News & Issues

Belsize Society Newsletter May 2022 15/5/2022

The February BelSoc Newsletter is online here as a pdf.

Community Unity Drinks 7/5/2022

NOTE THE DATE: IT’S WEDNESDAY, 11th MAY. Kire Estate Agents, recent-comers to Belsize, believe there are many benefits from meeting neighbours to make friends for adults and children alike. This isn’t always easy so Kire have joined forces with Calici Restaurant in Belsize Village to have monthly get-togethers. This will be on the first Wednesday of each month from 19.30 in Calici’s bar area. Local residents can apply  here, to get 20% off drinks and any food ordered on the night.

HUSTINGS 25/4/2022

for the forthcoming Local Council Elections.
Sunday 1st May 2022 at 15.00,
Belsize Synagogue, Belsize Square, NW3 4HX

Everybody Welcome.

BelSoc members may submit questions in advance to

Belsize Society Newsletter February 2022 6/2/2022

The February BelSoc Newsletter is online here as a pdf

Welcome to the February Newsletter of the Belsize Society.
You’ll see, with this Newsletter, the papers for the Annual General Meeting (or you have had the papers emailed). We will be returning to meeting in person at Belsize Square Synagogue, able to talk about the Society and enjoy cakes and tea together. We do look forward to the event.

In this Newsletter, we’re covering the outcome of the 100 Avenue Road appeal, where the Society played an active part. We were very pleased with the outcome, as the inspector rejected the appeal. We also report on the Society work to plant trees in the area, an initiative to commemorate the Queen’s jubilee, and the successful carol concert we held in December. The issue also reviews a recent play at the Hampstead theatre with strong local links.

As we restart events and other Society activities, we are looking for volunteers. Across the Newsletter are some of the opportunities for members to help, whether with the Newsletter itself or on our Committee. You’ll see the annual request for recommendations for Tradesmen You Can Trust. Let us know about the tradesmen that you have used, as that helps us keep the list up-to-date. Also, ,Belsize Library Friends are on the look-out for volunteers.

We were sad to hear of the passing of former Treasurer Jill Tyrell. Current Treasurer Neil Harris remembers her.

The Newsletter describes changes the Council are making to improve cycle paths in Belsize and – as May sees Borough-wide local elections – we highlight the new boundaries that will be used for the elections.

Hope you enjoy the Newsletter.

100 Avenue Road Appeal 6/2/2022

Essential Living loses appeal to modify planning consent

Tom Symes, our Committee member with joint responsibility for planning, writes:

Members may be aware that the appeal by Essential Living (Swiss Cottage) Limited against Camden’s refusal of its application to modify the consent it obtained in 2016 to build a 24 storey block of 186 flats at 100 Avenue Road by the tube station at Swiss Cottage has been refused.

Essential Living started work in 2017, demolishing the existing building and completing the piling and basement box, but “paused” significant construction works on the site in the summer of 2020. The new application in 2021 had sought to remove the obligation agreed in 2016 to include at least 36 affordable units in the new block, leaving as the only “affordable housing” obligation that 18 of the 186 flats would be available on a “discounted market rent” basis. Essential Living said that due to Covid-19, the increased cost of the main contract plus other mounting costs, and significant delay to the original project timescales, meant that it could no longer afford to include the affordable housing.

Camden had refused the new application because of the loss of affordable housing. Its annual delivery of affordable homes has consistently fallen below the target of 353 homes per year since at least 2012/13. There are several thousand people waiting for affordable housing. Current waiting times for social rented housing range from 2 to 9 years depending on house size. There was little dispute between the main parties that Camden has a significant affordable housing need.

The public inquiry into the appeal was held between 9 and 12 November, and BelSoc was one of the speakers. Essential Living did not provide any evidence about its financial backers or any commitment to build the scheme even if it was successful in the appeal. Camden and Essential Living agreed that under the existing consent the scheme will lose c£70m and removing the affordable housing would reduce the deficit to about £56m. On that basis the Inspector decided that the scheme was still not going to be deliverable and refused the appeal.

Essential Living has spent more than £60m to date. It is not clear what will happen next: there could be court proceedings and further applications. For the moment it is unlikely that there will be further work on the site, which remains surrounded by hoardings. BelSoc will continue to monitor the position.

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