Lodge Your Objections - June 2015, Pre Application Version
In order to Stop the Blocks proposed by A2 Dominion for 156 West End Lane it is imperative that anyone and everyone opposed to the proposed plans lodge their objections direct with Camden Council, the owners of the site at 156 West End Lane, prior to the sale of the site.
What matters is HOW MANY objections they receive. So every single one of us, our neighbours and anyone in the locality needs to email their objections to the council and its representatives as soon as possible.
Each email is counted as one vote. If you live with two or three people in a flat then every single person must email their objections. If you are a couple, both of you must write. It’s the number of objections received that really matters.
As well as emailing your objections, we would also recommend sending hard-copy letters by post. We also suggest that you inform the developers via their website that you have lodged your objections directly with Camden Council planners and elected representatives.
Emails must be sent, individually addressed, to:
Camden Planning Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) Chief Planning Officer London Borough of Camden 2nd Floor, 5 Pancras Square c/o Town Hall Judd Street London WC1H 9JE
Below we provide a suggested letter and list of objections that can be used when writing. Please use any and/or all of the objections listed below when making your representation to the council and add as many others that you feel apply. Please add your own objections as you see fit and let us know about them in the comments below. Please also see additional objections at the bottom of the page which have been added since the publication of the original letter.
I am contacting you to lodge an official opposition to the proposed development of 156 West End Lane, London, NW6 1SD. I query the impartiality of Camden Council's ability to decide this matter on fair grounds given that the land is owned by the Council, and the developer is The Council's chosen developer.
Due to the fact that there was no Master Plan or strategy for the West Hampstead area we now appear to be in a position whereby 156 West End Lane is being used as a possible solution to previous planning errors, thereby resulting in a totally inappropriate development for reasons listed below.
West Hampstead as you are aware is an area characterised by Victorian and Edwardian (mostly) red-brick individual and terraced housing, with some mansion blocks. The area is home to a number of designated heritage assets. This of course is an important factor to bear in mind when considering the style and nature of any proposed developments.
I refer you to paragraphs 126 and 141 of the National Planning Policy Framework which must apply to all proposed developments. Paragraph 126 for example states:
“Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats. In doing so, they should recognise that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and conserve them in a manner appropriate to their significance. In developing this strategy, local planning authorities should take into account:
- the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage assets and putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation; - the wider social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits that conservation of the historic environment can bring; - the desirability of new development making a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness; and - opportunities to draw on the contribution made by the historic environment to the character of a place”.
Having considered the policy in full I am of the view that no proper account has been taken of the policy and feel this is partly to do with the way in which the proposed plans have been hastily put together.
I would also draw your attention to the "Camden Development Policies 2010-2025, Local Development Framework" document, which "contributes to delivering the Core Strategy by providing detailed policies that [Camden Council] will use when determining applications for planning permission", specifically item 25.9 which refers to the existing "largely dense urban nature of Camden":
"Due to the largely dense urban nature of Camden, the character or appearance of our conservation areas can also be affected by development which is outside of conservation areas, but visible from within them. This includes high or bulky buildings, which can have an impact on areas some distance away, as well as adjacent premises. The Council will therefore not permit development in locations outside conservation areas that it considers would cause harm to the character, appearance or setting of such an area."
Having also examined the information and design proposals made available by the preferred supplier, I also submit the following further objections to the proposed development:
The "West Hampstead: Shaping the Future" plan for West Hampstead issued by Camden Council expressly sets out that the area is “well loved for its village feel” and that the Council commits to “enhancing the distinctive village character” and to provide “support for local business”. The proposed project is in breach of these commitments.
The proposed development is completely out of keeping with the character of the surrounding residential buildings. It completely disregards the environment around it and the character of other buildings. The houses in Lymington Road - for example - are three storeys high, the development in its existing form will tower over these properties blighting their light, use and enjoyment of their properties.
The plans are not in keeping with the existing character of the properties in the West End Green Conservation Area.
The height of the proposed development will overlook other buildings and significantly impact on residents’ right to light and privacy, the impact will be particularly severe over Lymington Road where residents will be overlooked when in their gardens and main living areas of their property.
The proposed development includes a proposed private road for which it is envisaged residents of the proposed development will use as an access road. It is proposed the access is situated immediately behind the garden walls of the Lymington Road properties. The obvious consequence of this will be a substantial increase in dust, pollution, noise and damage to the general conservation area. The impact on the Lymington Road residents will be substantial but generally this increase in pollution will also have an impact on the wider population.
West Hampstead has benefited from an influx of young families, the population of children has steadily grown in recent times. The proposed development and its impact on the environment will be have a detrimental effect on the well-being of those in near and surrounding areas.
The proposed road between the Lymington properties and the proposed development is an obvious security risk. It will allow easier access to the gardens and properties of Lymington Road.
The proposed buildings themselves will have a considerably negative impact on the conservation area which the planned development adjoins.
The development proposes to house between 600 – 800 residents. There is simply insufficient infrastructure to support this number of additional residents into West Hampstead; there is already one development due to complete later this year, West Hampstead Square – the impact from this development is yet to be seen alongside other developments in Blackburn Road, Iverson Road, and Liddell Road.
We respectfully submit insufficient consideration has been given to the environmental impact of so many developments in such a short space of time.
There is already insufficient parking capacity in the surrounding areas. This has been further reduced as and when JW3 host events. The burden on parking may in turn assist applicants wishing to convert front gardens into drives, thereby completing spoiling the entire area.
The development will result in a substantial increase in footfall in what are already overcrowded surrounding roads.
The footfall on the underground, trains and buses – without yet taking additional traffic from West Hampstead Square into account – is already at close to maximum level.
Another new development will shunt public transport levels on the tubes and trains to dangerously high levels, thereby putting public safety at risk.
The narrow pavements over the bridge between this proposed development and two stations is already heaving with pedestrians in the mornings and evenings.
We support the use of space for developmental purposes, but any proposed development must be viable and properly benefit the community.
Travis Perkins is a long-standing business and significant local employer on the existing site and welcomes any opportunity to negotiate a redevelopment of the adjacent former council offices for housing. This would be in line with Camden’s own planning policies CS8 and DP13.
The current lack of primary and secondary school places, along with the impact on GP services, of which there are fewer in the area, has not been properly examined or considered by this plan.
The development plan appears to have dismantled two walls, one along Potteries Path and one currently at the end of Travis Perkins' yard which form the walls of the football pitch, currently the only recreational space available for young people in the area. No development plan should threaten or encroach upon this valuable public space.
The proposed blocks will overshadow and deprive of light the green space and children's playground at the Lymington Road Estate, which is closest to the 156 West End Lane site, as well as to the homes and gardens on Lymington Road Estate.
The proposed project is located on the immediate border of a conservation area. A conservation area is defined in Section 69 (1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as an area of “special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance” and that the project is irreconcilable with the Council’s duty to ensure such preservation.
The plans are also in direct contravention of the policies outlined in the Neighbourhood Development Plan for this area.
I would like to reiterate my absolute opposition to the proposal and expect all of my above points to be considered, addressed and responded to appropriately.
Additional objections submitted by local residents since first publication:
The extensive nature of the proposed over-development has the potential to inflict upon the long-established surrounding properties, many of which are in the West End Green Conservation Area, serious structural issues such as subsidence.
The Travis Perkins business operating at 156 West End Lane is closed from 12pm on Saturdays, meaning that residents in the adjoining properties and roads benefit from quiet and peaceful homes and gardens in the evenings, at weekends and on Public Holidays.
The proposed road from West End Lane is on a dangerous narrow curve, unlike the current wide-open entrance and exit to the Travis Perkins site.