Category Archives: Issues

100 Avenue Road CMP: Summary of Minutes from last Construction Working Group meeting, held on Thursday, 16th January at 18.00

1. Piling activity has been completed and piling rig and crane removed from site on 18th January without using Winchester Road. Excavation works for new foundations have started near the farmers’ market.

2. Existing foundations, a one metre thick slab of concrete by the theatre, being broken up with 8 and/or 20 tonne excavators. This would take 4-5 days but be less noisy than the piling. Tower crane to be erected in early February and new piles to be reduced by 400-500mm. Continue reading

BelSoc Deputation to Camden Planning Committee

BelSoc have attended meetings with Camden Council enforcement teams about the approach to be taken to large projects. Large projects could be basement developments or the 100 Avenue Road construction, where there is likely to be significant disruption during the build. We are keen to see the teams able to routinely check on how developers are meeting their Construction Management Plans, and other obligations.

BelSoc Chair Prabhat Vaze with Oliver Froment of CRAAC recently made a deputation to the Council’s Planning Committee about possible ways to improve the situation, especially lessons from other London Boroughs where systematic monitoring is taking place and the funding for this has been met by developers, an innovation which the Council explained they are exploring.

Successful conclusion of the community air quality monitoring study

Thank you to all the Belsize Society members and other volunteers who have helped to bring to a successful conclusion the community air quality monitoring study in Belsize Park / Swiss Cottage. We are now excitedly awaiting the results, hopefully due around the end of March 2020.

Since early January 2019, up to 30 volunteers have been tending the 10 monitoring locations, mostly situated in the area between Finchley Road and Haverstock Hill. Every month the teams organised themselves to take down the test-tubes from high on kerbside lampposts / signposts, post them back to Camden Council for analysis, and replace them with a new set of tubes. Continue reading

Ward Boundary Changes: Latest News

Following extensive consultation, to which BelSoc has contributed, the Local Boundary Commission for England has published revised draft recommendations for ward boundaries in Camden. The new recommendations contain some significant changes to previous drafts, and so the Commission decided to run an additional consultation exercise on the changes. That exercise closed on 11th November.

In light of a great deal of community evidence, the latest draft recommends that the whole area covered by the Netherhall Neighbourhood Association (Netherhall Gardens, Maresfield Gardens and Nutley Terrace) should be in Belsize ward and not split between Belsize and Frognal wards.

Continue reading

Belsize in Film and TV Advertisements

TV viewers with eagle eyes will have noticed that the current commercial for Direct Line Insurance is set in Belsize Village. BelSoc is often informed about film projects and can liaise with production companies on behalf of affected residents.

We have been in touch with Olympia Productions UK Limited who are proposing to film scenes for a new feature film entitled “Sack Lunch” in January 2020 in Belsize Lane.  Sack Lunch will be a family-friendly feature film scheduled for cinematic release in late 2020. The story follows a group of immortal beings as they strive to protect humanity.

Filming in Belsize Village is currently scheduled to take place on Saturday 18 January 2020.
The production company is applying to close a portion of the road in Belsize Village on the day of filming but pedestrian access will be maintained. The filming proposal is currently being considered by Camden Film Office (www.camdenfilmoffice.co.uk).

The Belsize Community Library is launching a series of Public Assemblies about the power of Communities such as ours

The aim is to generate new understanding of community formation and capacity through participation. The inaugural session is next week, on 4th December, and an impressive panel has been assembled:

Lucy Bland; British professor of social and cultural history at Anglia Ruskin University. Much of her work focuses on British sexological history and she will tell us about her latest book Britain’s ‘Brown Babies’, the stories of children born to black GIs and white women
Andrew O’Hagan, FRSL; Scottish Novelist and non-fiction author. He is also an editor-at-large of London Review of Books. O’Hagan is currently the Visiting Professor of Writing at King’s College London. As a working class kid growing up in a Glasgow estate, Andrew will tell us about the pivotal role that community and libraries have played in his professional life.
Sofia Akel; a race equality specialist in higher education, activist, and lecturer at Goldsmith University. Author of Insider-Outsider: the role of race in shaping the experiences of black and minority ethnic students.
Professor Tom Selwyn; Professorial Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Wednesday, 4th December. 18.30 for food, 19.00 for the Assembly. Tickets: Belsize Public Assembly: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-assembly-building-community-re-building-society-tickets-83202050573

100 Avenue Road Construction Management Plan

Comments on the new 100 Avenue Road Construction Management Plan were due on 15 November 2019. The CMP is the agreement between Camden Council and the developers about the approach to be taken for managing construction works. A version was agreed earlier in the year and the revisions in this round of consultations, focus on and follow from detailed work undertaken since then. 

Revisions are in response to concerns raised by Transport for London, especially the developer’s intention to lift large elements of the building into the site from the A41. The plan would have meant the material passing over the entrance to the Swiss Cottage tube station and TfL will not allow this.

The revised plan has rerouted 18 deliveries each day so that they enter the site, rather than being lifted in from a pit lane off the main road. The new movements will mean articulated lorries being far closer to the open space. The CMP envisages fewer lorry trips in total, but the concern is that reduced use of the pit lane and increased use of the site near the open space will reduce air quality.

The Belsize Society has responded to the consultation.

Belsize Community Library

2020 will be a very challenging year for the survival of our lovely Belsize Park library:the funding that has to date been received from Camden Council is coming to an end and the Winch, which has supported the library since it was shut down by the Council in 2012, is only a small charity which does not have the means to keep the library going without help from Belsize residents.

There are various ways in which you can support the library, the most immediate being to go onto its website (http://belsizecommunity library.org.uk/) and become a regular donor.

The library can be hired for events and meetings at weekends, so you can spread the word about that, and for information and more ways to give your support, do call 020 7586 6746 or drop the library an email to belsizelibrary@thewinch.org.

You can support the Library’s interesting events, listed in “Dates for your Diary”, to which all BelSoc members are welcome. Entry is a donation of £3 which includes refreshments.
Belsize Community Library, 14 Antrim Road, London NW3 4XR

Resident bodies meet with Camden Planning Enforcement

Committee members have attended consultations organised by Camden Planning Enforcement. These provide a valuable opportunity to find out the objectives of the Enforcement Officers and to raise concerns of Belsize residents. 

Recent meetings have discussed how other London boroughs are strengthening their approach to enforcing planning obligations for significant construction projects, such as ones that involve a Construction Management Plan (such as 100 Avenue Road). 

The commitments made by developers should try to minimise noise, pollution, traffic, etc. and then local authority enforcement officers should check that the construction follows the plan. For small projects, the enforcement can be light touch, but as projects become larger, active enforcement becomes more crucial. For Belsize, it is an issue even for single site residential projects as they can include large amounts of demolition/rebuild and basements.

BelSoc is a member of the Camden Resident Association Action Committee (CRAAC) an umbrella group for Camden resident bodies that has recently been reviewing the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s approach. The latter’s approach seeks to be systematic about enforcement for significant construction works. It puts in place specific activities (site visits etc) to enforce obligations. Recognising that enforcement action in relation to complex construction projects needs to be resourced adequately (funding, people, skills etc), Kensington and Chelsea has put in place charges which are levied from developers undertaking projects that involve significant construction works. 

This dialogue is valuable and timely. Community groups rely on the Council’s enforcement teams. Citizen groups cannot provide systematic monitoring, professionalised and expert based, which is needed in order to ensure that significant projects meet Council standards and the agreed CMPs. And recent experience with large projects is worth discussing with the Council’s enforcement teams, highlighting where improvements may be possible and desirable.

100 Avenue Road: New CMP

The second Public Meeting on the new Construction Management Plan will be on 30th October, 2019 at 6.00 pm until 7.30 pm. The venue is Rear room, Ground floor meeting rooms, Swiss Cottage Library (as previously).
This is the final meeting before the CMP is submitted to Camden Council and Essential Living’s new proposals for comments,  may be seen at http://www.theatresquare.info/cmp/ . The proposals are in the first four yellow boxes at the top of the page with the CMP Pre-Submission Proforma being the all important potential legal document. It is possible also to see what others are saying on the ‘Comments Tracker’.
Any questions should be answered at the meeting, after which there will be 14 days for written comments/objections to the ‘Submission CMP’.
Please send your questions/comments to: barry.Coltrini@essentialliving.co.uk
cc: 100avenueroadcmp@camden.gov.uk,  saveswisscottage@icloud.com