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Judicial review over Hampstead Heath dams project imminent as plans finalised

PUBLISHED: 17:47 03 June 2014

A pond on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A pond on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A High Court legal challenge against the controversial Hampstead Heath dams project is imminent after the final plans were announced.

The City of London Corporation, which manages the Heath, this week published details of the final proposals for the £15million project to stop the Heath’s dams collapsing in an extreme downpour, following a public consultation that presented two options for each of the Hampstead and Highgate pond chains.

On the Highgate side, the City wants to raise dams by 2.5 metres at the Model Boating Pond, one metre at the Men’s Bathing Pond and 1.25 metres at the Highgate No. 1 Pond.

In Hampstead, the changes would include a new 5.6metre dam at the catchpit area and see the Mixed Bathing Pond dam raised by one metre.

The plans are set to be rubber-stamped by the City’s Hampstead Heath Committee on Monday June 9. The Heath and Hampstead Society has pledged to launch a judicial review after the decision is taken.

Tony Hillier, chairman of the society, which is leading the Dam Nonsense campaign against the dams project, said: “We’ve been waiting for the City to make a decision. When they rubber-stamp their decision, that’s when we will submit our request for judicial review.”

He added that it was “absolutely without significance” which of the options was chosen because all of them were “totally objectionable”, pointing out that the majority of respondents to the consultation gave negative feedback on all the proposals.

n Camden Council is hosting a public forum on the ponds project at Parliament Hill School, Highgate Road, on Thursday (June 5) from 7pm to 9pm.

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