Ham&High letters: 100 Avenue Road, No Deal Brexit and compulsory First Aid in schools

Demolition underway at 100 Avenue Road. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Demolition underway at 100 Avenue Road. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK - Credit: Archant

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Put community at heart of planning

David Reed, Eton Avenue, Hampstead, writes:

Janine Sachs' letter last week simply underlines the stupidity of Camden Council's planning department in allowing such an appalling over-development of the tiny, road-locked site at 100 Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage (Have your say on revised lorry access to 100 Avenue Road redevelopment site).

Right from the start, the planners and developers knew that there was no direct access to the site since the frontage of the building is a red route, with no stopping allowed, while the rear of the building is our tiny park, leaving only one corner of the site with road access: through a pedestrianised market square!

If you then look at the scale of the development - three massive blocks, one 24 storeys high, the others five and seven storeys, running down the whole length of the park, thus ensuring it will be in shadow most of the time it is actively used - the problems multiply.

As Ms Sachs asked: can a 52-foot long lorry turn on the site, even when Camden allows the developer to use a key section of the park? Only with great difficulty, and that will see them emitting noise and pollution right next to the main pedestrian routes through the park, close to the children's playground and the exercise area; this also requires a set of the lovely row of cherry trees to be destroyed.

Greedy developers need to be controlled, and if Camden's planners had acted with a single thought for the local community, this development could have been scaled down to something acceptable. The fact that only a handful of the 185 flats will be for local people to use, simply confirms how useless Camden's planners were.

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Looking ahead, I have to ask what will happen to the large end-of-terrace on Winchester Road now occupied by the Winch Youth Project when it moves into the corner of the appalling building, close to the busy red route mentioned earlier, as bad a location as could be imagined? A bit of long-term thinking by the council could have brought these two items together: the end block could be worth millions if developed into flats, enough cash for them to convert the original 100 Avenue Road building for community uses, including some vitally needed affordable flats.

When these blocks are in use and full of more than 400 people, how will they be fed and get essential services? Dozens of deliveries an hour, day and night, and all through the market square. The last months have seen a couple of near misses even with the highly supervised truck movements, once the Deliveroonatics get going, who knows what will happen?

MP's failure to grasp No Deal

Peter Rutherford, Pandora Road, Hampstead, writes:

Tulip Siddiq's View from the House, ("I will fight No Deal 'every step of the way'", September 12) seems to show a failure to understand what No Deal for.

No Deal is just like our Trident nuclear deterrent which is not in place to kill hundreds of millions of Russians. It is there to let Putin know that if he does that to us, then his world will be reduced to ashes, thereby ensuring (successfully) that he doesn't even think of it.

It's there to tell the likes of Jean-Claude Juncker that if he fails to give us a fair and reasonable deal, he will suffer the consequences of us functioning under the usual arrangements used by the 168 countries who are not in the EU. This is likely to have such harsh outcomes for him that he has been forced to create a £700m fund to support members of the EU who are harmed (see tinyurl.com/nodealfund ).

Without such a threat President Juncker would be unlikely to help in any way because he sees cracks forming all over the EU. This threat is needed to enable a decent and neighbourly deal to be arranged.

As far as I can see, all anybody has ever wanted is what we originally signed up for - a common market.

First Aid training for kids welcomed

Marina Fogle, campaigner and co-founder of the Bump Class, and host of The ParentHood podcast writes:

It's fantastic that, after 10 years of campaigning by the British Red Cross, it will be compulsory for first aid skills to be taught in all state schools in England from 2020. It's an impactful way to give young people the confidence they need to help.

So many women I know, especially those weaning babies, are terrified of the possibility of their child choking. But children learning first aid could make all the difference if one of their younger siblings was choking at home.