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Redington Frognal Neighbourhood Plan moves forward, but Finchley Road renters worried about gentrification

PUBLISHED: 20:00 14 October 2020

The area around 166-200 Finchley Road is contentious in the new Redington Frognal Neighbourhood Plan. Picture: Google

The area around 166-200 Finchley Road is contentious in the new Redington Frognal Neighbourhood Plan. Picture: Google

Archant

The mooted neighbourhood plan for the Redington Frognal conservation area is moving closer to adoption – with an examiner set to be appointed to dissect it.

But while local councillors and the RedFrog Neighbourhood Forum (RFNF) in the area are pleased to be moving forward, other groups are concerned about the implications for cheaper accommodation in parts of the affected area.

The Camden Federation of Private Tenants (CFPT) has flagged its objection to parts of the plan – specifically elements of “guidance” it sees as potentially pushing out private rental housing in Finchley Road.

A man who has rented in Finchley Road for three decades – John McMillan – also shared concerns that the plans had been drawn up by residents in “leafy Frognal” without input from people like himself.

He told this newspaper: “What do they expect to happen to the people living here? This is guidance that’ll encourage developers.”

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Robert Taylor, convenor of the CFPT, said: “The proposal for this site could easily serve as an entree for the usual array of property developers who acquire homes that are relatively affordable to Londoners in order to replace them with, often, fewer and more expensive homes – which are well beyond the means of our members and most local residents.”

In a statement the RFNF defended the plan – and said the suggestions in it which had sparked upset did not mean that any private tenants would have to move out.

The RFNF also said extensive publicity material had been advertised in and around Finchley Road – with “almost 2,000” flyers hand-delivered and public consultations taking place at nearby venues inlcuding at JW3 in Finchley Road.

In a statement, the group wrote that “guidance” in the plan referring to 160-200 Finchley Road “is simply to improve current living conditions” and “if delivered, the guidance would provide a range of unit sizes for a variety of socio-demographic groups”.

RFNF chair Rupert Terry, added he was “delighted” the plan had reached this stage, while vice-chair – and local ward councillor – Andrew Parkinson (Con, Frognal and Fitzjohns) added: “These are exciting times for the area, with many projects in progress.”

Cllr Parkinson added that, should the plan be passed by a referendum in 2021, this would unlock local community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding for projects like “greening” the area.


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