U-turn over Hampstead Heath dams safety review

Engineers on the Hampstead Heath dams project have announced they will review a safety report which claims 1,000 people could be killed if a tropical storm hits the beauty spot.

Just last week Heath bosses ruled out a review saying it would cost time and money, despite calls from conservationists to scrap it.

But newly appointed engineer Dr Andy Hughes has pledged to carry out a fresh risk assessment report for the series of ponds after the City of London Corporation, which manages the Heath, announced it was scrapping earlier designs for the �15million project.

The Hampstead Heath ponds were dug as water reservoirs in the 1700s but Heath bosses believe their flood defences have to be rebuilt.

In a letter to the Corporation, he said: “I will strive to preserve the beauty and nature of the Heath and even enhance it where I can.”

Superintendent Simon Lee called it a “positive step forward” and the Heath and Hampstead Society welcomed the review.