Children build protest snowman on top of threatened West Hampstead reservoir

A group of children made a giant snowman to protest against new plans to build on an historic reservoir in West Hampstead.

Initially the team of youngsters simply wanted to create the biggest snowman ever after snow fell on the open space of Gondar Gardens this weekend.

They used a “snow ramp” and planks of wood to construct the 12-foot giant on land above the disused underground reservoir.

But the sculpture soon turned political to raise awareness of the development threat to Gondar Gardens.

The children gave the snowman limbs made from developer’s debris and a placard saying “Save our Space” and even named him Linden after developers Linden Homes, who want to build housing on the green land.

Tim Bleakley, whose home overlooks Gondar Gardens, said it had been a spontaneous protest by the children.

He said: “It’s important to them. They don’t want the space developed and nor does anybody else who lives here. The whole area has been fighting these plans for 15 years.

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“Every five years or so the developers keep coming back with a new plan. What’s different about these developers is that they are treating the site as if they have planning permission by cutting down trees and so on - and they haven’t.”

Linden Homes is currently appealing Camden Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for 16 homes sunk deep into the underground reservoir.

This week they submitted fresh plans to the council for 28 homes built over four storeys at the front of the site.

The children hope the plans will “melt away” along with their snowman.

Mr Bleakley highlighted that building on the reservoir, which once provided water to the royal household and Houses of Parliament, would endanger the only slow worm population in Camden and called for it to be listed.

Linden Homes’ new plans are available for comment on Camden Council’s website until February 22.