Chalk Farm nature reserve under threat from developers

The future of a Chalk Farm nature reserve is under threat from developers seeking to build on its fringes.

Adelaide Nature Reserve is home to a rare insect population and wild flora and fauna.

But it is now threatened by town hall plans to build a high-rise block of flats overlooking the small green plot as well as proposals to build a railway escape hatch for a high-speed railway line (HS2) nearby.

Friends of the nature reserve, which dates back to 1984, claim construction work, noise and light from the new accommodation could scare off bats.

Dave Lawrence, secretary of the Adelaide Nature Reserve Association, said: “It’s hard to see how it will not affect the nature reserve, with debris from the construction work making its way into the reserve. Once built there would also be a lot of noise coming from the flats.

“There is talk that HS2 is considering building the escape shaft in the reserve. That would be extremely disruptive and we will fight that strongly.”

A spokesman for HS2 said the current plan was to build the shaft to the east of the reserve.

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He said: “We are looking at a number of options for the location and design and will be liaising with the local authority and the nature reserves.

“There will also be opportunities to influence the design and appearance so that it is sympathetic to the landscape.”

Camden Council is considering bulldozing a medical centre and garage on the small plot of land next to Blashford tower block and building more accommodation. Opposition councillor Tom Simon (Liberal Democrat) said: “The future would look extremely bleak for the nature reserve if both were allowed to go ahead.”

A council spokesman said the proposals were still at a very early stage. He said: “The council is looking at redeveloping the garage on Adelaide Road to create a new medical centre. The association has been involved to ensure that redevelopment does not impact on their reserve. There are no plans to develop on land within the reserve and we are fighting to protect this area from the proposed High Speed 2 route.”