Importand day looms for community under threat
NEXT Wednesday should be a date to remember for the Haverstock ward. After a two-year struggle to achieve Town Green status for Talacre Gardens, Camden Council will finally make a decision as to whether they will self register this open space, so crucial
NEXT Wednesday should be a date to remember for the Haverstock ward. After a two-year struggle to achieve Town Green status for Talacre Gardens, Camden Council will finally make a decision as to whether they will self register this open space, so crucial to the community's well-being.
Crucial because it is the only open space available for 11,000-odd residents, most of whom live in social housing and have no garden of their own. Crucial because local residents have fought tooth and nail for the integrity of this park since the early 1970s and, some 40 years on, still struggle to keep planners and developers at bay.
Despite massive positive response for a Town Green in a consultation carried out by Camden in the latter part of 2008, it is anticipated that the officers' recommendation this week will be against it.
Suspicion arose first when Camden drafted consultation papers which were grossly slanted against a Town Green option to protect Talacre Gardens. Then again, recently, when Camden returned the result of the consultation they received from an apparently independent survey group, to be rewritten!
No amount of reassurance from planners that their Unitary Development Plan will protect Talacre Gardens will give Haverstock residents any comfort.
Sadly, in the recent past, the park has been under various threats of encroachment by developers. Indeed there still exists the real threat of a vehicular road running through Talacre Gardens.
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Will Camden Council protect the interests of those who have elected them and demonstrate that local democracy actually works, or will they slavishly follow the advice of others? An expectant Haverstock awaits. Watch this space.
Celine La Freniere
Coordinator, Talacre Gardens Neighbourhood Watch, NW5