Police called to New End as grandfather tells how he was ‘chased and threatened’ by builder
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Police were called to New End, in Hampstead, last Saturday after a grandfather claimed he was chased and threatened by a builder working on the controversial former nurses’ home development.
The 69-year-old, who was too scared to be named, had confronted workmen carrying out noisy construction on Saturday morning.
He was concerned that construction vehicles were blocking the road and the loud noise from drilling was disturbing the prayers at The Village Shul synagogue nearby.
When he tried to take photographs as evidence, a builder become aggressive and demanded he hand over his phone.
He said: “The builder came towards me and said he was coming to get my phone. He swore and came very close to where I was standing. I felt very threatened. He came to grab me and I turned and ran towards home.
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“He followed me there and right up the steps to my front door. I went inside and slammed the door and called the police.”
He was looking after his two grandchildren at the time and felt concerned for their safety.
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A Met Police spokesman confirmed they were called to the altercation at New End.
He said: “A man alleged that the builder threatened him after he refused to delete a photo he had taken.”
The alleged victim said: “I was very surprised they were starting work as they haven’t got everything needed for planning permission in place yet. They told me that they were fixing a dangerous wall.”
As reported in the Ham & High, the new company behind the controversial New End development is calling for representatives from the community to join a construction working party (CWP) to oversee works as it intends to push ahead with the project.
The plans to demolish a former nurses’ home in Hampstead to make way for a seven-storey block of 17 luxury flats and an underground car park were originally rejected by Camden Council in 2013,
But developer Karawana Holdings Limited, based in the British Virgin Islands, launched an appeal against the decision and the government’s planning inspectorate ruled that the works can go ahead.
This flew in the face of a 1,500-strong petition against the scheme. Protesters objected to the “negative impact on the character of the conservation area”, the lack of affordable housing provided, a large number of parking spaces and the effect on traffic congestion in the area.
Objectors from three neighbouring schools, Heathside, New End and Christ Church, fear the dust, pollution and noise from building work and construction lorries will have a serious impact on the health, safety and education of thousands of pupils. A spokesperson for the Linton Group said: “We were contacted by a local resident on Monday regarding an alleged incident. We have since tried to contact the resident to obtain more information but we have had no response. We have also not had any contact from the police but we take allegations such as these very seriously.
He added: “Over the weekend we carried out some works to secure an unstable wall that posed an immediate danger to local residents and users of Christchurch Passage. Camden Council was aware of these works and we also alerted local residents ahead of time. This did not mark the start of works on site and we do not anticipate works starting until early summer.”