Residents pin hopes on Boris Johnson’s ‘sanity’ to block West Hampstead flats

Residents are pinning their hopes on the “decency and sanity” of the Mayor of London to derail plans for seven high-rise blocks of flats near West Hampstead station.

Despite receiving more than 100 letters of objection to plans to build 198 new homes on a thin slice of railway sidings land, the development scheme was ushered through by Camden Council on Thursday, March 1.

But the proposals must first be referred to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s office, before being given the final go-ahead.

Stephen Nathan, chairman of the West Hampstead Gardens and Residents Association, who made a deputation to the council’s planning committee, told the Ham&High: “It’s part of Boris Johnson’s remit not to allow horrible buildings like this in parts of London where it’s not going to affect just this generation, but also generations to come.

“To bequeath that building to Hampstead and West Hampstead of the future is an iniquitous decision. One hopes sanity and decency will actually apply.”

In January the Greater London Authority said the proposals “did not comply” with the overall strategic plan for the capital, because of concerns over noise pollution, vibration and air quality.

The mayor has one more week to consider the council’s decision to grant planning permission and he could choose to turn down the application.

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The development in West End Lane will see a number of small businesses make way for a series of seven blocks of high rise flats along the railway tracks.

The largest of the blocks will stand 12 storeys high.

Planning officials claim the lie of the land will conceal the visual impact on West Hampstead.

But residents said the development would blight West Hampstead for generations, piling pressure on the area’s infrastructure.

West Hampstead Cllr Flick Rea said: “This site is being dumped down on a little triangle of land with absolutely nothing except good transport links.

“There are no schools, doctors, no dentists and no actual shops until you walk right up to West End Lane.

“Twelve storeys is outrageous and should not be permitted.”

The development is part of the London Plan which has earmarked West Hampstead for 800 new homes.