South End Green streatery opens amid calls for pedestrianised slip road
- Credit: Polly Hancock
South End Green’s streatery is up and running – but Hampstead residents are petitioning to close off the slip road to pedestrianise the alfresco project.
Customers were welcomed for the first time over the weekend to outdoor chairs and tables, despite the mixed weather. However, the slip road linking Pond Street to South End Road, where the Hampstead streatery operates, has not been closed to traffic - as originally proposed.
Camden Conservatives’ leader, Cllr Oliver Cooper, said cafes and restaurants such as Zara, Dominique’s and Paradise have been given a “new lease of life” by the summer project designed to boost the hospitality sector, similar to Belsize Village.
Cllr Cooper (Hampstead Town) backed residents’ calls to close the slip the slip road, saying: “If it isn’t closed, and if the fountain at South End Green remains separated from its restaurants and shops, it will be a missed opportunity that could overshadow the streatery’s great success.”
Camden Council is undertaking “further assessment” as to whether it could close the slip road. It called the streatery “vital” to helping businesses survive.
A spokesperson for Maryon Mews Residents’ Association said: “The streatery has been opened for less than a week but it seems popular with residents and visitors to the area, despite unreliable weather conditions. This is pleasing.
“However, since the slip road has been kept open to traffic contrary to expectation, save for a narrow pedestrian walkway, the dining area has been subject to heavy vehicles passing close to the tables, thus diminishing the area designed to be tranquil and free from air pollution.”
The residents’ association called for the slip road to be pedestrianised so that it was connected to South End Green.
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On Tuesday (August 18), the Ham&High paid a visit to the streatery.
Jules Von Daniken, 25, a waiter, said: “It would be nice to see the slip road either closed off completely or a more permanent barrier that looks a bit less like roadworks.
“The idea is great but it hasn’t been executed to its full potential yet.”
Fiona O’Brien, 48, a clinical scientist at the Royal Free, said: “If it was all pedestrianised then it might attract too many people, especially at the moment while we’re trying to keep socially distant.”