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Plans for housing block slammed

PUBLISHED: 15:02 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 07 September 2010

WEST Hampstead residents have slammed plans for a six-storey housing block, describing it as an eyesore which will ruin the character of the area. A block of 40 flats is proposed for the railway embankment at One Mill Lane. But those living nearby claim i

WEST Hampstead residents have slammed plans for a six-storey housing block, describing it as an eyesore which will ruin the character of the area.

A block of 40 flats is proposed for the railway embankment at One Mill Lane. But those living nearby claim it will be too big, too densely populated and architecturally out of keeping with the surrounding streets.

The site used to be a green open space before it was taken over by developers last year. Residents who have written letters of objection to the council were furious they were given no warning before axemen chopped down all the trees and plants and burned them on a bonfire.

Jane Evans, who lives on Minster Road which borders the site, is part of the Mill Lane Development Residents' Action Group. She said: "The garden was the subject of a complete un-notified trashing. We just really feel it is a travesty that this land and these beautiful trees were trashed without any consultation.

"That is the foundation of everything that has happened. We are objecting to the new development because the scale is excessive, the block is too high and the density of population is too large compared with the density in the adjoining streets.

"We know that we live in a congested city but concreting over everything is not the answer. We do not agree with the underground car park either. The traffic and congestion around here is very bad already and it is difficult to find a space. The car park will only have 20 spaces for 40 flats."

Residents are also concerned about the wildlife habitats which have been destroyed and the possibility of future subsidence. They also claim the consultation process was "a sham."

James Earl is vice chairman of the Fordwych Residents Association, another road near the site. He said: "Originally the architects told us it was going to be a 27-flat block but now the planning application is for 40 flats. Residents all around the site are opposed to it.

"People are prepared to accept some sort of development on this site but our view is that it is far too big and densely populated for the street as well as the problems with the underground car park.

"Most of the buildings around here date back 100 years or so. The plans have a lot of glass and railings and it doesn't fit into the area - it would be an eyesore.

"And we are concerned about the disruption that the work would cause - it is supposed to last around 18 months and there will be a lot of lorries, noise and congestion."

Daniel Smith from SLLB Architects, who have pledged to include a green space if they are given the go-ahead, said: "We had quite an extensive consultation process before the application and we responded to concerns that were raised."

The application is due to be considered by Camden Council on December 11.


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