I marched today with hundreds of parents, schoolchildren, and Hampstead residents against the inappropriate re-development of 29 New End. Led by ILoveHampstead’s Jessica Learmont-Criqui and serenaded by Village Voice’s Sebastian Wocker, the protest really raised the profile of the protest against the plans at New End. I was joined by Camden Conservatives leader Claire-Louise Leyland.
The development will impact children at the three neighbouring schools, disrupting their learning and threatening their health. It will also cause a significant amount of noise and disturbance to the village, as the excavation will require the removal of 1,000 trucks of rubble. Moreover, the development itself is of far too large a scale for the area, being as it is in the heart of the Hampstead Conservation Area.
For these reasons, I am strongly opposed to the development. Then-Cllr Chris Knight and Cllr Stephen Stark – both of them Conservatives – campaigned strongly against the development in 2013, leading it to be thrown out. However, that decision was over-ruled by the Planning Inspectorate, which has forced it through against the wishes of local people.
For more about my campaign to oppose over-development, click here.