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Camden Green Party: Hampstead Heath dams project ‘would cause enormous damage to landscape’

Mixed Pond swimmers and sunbathers, Hampstead Heath. Mixed Pond swimmers and sunbathers, Hampstead Heath.

Friday, August 29, 2014
11:00 AM

Camden’s solo Green Party councillor has called for alternatives to the controversial Hampstead Heath dams project.

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Cllr Siân Berry lodged an official objection to the scheme this week in which she objected to the much-criticised £15million proposals to enlarge or build new dams across the Heath.

She was responding to Camden Council’s public consultation on the planning application submitted by the City of London Corporation, which manages the Heath.

Cllr Berry, who represents Highgate ward, said the surrounding areas can be protected from flooding while “retaining the Heath’s unique environment” and that the City has ignored “viable” alternatives.

She cited the ideas of independent civil engineer Stephen Myers, who believes the Heath’s sandy soil would absorb more water than the City has estimated, and that these sponge-like abilities could be boosted with “softer” works.

Cllr Berry said: “It is clear that flood risks for residents around the Heath need to be reduced, but it is just as a clear that the proposal being put to Camden Council, with large new dams and excess water storage focused on enlarging the ponds, would cause enormous damage to the landscape of the Heath and is not acceptable to the thousands of people who live around, visit and enjoy this unique part of Camden’s heritage.”

Cllr Berry backed the opposition campaign led by the Heath and Hampstead Society, which is seeking to block the plans by applying for a judicial review at the High Court.

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