Future of West Hampstead garden unclear after council blunder
- Credit: Archant
Camden’s housing chief has been forced to defend a pledge he made to halt plans to sell off precious open space - after council officers sent out letters saying the opposite.
The letters informed them of the sale of land used as a communal garden in West Hampstead, just days after Cllr Julian Fulbrook said that no decision on the site’s future had been made.
Cllr Fulbrook, cabinet member for housing, said he was unaware of the letters sent to residents about the open space in Dynham Road, but conceded: “unfortunately things are often on auto-pilot”.
He told the Ham&High this week: “The officers have very clear instructions from me that a decision has been paused and will be made in due course.”
In February, Camden’s cabinet approved the sale of the land to the private market as part of the council’s Community Investment Programme (CIP).
You may also want to watch:
Following the cabinet decision, Dorothea Breitzter-Kings, 57, who lives behind the garden in Hemstal Road, delivered a deputation and petition with 32 signatures in opposition to the sale of the land at Camden’s full council meeting on March 4.
She said: “These small properties [on Dynham Road] are suited to the elderly and people who have health problems. Often they can’t make it any further than that garden, so to lose that will have disastrous effects on their well-being and health.
- 1 North London floods return – with South End Green deluged again
- 2 Haverstock Hill cycle lanes set for approval by Camden Council – again
- 3 Call for answers after flood 'destroyed parents' love letters and vinyl records'
- 4 Historic Archway site set for major housing development after land sale
- 5 'The euphoria felt like the Summer of Love' – Kaleidoscope at Ally Pally
- 6 'Body blow': Crouch End NatWest bank to close
- 7 'Like the Fleet's resurfaced': Flash flooding hits Hampstead and Highgate
- 8 Source Bulk Foods health store opens in Crouch End
- 9 £5,000 of crack cocaine and heroin found in Hampstead home
- 10 'Time for the government to face up to the climate emergency'
“It affects a row of about six properties and if you lose that open space it will be like a prison yard.”
Cllr Fulbrook told the full council meeting in March that he had “suspended” any decision and would consult with residents.
But just over a fortnight later Michelle Charlery, a Dynham Road resident who uses the garden with her one-year-old son, received a letter from Melissa Dillon, Camden’s head of regeneration and development, saying the land would be sold.
Mrs Breitzter-Kings and her husband Peter, 64, then received a letter on April 2 from Camden Council officer Ian Sumner informing them the sale of the land would proceed by auction “within this new financial year”.