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100 Avenue Road: Save Swiss Cottage crowdfunding for judicial review into decision to approve construction traffic plan

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 November 2018

An artists impression of the proposed building in Avenue Road

An artists impression of the proposed building in Avenue Road

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Save Swiss Cottage is crowdfunding for a judicial review into Camden Council’s decision to approve the Construction Management Plan (CMP) for 100 Avenue Road last week.

Janine Sachs, chair of Save Swiss Cottage, objects to the 100 Avenue Road Construction Management Plan. Picture: Polly HancockJanine Sachs, chair of Save Swiss Cottage, objects to the 100 Avenue Road Construction Management Plan. Picture: Polly Hancock

In a letter to the Ham&High the group’s chair, Janine Sachs, said it is in discussions with lawyers about the possibility of challenging Camden’s decision, and is looking for funds.

She says: “Obviously, in order to proceed and stop this terrible plan once and for all, we need to raise funds as soon as possible to proceed a judicial review.”

The planning committee chair’s casting vote swung the decision last week on the plans for getting construction traffic onto the site in Swiss Cottage.

Once completed, it will have 184 flats, as well as retail and community facilities. The secretary of state gave it planning permission in 2016.

Councillors vote on the 100 Avenue Road Construction Management Plan. Picture: Polly HancockCouncillors vote on the 100 Avenue Road Construction Management Plan. Picture: Polly Hancock

Councillors and deputees were united in their concerns about impacts on Swiss Cottage Farmers Market, Winchester Road and Swiss Cottage Open Space.

The original CMP was rejected at a heated meeting in July. In a deputation on Thursday, Ms Sachs said: “The developer has not just failed to show the construction phase of the development can be carried out safely and with minimal possible impact on and disturbance to the surrounding environment and the highway network. It has now proposed amendments to the original CMP which are materially different from the July CMP.”

During the debate, which lasted more than two hours, Cllr Flick Rea summed up the mood, saying: “It seems we have been presented with two detailed, unpalatable options. It is no good saying never to both of them, because sooner or later a decision has to be made.”

Essential Living is now applying for a parkland application so it can use the Open Space. If this doesn’t happen, lorries exiting the construction site will travel back through Eton Avenue and Winchester Road instead of through the park into Avenue Road.

The approved plans see the same number of lorries using Winchester Road, as was rejected in July. A “hybrid plan” proposed cutting down on the length of time they would be using the street, however TfL argued this would extend the programme. This was questioned by Cllr Rea, who said the quashed CS11 project would have closed off one-side of the road altogether, and cause more disruption than the “hybrid” CMP.

Plans put forward by Save Swiss Cottage to only use Avenue Road were discussed at the meeting. TfL’s Gavin McLauglin said it couldn’t close an entrance to Swiss Cottage underground station to allow this to happen, even though the entrance in question is the quietest. It’s believed the decision also threatens Swiss Cottage Market as lorries will be given through it.

Leader of the Conservative group and planning committee member Oliver Cooper has since written to Sadiq Khan, asking him to help “save Swiss Cottage” as chair of TfL by agreeing to close the Underground station exit, allowing exclusive use of the A41.

Cllr Cooper said: “The TfL representative at the Planning Committee meeting on Thursday was insistent that TfL would not consider closing this exit, no matter the benefits to the community. I find the decision to be perverse to the point of irrationality, and I ask that you use your powers to reverse this immediately.

“For the small price of temporarily closing an under-utilised exit from one of the Underground stations best-served by exits, we could save a significant element of a local community. This appears to me to be an absolute no-brainer for a public authority.

“You have it in your power to save Swiss Cottage.”

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