Fitzroy Park area must be protected from development
The Camden Planning Committee was correct in rejecting the management construction plan of the developers of Fitzroy Farm last Thursday, when voluble public opposition rumbled around the council chamber like thunder. We should assume that the developers
The Camden Planning Committee was correct in rejecting the management construction plan of the developers of Fitzroy Farm last Thursday, when voluble public opposition rumbled around the council chamber like thunder.
We should assume that the developers will be back on the tax efficient profit trail in due course. They still have planning permission (how they got it, the Lord only knows) and if they attempt to proceed, the next step must surely be for objectors to get the council to revisit that regrettable approval in light of all the objections they have subsequently received in bucket loads from all directions, with the view of getting it rescinded. Hampstead Heath and its borders are too important for anything less.
The remarkable assertion of Councillor Mike Greene that any potential threats from the development to the bordering Hampstead Heath and Hampstead Heath ponds were not relevant to the application, was more unreasonable and disproportionate than the Fitzroy Farm development plan itself, in promoting private financial interest above the public good and interests of the people of north London and indeed an entire capital city.
The notion that a building with an arguable potential to damage the Hampstead Ponds, to be erected with the permission of Camden Council, is not the business of Camden Council, is preposterous.
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Clearly the area around Fitzroy Park must be afforded permanent protection as a unique and precious survivor of old Middlesex countryside bordering Hampstead Heath, itself protected by the 1871 Hampstead Heath Act.
Future house building must be compatible with the history and nature of the picturesque spot, and inappropriate grandiose applications, like the Fitzroy Farm development, must be rejected.
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Although the committee received numerous objecting delegations, only three were allowed to speak because of the shortage of time: the Fitzroy residents for two minutes, the City of London Corporation for two minutes and the Kenwood Ladies Pond representatives for one minute.
Cllr Greene's contribution was singular. He effectively hijacked the proceedings (ignoring the chairman's attempt to bring them to a close by 10:30 pm) by inviting the developer's spokesman to actually restate his case in a more positive light with extra time, which was given to no-one else.
While Cllr Greene's solicitation was remarkable, the spokesman failed to successfully convert that generous intervention into the desired, bottom-line winning score.
Earlier, Cllr Greene entirely voluntarily, seeming to act in loco parentis, led the evidently delighted promoters of the Kenwood House picnic concerts with solicitations on their behalf, enthusiastically urging them from across the chamber to increase their stated demands from one fireworks display at the last Kenwood concert, apparently to firework displays at every concert, presumably at the promoter's discretion.
Nearby residents, including Mr. Alf Garnet, previously driven mad by numerous weekend firework displays throughout past summers, may care to take note.
Robert Sutherland Smith
Chairman, United Swimmers Association of Hampstead Heath