Opinion: 100 Avenue Road, have your say at public meeting

54ft articulated lorries will drive past the childrens play area every day for three years.

54ft articulated lorries will drive past the childrens play area every day for three years. - Credit: Janine Sachs

This Thursday (October 10), developers Essential Living (EL) are holding a public meeting on an entirely new Construction Management Plan (CMP) to build their 100 Avenue Road, 24-story skyscraper, using Swiss Cottage open space and parkland.

This precious piece of land should never have been given access for development by Camden Council in the first place. All construction should have been restricted to the A41.

In his Vision, Policy GG2, the mayor promises to "protect London open spaces". What has gone wrong here?

It was bad enough that the original CMP, submitted to the planning committee last November, was for seven 33ft tipper trucks per day to go through site using the open space and parkland.

But now it has been suggested that up to 25 massive 54ft articulated lorries (see size: tinyurl.com/54artic) will ride roughshod through our amenity past the children's play area every day for three years. This space is our only green lung for miles around in the midst of the polluted Swiss Cottage gyratory. All construction lorries should be kept on the A41, as is feasible, as the community proposed last year.

Five parkland trees were felled last week.

The Grade II listed Hampstead figure sculpture will be shunted out of the way on Thursday, and the hoarding will soon be extended onto the public land and pathway, taking down three cherry trees with it.

In addition to the bus lane and bus stop closures, Avenue Road traffic and pedestrian access will be further disrupted by articulated lorries crossing over from the other side of the gyratory, onto the pavement and into the site. EL are extolling the advantages of no more lorries going through Winchester Road or the market area and increasing (certainly not maximising) the use of the A41 as having addressed public concerns. And they are justifying the use of articulated lorries to enable modular (offsite) construction in order to speed up their build (by which they are already six months behind schedule).

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But it was known from the beginning that Winchester Road could not be used for both the 100 Avenue Road CMP and the Chalcot's CMP and problems using the market area were predicted. The additional use of the A41 is minimal, and given Essential living started using modular construction in 2016, one might ask why this new proposal was not put before the council and the public two years ago at the first CMP Public meeting.

None of the above justifies giant articulated lorries through our open space.

It turns out that the two full planning committee meetings on the CMP, prompted by unprecedented public concern, were for demolition only. What an incredible waste of everyone's time, energy and taxpayers money.

The public meeting will be at Swiss Cottage Library , NW3 3HA in the rear ground floor meeting room, Thursday, October 10, 2019, 5.30pm - 7pm.

Please send your comments on the draft CMP: theatresquare.info/ after the meeting to: barryc@essentialliving.co.uk and saveswisscottage@icloud.com by the November 7, 2019.