not, apparently, if you are Transport for London.
As part of a package of measures to give Steele’s Village (the new name for the area between Chalk Farm and Belsize stations) a face lift, I recently wrote to the Mayor of London asking him to rename the bus stops. This was intended to help the new name take hold.
The Mayor agreed, and new bus signage was introduced this week: a real campaign success!
Unfortunately, however, the bus stops have been labelled “Steel’s Village” instead of “Steele’s Village”. The author obviously couldn’t see the massive banners hanging just behind the stop, displaying the correct name.
So, another letter is on it’s way to Transport for London, asking them to come back and correct their spelling…
Update (Monday 5th September 2011): My spies on Haverstock Hill tell me that one bus stop has now been corrected.