Author Archives: BelSoc

IMPORTANT: 02 Centre Redevelopment Meeting

A meeting of Camden’s Development Management Forum is to be held on Thursday 18 November at 7 pm.  The meeting is to be held online and is open to the public to attend.
At the meeting, Camden will consider policies for a number of development sites (Site Allocations), including: 

  • the O2 site (included in the West Hampstead Interchange Area) and 
  • Individual Development Site 9 (IDS9) –  Meridien House at 202-204 Finchley Road, which is occupied by tenants including Allied Irish Bank:

IDS9 and other Individual Development Sites

Anyone wishing to attend Thursday’s meeting online should register at: site allocations local plan
Following registration, you will receive instructions for submitting questions to be addressed during the meeting.  

Current planning proposal for the O2 Site
A planning application is to be submitted next month for 1,850 flats in 12 closely-spaced tower blocks.  These will range in height from 13 to 16 stories along the northern boundary of the site, with lower towers to the south.  The proposed heights compare with mid-rise mansion block heights of up to six storeys along Finchley Road.
Assuming that the tower blocks are occupied, and based on an average occupancy of 2.5 per flat, more than 4,600 residents may be expected to live on the site.  Green space provision will be, mainly, a 10 metre-wide strip of land running alongside the underground railway tracks, putting further strain on the very limited existing green space.

The ‘Proposed update on 02 Centre site plans and consultation opportunities prepared for CRASH members’ is also attached

HS2 online event for residents on Tuesday, 8th November from 18.00-19.00.

Their email invitation follows:

From: Communities <>
Sent: 26 October 2021 17:07
Cc: HS2Enquiries <>; Communities <>
Subject: HS2 and SCSJV – Adelaide Road site community update (sheet piling) – 8 November 2021

Dear Residents

High Speed Two (HS2) is the new high speed railway for Britain. Phase One of HS2 – from London to the West Midlands – is now in its construction stage.

We will be holding an online information event on 8 November 2021 from 6pm to 7pm to talk about our site at Adelaide Road in Camden.

At this event you will find out more about:

·  upcoming sheet piling works (within site)
·  upcoming traffic management on Adelaide Road
·  measures in place to minimise disruption to our neighbours

Our team of experts will provide a presentation at 6pm. Following this, you’ll be able ask any questions you may have about our works.

This information event will be held on Microsoft Teams. Register your attendance here

 We look forward to meeting you.

If you have a question about HS2 or our works, please contact the helpdesk on 08081 434 434 or email

Kind regards

Liam Heath
Community Engagement Officer – Area Central

Braitrim House, 98 Victoria Road, London, NW10 6NB

The 100 Avenue Road Public Inquiry

Camden has issued a lot of information relating to the Essential Living appeal against the Council’s refusal to remove the social housing obligation from their planning permission. The Inquiry will take place over 4 days starting on Tuesday, 9th November at 10 a.m. until 12th November 2021. The event will be held in person at the Crowndale Centre, 218 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BD but with capacity for people to observe virtually.
Camden has also issued three links related to the inquiry:
– Details are on a dedicated webpage:
– Access to a dedicated Dropbox for all the appeal documents which can also be found on the planning explorer:
– Dedicated email address for people to use to register whether they want to attend (virtually via MS Teams or in person at the Crowndale Centre) and if they want to speak. email:
Camden is encouraging residents to attend and has issued a Formal Notice for those wishing to do so. It is being sent to all those who made written representations and may also be accessed here.

Autumn Talk, 4 November: The Story of Moll King’s Belsize Houses

We are very pleased that David Percy will present the story of Moll King’s houses as featured in his book The Harlots of Haverstock Hill at the Belsize Community Library on 4 November 2021. The film includes readings by Dame Janet Suzman. We will also celebrate 50 years of the Society and Association at the event.

Harlots is an account of the remarkable life of “Moll” King, an 18th century madam or brothel-keeper, an ambitious and opportunistic woman who rose from humble beginnings in the streets of London to become one of the first settlers in Belsize Park. Moll became a wealthy landowner with several properties on Haverstock Hill in the days when there were no more than a handful of houses along this country road to Hampstead. Her legacy remains there to this day.

There will be a chance to ask David questions about the fascinating tale, as well as socialise after the screening and Q&A.

We ask you to pre-book as space will be limited and we are keen to be able to manage the event in line with any restrictions in place at the time.

The event will be free, but please register at the event link or paste

If you are unable to access Eventbrite to make a booking, you can contact us at 7794 0874.

HS2 Invitation to give your views on the design of the Adelaide Road head house and compound

High Speed Two (HS2) is the new high speed railway for Britain.
They will be holding online information events on 9 and 13 September and a face-to-face engagement event on 15 September about the Adelaide Road headhouse and compound in Camden. They are seeking your views about the design.

At these events you will find out more about:
 the design of the headhouse and compound
 our future landscaping plans
There will be an opportunity to ask the team questions and to give them your feedback.

Come and talk to them on:
Thursday 9 September 2021, from 6pm to 7:30pm or
Monday 13 September 2021, from 12:30pm to 2pm
In person
Wednesday 15 September 2021, from 3pm to 8pm at Swiss
Cottage Library, 88 Avenue Road, London, NW3 3HA

You will need to register in advance to join a webinar or to
speak to them in person. You can do this by visiting
Freephone 08081 434 434
Minicom 08081 456 472

Belsize Society Newsletter August 2021

Welcome to the August Newsletter of the Belsize Society.

We were sad to have to cancel the Summer Party this year. The postponement of the lifting of lockdown unfortunately just caught our event. However, this Newsletter does contain details of events in the autumn.

We are really pleased that our former chair Averil Nottage will lead an historical walk in the area that Belsize House inhabited, tying into the November event, “The Story of Moll King’s Belsize Houses” where David Percy will present filmed excerpts of his book. This event will also provide an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of the Association and Society.

There is also a dip into the Belsize Residents Association archive, covering the campaigns residents progressed in two areas – the closure of local post offices and the removal of estate agent boards.

As we emerge out of lockdown, the Newsletter covers some of the reopening of the arts in the Belsize area, reviewing the Walter Price exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre and some recent plays at the Hampstead Theatre.

The next months will see the Society participating in a second planning inquiry over 100 Avenue Road as the developers seek to reduce the affordable housing associated with the project. The Newsletter covers this as well as the dialogue we are having with the Council about enforcement during construction of projects.

The Newsletter reports also on initiatives to plant trees in the area and the Society’s donation to the Belsize Community Library.

Camden Arts Centre: Walter Price: Pearl Lines

Camden Arts Centre to 29 August
It was with a mixture of eagerness and trepidation that I ventured to the first art exhibition I have seen since lockdown began in March 2020. My trepidation was soon overcome. Camden Arts Centre now sports a giant outdoor canopy for those who want coffee or lunch in the open air. The garden has been tidied up with many wonderful flowers. A new gate, opening directly onto Finchley Road, means that there is no need to be inside at all after you have viewed the art.

In addition to an installation by local special needs schoolchildren, the two current exhibitors are Walter Price (Pearl Lines) and Olga Balema (Computer). Both are New York-based artists born in the 1980s but Price is the more engaging. His works in chunks of colour combine painting and drawing on surfaces such as paper and wood. They are playful yet provide a thoughtful commentary on urban living and identity. Images of suspended hats creates the feel of a crowded city street.

Born in Georgia but living in Brooklyn, Price held a studio residency at the CAC in early 2020. During that time, he experimented with scale and material to create new, large paintings. Returning to New York during the lockdown, he created smaller works in confined conditions, using his existing paints. There is sometimes an overt lockdown theme to these works, such as the striking Where’s your mask, fool (2020) in which an oversized haunting figure looks down on a person with no face covering. But for me, the themes of alienation from other people and from the natural world were the more subtle forms of pandemic-thinking across the two exhibition rooms.

In the first, larger room, oil paintings on paper each portray a collection of images reduced or simplified to almost child-like forms. The painted images are spaced out on the paper, so that there is a large expanse of white on each one – mirroring the vast whiteness of the CAC itself. For me, the white spaces give these works a poster-like effect owing more to the world of pop art and disposable images than the art salon. It takes time for the eye to wander over each of the seemingly disjointed parts to understand the theme of the picture as a whole. The brush strokes on first glance seem to have been quickly executed, in unpremeditated fashion. Upon closer inspection, these are carefully crafted works. Step into the sun (2020) is typical of the deconstructed forms: a large foot (the person taking the step of the title) is placed in isolation above a yellow sun and a slab of green grass.

Smaller acrylics on paper are dominated by black paint. These figurative works with an urban feel represent black men. I did not see any women but there was an affecting picture of a child holding an adult’s hand before crossing the road (Always look both ways; 2020). A small series of bodies (Bod deese; 2015) creates a corporeal feel with simple curves.

The second exhibition room is devoted to small colourful works with paint covering the entirety of the surface – sometimes thickly laid and so that the images intrude outwards such as the rain clouds in Hold the umbrella tight while viewing my rain and Fate of the animals #2. These paintings feature high-backed sofas, reminding me of the inside (and sofa-based!) living that we have all experienced during the pandemic. Several showed wide landscapes and nature as if dreaming of outdoor freedom. A human house is like a cage: we live in spaces that intrude on nature but we remain constrained. In this room too, there are repeated but different portraits of a black woman’s head on pale backgrounds. In Is there a fundamental lack of internal volition? (2020), the head is symbolically spattered with white paint, returning to the theme of whiteness that is both artistic and political.

Many of the paintings in this second room seem to have a high degree of abstraction; but on further viewing, faces, sun, grass, water and clouds emerge. Combining the built and natural environments, they emphasise for me the way in which we have been couped up in lockdown and have had to resort to memories or imagination to reconstruct the larger world.

A film narrated by the artist invites us to place our own experiences onto the work. The artist has given the exhibition to us as a gift. I suppose it is only natural to look at the images through the prism of lockdown but I enjoyed the exhibition immensely. It is free, local and large enough that you don’t have to come within 2 metres of anyone if you don’t want to. What’s not to like?

Sorry that we cannot provide images but you can have a taster at

Autumn Walk: A Stroll Through Time: BelSoc Historical Walk

If you’re free on Sunday 19 September, why not join us for an afternoon stroll that will transport you through centuries of local history?

Starting in Belsize Terrace, we’ll hear how a forest became farmland and then gentlemen’s country residences before being transformed into a middle-class suburb.  We’ll find out about Belsize House in its 18th century heyday as a fashionable pleasure garden before it declined into a “scandalous Lew’d House”.  We’ll see how housing fashions changed, who lived here and where they shopped, drank and worshipped. And we’ll finish at Belsize Library for tea, delicious cakes, and a chance to socialise.

Meet at Belsize Terrace at 3pm.