Tulip Siddiq quizzes David Cameron on Avenue Road skyscraper decision

MP Tulip Siddiq

MP Tulip Siddiq - Credit: Archant

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq used Prime Minister’s Questions today to quiz David Cameron on the government’s controversial decision to allow a 24 storey tower block development in Swiss Cottage.

Ms Siddiq told Mr Cameron: “For two years, my constituents and I campaigned against the development of a luxury skyscraper. The local councillors listened and rejected the plans. But then the Conservative minister for local government called in the decision and overturned the wishes of the community, showing utter disrespect for local democracy.

“The PM preaches localism, but will he finally admit that his government only believes in the devolution of blame for cuts, not the devolution of actual power for local communities?”

The Prime Minister answered in general rather than specific terms. He said: “We have a long standing system for planning but also for being able to call in decisions and that operated all the time under the last Labour government

“If anything our local planning system is actually putting more power in the hands of local people, because once they have completed their local plan, it’s actually much easier to say yes to developments that are within that plan and no to developments that are outside of it.”

Ms Siddiq said she is “furious” about the government intervention at 100 Avenue Road, which will allow developer Essential Living to begin work on the £100 million tower, set to become Camden’s tallest building.

The current 1980s buildings were once home to the Ham&High, but are now set to be demolished following a two year planning battle which saw hundreds of local people express fierce opposition to the development.