Search

Resident groups to unite and fight high-rise developments

PUBLISHED: 10:28 10 October 2011

Keith Moffitt

Keith Moffitt

submitted

Residents from West Hampstead and Fortune Green have issued a call to arms to battle the urban jungle which they claim is destroying the village feel of their neighbourhoods.

Residents from West Hampstead and Fortune Green have issued a call to arms to battle the urban jungle which they claim is destroying the village feel of their neighbourhoods.

Plans have been laid for up to 10 residents’ associations to unite and use new powers to oppose high-rise developments which could see thousands of new homes built in the area.

The vice-chairman of the Fordwych Residents Association, James Earl, who is spearheading the campaign, said that Camden Council had no overarching vision for West Hampstead and Fortune Green and 
its character could be irreversibly damaged.

He also claimed that schools, transport facilities and doctors’ surgeries would struggle to cater for the newcomers.

Mr Earl has suggested that residents’ groups come together in a new neighbourhood forum and use powers set out in the Localism Bill, which is being debated in parliament, to protect green spaces and the areas’s character.

He said: “West Hampstead has that village feel with green space, but people still feel it is quite congested. If all these plans go ahead, we will be short of school places and doctors’ surgeries.

“It’s not the place for a high-rise development area. This kind of thing would never be proposed in Hampstead Village.

‘Disproportionate’

“It seems disproportionate and we need things that fit the area’s character.”

“High-rise residential accommodation is not traditional outside of central London and it would change our area dramatically.”

West Hampstead has been earmarked for development under London-wide housing plans and by the 
council.

A council spokeswoman said: “The Local Development Framework Core Strategy identifies it as one of the growth areas in the borough which will accommodate more jobs and homes over the coming years.”

She added: “The level of interest in development within the area is not atypical of the identified growth areas and reflects that West Hampstead area is obviously seen as an attractive place to live and invest in.”

Cllr Keith Moffitt, who has lived in the area for years, said: “West Hampstead has been singled out for intensification and I know a lot of people feel the pace of change is too fast. As an area, it is well balanced and it would be a big shame for that balance to be disrupted.”

Mr Earl hopes to draw up a plan for the area in the next few months.

New powers in the Localism Bill would allow neighbourhood forums to decide where new shops, offices and homes should go and which green spaces to protect.

A local referendum would then be held to vote on the proposals.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express