Plans for 24-tonne trucks on Heath's edge kicked into touch
By Marc Mullen COUNCILLORS who kicked out plans to send 24-tonne trucks down a track on the edge of Hampstead Heath have called for a review of the planning process. At last Thursday s planning meeting, councillors unanimously rejected Isle of Man-based d
By Marc Mullen
COUNCILLORS who kicked out plans to send 24-tonne trucks down a track on the edge of Hampstead Heath have called for a review of the planning process.
At last Thursday's planning meeting, councillors unanimously rejected Isle of Man-based developer Millament's proposals to make 1,600 trips down Millfield Lane in giant lorries to deliver concrete and remove soil.
The developer needs access to Fitzroy Farm, which it is demolishing and replacing with a neo-classical pile nearly three times the size, complete with two-storey basement and swimming pool.
In the face of massive opposition, the council's planning officers had recommended councillors approve the traffic management plan, but the rejection has plunged the whole project into jeopardy.
Hampstead councillor Chris Knight, who sits on the development control sub-committee, said: "On this particular occasion I think officers were wrong to recommend this to go ahead. It was not satisfactory. The whole thing was dangerous. There was no separation of pedestrians from traffic, so they wanted a man walking with flags in front of the truck.
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"It's ridiculous. The work will go on for 18 months. They are not going to do that for the whole time. It was an accident waiting to happen."
The Tory councillor said officers should have listened more closely to objections from 37 neighbours as well as the Highgate Society, Highgate conservation area advisory committee, Fitzroy Park residents' association, Parliament Hill Lido ssers group and the City of London Corporation.
In addition, 450 people emailed their objections to a website set up by protesters.
Highgate Green councillor Maya de Souza said: "I was not entirely happy with the officers' report. Where there are likely to be difficulties in the construction method, I think that should be considered alongside the original planning application.
"Developers would know where they stand far earlier. It would save their time and the council's time."
Cllr de Souza said such an approach would have helped avoid the problems of developments at Talacre leisure centre and on Little Green Street, where access has also become a major issue.
At last week's meeting, councillors rejected two other plans which had been recommended for approval - a proposal to replace a warehouse with a three-storey apartment block on Rochester Terrace, and the sixth application by Gary Hodes to build a house at the entrance to Hodes Row off Estelle Road.
Lib Dem councillor Flick Rea, who sits on the planning committee, said: "I don't know if officers take advice that if they recommended councillors reject an application, it would be a problem on appeal.
"On Thursday night they were not surprised when we rejected the Fitzroy Farm proposal. I don't see how they thought we could accept it."