Word on the street: Campaigners’ Judicial Review lodged as 100 Avenue Road developers start demolition


- Credit: Archant

On Monday, local people gathered to protest outside the site of the controversial 100 Avenue Road tower development overshadowing Swiss Cottage Open Space where developer Essential Living (EL) has just started to demolish the existing building.

A Judicial Review has been lodged because concerned residents maintain that the developer’s construction management plan governing the erection of the 24-storey tower is wholly inadequate.

After the plan was rejected by the planning committee in July, it was brought back to committee in November, where, in a deadlocked meeting, it was only passed by the chairman’s casting vote. However, what was finally approved was a completely different and much worse traffic plan than what was heard and voted on.

The routing of lorry traffic through Winchester Road and over the pedestrian market area on Eton Avenue in front of the Hampstead Theatre will cause substantial harm and represents a real danger to market users and pedestrians. The route will continue behind hoardings through our much valued open space, ruining everyone’s enjoyment of the area for three to four years.

In spite of the fact the construction management plan currently being challenged in the courts also includes demolition, the developer has insisted on carrying out the demolition regardless. It seems to have taken the view that it is beyond the law because no single individual or group of citizens could afford the legal costs required to prevent immediate demolition. The developer ought to halt demolition urgently until legal proceedings are complete.

Protesters want to show that, once again, the developer has demonstrated absolutely no consideration for local views – that it has no interest in the local community.

When Camden Council’s officials refuse to heed the warnings of the people who pay their wages and who know the area best, we cannot stop the developer starting demolition. However, we want it to be known that this is not the end of our campaign. It is the beginning of a new phase – an undoubtedly hard battle through the courts where we will await the judge’s decision on the Judicial Review.