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South Hampstead Junior School worry that Holiday Inn extension could overlook playground

PUBLISHED: 11:53 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 17 October 2019

The area behind Holiday Inn Express in Finchley Road, where the hotel is looking to build an extension. Picture: Harry Taylor

The area behind Holiday Inn Express in Finchley Road, where the hotel is looking to build an extension. Picture: Harry Taylor

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South Hampstead Junior School has urged Camden Council to turn down Holiday Inn Express's bid to expand its Finchley Road hotel - due to fears the rooms will face into its playground.

The area behind Holiday Inn Express in Finchley Road, where the hotel is looking to build an extension. Picture: Harry TaylorThe area behind Holiday Inn Express in Finchley Road, where the hotel is looking to build an extension. Picture: Harry Taylor

If approved tonight (Thu), the hotel giant will build a five-storey extension containing 51 more rooms. It means the capacity will rise to 130 bedrooms.

It says the development will help meet the London Plan's target of an extra 40,000 extra hotel rooms by 2036.

But South Hampstead Junior School, in Netherhall Gardens, has urged the council to throw out the application over concerns about safeguarding, over development of the site, and loss of trees.

It said the proximity to its grounds were of "great concern to the school in terms of safety and security".

In a letter from its lawyer, Lichfields, it said the school had a duty of care to safeguard students and protect them from overlooking.

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The extension behind the hotel directly faces where the playground is, with a number of trees adding to a boundary.

In another objection, Linda Williams from the Netherhall Neighbourhood Association added that the trees shed their leaves in winter, removing another visible barrier.

On top of this, the school says some of the land involved in the new development is owned by the Girls Public Day School Trust (GDST) and it hasn't been served notice of the development.

The school also says it is worried about potential subsidence caused by the building work, should it be given the green light.

It adds that despite the original plans being amended with five rooms removed, "valid concerns" remain.

A host of neighbours have objected, including Maria Gartside from Frognal Court.

She moved into her home in November 1962 and said she's seen the site change from a "garden nursery situated on a tree lined road to the present over developed site which is not, and has never been of any benefit to the local community."

The meeting at Camden Council's Crowndale Centre in Eversholt Street will begin at 7pm tonight (Thu).

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