Thursday 28 June 2012

Correspondence with Tesco

Once I was able to identify a suitable contact within Tesco, here is the correspondence I have had.  I first wrote on 8th June and received a response - after some chasing - on 27th June
Dear Carol:

Attached is a photo that I took last Saturday, 2nd June, from a bus that was blocked by the congestion caused by the lorry delivering to Tesco. It was at least the third delivery lorry to Tesco that blocked traffic that morning. I also attach a photo that was taken on Thursday, 3rd May showing traffic congestion caused by the delivery lorry to Tesco.

Deliveries to that Tesco store cause traffic congestion throughout the day every day and affect all traffic and bus routes along the length of West End Lane. Since it opened, the traffic congestion caused by these deliveries is the largest cause of complaints that Ward Councillors receive from residents – in fact one residents’ association has threatened to organise a boycott against that store.

Residents are very angry that change of use permission was not required for the premises to change from furniture store to supermarket, a small site that lacks storage space, hence the need for frequent deliveries to replenish stock, and on a bend in the road that is hazardous for large delivery lorries to offload. Tesco appear to have done nothing to mitigate the inconvenience caused by their deliveries to local residents and traffic.

I have raised these issues with Camden Officers who claim that there is nothing the Council can do to stop your deliveries.

We receive no complaints about Sainsbury, who trade on the same block, who use their own small vans, not external suppliers, and only deliver in the early morning or mid evening when traffic is light and, as far as I am aware, cause no congestion. Why can’t Tesco operate in the same consumer friendly manner?

What is Tesco prepared to do to stop the traffic congestion it causes on West End Lane?

Dear Councillor Risso-Gill

Apologies for the delay in responding to you. I have forwarded your email onto our distribution manager. I have suggested another risk assessment be undertaken to look at the issues and discuss solutions. Matt Magee is now responsible for this area and he will contact you as soon as this assessment has been conducted.

Kind regards


Monday 25 June 2012

West Hampstead's heritage

Camden has lots of interesting buildings, some important like the British Museum, and some quite small. Many of these are “listed”, which means taking special care over changes to them. Here in West Hampstead we have a Conservation Area around West End Green but we have traditionally only had two “listed buildings” – the Fire Station and the Synagogue in Dennington Park Road. More recently, Emmanuel Church and the Victorian public conveniences by West End Green have also been listed. Also, Hampstead Cemetery has specially designated status. But we do have lots of buildings and features which give our area its special character. So it’s good that there is new legislation which lets Councils produce a “local list” of buildings which have a value to local residents.

To be included in the local list the building should be a good example of a style particular to a local area/ designed or built by some notable local or national builder or architect, and or be an especially good example of some particular craft or technique. Alternatively, or it should be of local or national historical significance in the area’s history, or associated with an important local or national person or event. Or it could have have “social value” which means having local community, cultural, religious, political, educational or economic significance.

Camden will soon be asking for suggestions for buildings to go on the list – watch this space!

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Public drop-in Session on West Hampstead Traffic Scheme Thursday 12 July

We've just heard from Camden's officers about a drop-in session about transport related issues (NB cars, bikes, lorries etc, not buses and trains) in the West Hampstead area. Here are the full details from Camden:

Public drop-in Session – West Hampstead Area Scheme, Thursday 12th July
Following the approval of the West Hampstead Place Plan as the strategic guidance for the area, Camden Council want to ask local stakeholders about their views on specific transport related issues in the West Hampstead area. As a local resident or business, we want to know what things you think would improve the streets and traffic in the area. This will help us to deliver the objective to improve the quality of experience for people in the streets and public spaces.

The Council is holding a drop-in session to give you the opportunity to highlight what you believe are the key street and traffic problems in this area, as well as what solutions you would like to see.  Council officers will be present to discuss your traffic questions. 

We are interested in discussing a wide range of traffic issues such as: -

  • Road safety and accident reduction.
  • Vehicles speeds and congestion.
  • Ease of pedestrian access.
  • Provisions for cyclists.
  • Waiting and loading provisions.

Please note that the scope of this scheme will not include buses or trains.

Details of this drop-in session are as follows: -

Venue: West Hampstead Synagogue
Date: Thursday 12th July 2012
Time: 2pm to 7pm

Officers from Camden’s Transport Strategy Service will be present for discussion throughout this session. We will then use the information gathered to assist in the development of a scheme, on which we expect to undertake a public consultation later in the year.

If you would like any further information, please contact Costa Kakouratos in the Design Team on either 020 79745132 or If you would like any further information about the West Hampstead Place Plan, this is published on the council website: 

Friday 15 June 2012

GetAheadoftheGames Road Show at O2 Centre on 6 July

We've just received this message from Transport for London about a Road Show to be held at the O2 Centre on 6 July:

To ensure Londoners can find out how their travel will be affected by the Games and what transport changes to expect, TfL is holding a series of Road Shows. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about the Olympic Route Network and Games Lanes, road restrictions and closures, hotspot stations and bus diversions in the local area.

When and where are the Road Shows?
In your area, the GetAheadoftheGames Road Shows will be held:

  • Friday 6 July 14:00-20:00 O2 Centre, 255 Finchley Road London NW3 6LU (on corner of Finchley Road near tube station) 

Wednesday 13 June 2012

The Olympic and Paralympic Route Network during the London Olympic Games

Although TfL do not consider that West Hampstead will be much affected by the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we thought residents would like to know how the Games will be affecting travel through other parts of London.

During the 2012 Games, London will be turned into a massive sporting and cultural venue. This will, of course, have a major impact on the city’s roads, so Transport for London (TfL) will be putting in place the Olympic Route Network and Paralympic Route Network (ORN/PRN).

What is the ORN/PRN? The ORN is a 109-mile network of roads linking Games and accommodation venues. It is vital to ensure all athletes, officials and the world’s media get to their events on time and keep London moving. Thirty miles of the ORN include Games Lanes (available only to vehicles carrying the ‘Games Family’ – the athletes, officials, media and some sponsors). When will the ORN/PRN operate? The ORN and Games Lanes will begin operating on Wednesday 25 July, and will end on Tuesday 14 August. They will not be in force between the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The smaller PRN will also begin operating two days before the Paralympic Games on Monday 27 August and will end on Tuesday 11 September. Once events are completed at a particular venue, such as Wimbledon, the ORN will be removed. Creating the ORN/PRN A programme of temporary road changes need to take place ahead of the creation of the ORN/PRN. This will include installing temporary traffic islands and barriers to simplify junctions and changing around 1,300 sets of traffic signals to prepare for the expected increase in traffic. To keep any impact to a minimum, work is being carried out over a four-day period beginning on Friday 20 July and finishing on Tuesday 24 July. Most of the works will take place overnight but, depending on weather conditions and restrictions in certain areas, some daytime working may be required. Creating Games Lanes

From Sunday 1 July, road markings will be put down along the ORN to create the Games Lanes. This work is weather dependent so it is not possible to specify the exact dates but works will take place overnight between 21:00 and 06:00. The

Games Lanes will not be operational and enforced until Wednesday 25 July, so you will be able to use them until this date. During the Games, vehicles that drive in the Games Lanes, load, park or stop illegally on the ORN/PRN will be removed and will face a £130 Penalty Charge Notice. It will take between 10 and 14 days to create all the Games Lanes. There will be advanced warning signs along the route advising which dates the works will take place. Other key road changes From Saturday 7 July: Traffic direction through the Kingsway Tunnel (Aldwych) will be temporarily reversed to flow southbound only. This will be vital for assisting movement to and from the Media Hub in Bloomsbury. The road will return to normal in mid-August after the Olympic Games, and the change is not required for the Paralympic Games. From Monday 16 July: The M4 Games Lane will come into operation owing to the arrival of the Games Family which include athletes, officials and the world’s media. From Tuesday 24 July: The designated pedestrian crossings and parking/loading bays along the ORN will be suspended and blocked off overnight. TfL will remove each section of the ORN after it is no longer required. These works will take place over a number of nights.

It will be necessary to re-instate some of the network for the Paralympic Games and works will take place overnight from 24 August to 26 August. The PRN will be fully operational and enforced from 06:00 on 27 August.

There will be additional changes to roads and local parking around Olympic venues. These are being put in place by the organisers of London 2012 to ensure that resident and business parking is protected and the venues can operate safely. Full details of changes and timings can be found at

Advice for road users During the implementation programme, roads will remain open but there may be rolling lane closures and local diversions, which will be clearly signposted. Local access to properties will be maintained but please do not park along the ORN/PRN as cars may be removed. If possible, do not travel on the route while the work is taking place. This will help you avoid delays.

The work will not affect pedestrian access, but may affect bus stops along the ORN and information will be provided on any affected stops. From mid-July, motorists should avoid central London, roads around the ORN and Games venues. Motorists should avoid the areas around the road events on competition days, such as the Cycling Road Races on 28 and 29 July. Every day of the Games is different, so if you must drive, plan ahead and allow more time. Go to to find out how you can avoid the road hotspots during the Games. Planning ahead To ensure that everyone begins to plan their Games time travel, please pass this information on to colleagues and regular contacts, and promote it through any available communication channels you may have. In addition, all properties on or within 400 metres of the ORN/PRN will receive letters this month outlining the works schedule and offering advice for residents and businesses to help them prepare ahead and during the operation of the ORN/PRN. If you wish to find out further information, go to Keeping London moving TfL is committed to keeping London moving throughout the Games. To help achieve this, the Games Lanes will operate as flexibly as possible, and be open to traffic when demand from Games Family vehicles is low and capacity is available. Signs along the route will advise motorists when Games Lanes are open to regular traffic throughout the day. I apologise in advance for any inconvenience that these essential works may cause. You can find details of the planned changes on the ORN/PRN, the latest on the build programme timetable and other Games-related travel information at You can also follow @GAOTG on Twitter, sign up online for email bulletins or email

Sunday 10 June 2012

Points replacement on Jubilee line - part closure between Finchley Road and London Bridge on Sunday 1 July

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat leader on the GLA, has just passed on this advance warning from Transport for London about part closure of the Jubilee Line between Finchley Road and London Bridge on Sunday 1 July.

"In order to ensure that Jubilee line infrastructure is as reliable possible during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, London Underground is replacing a number of points on the Jubilee line. Some of this work has already been taking place on the east of the line - mainly during engineering hours and also through slightly later starts on a number of Sundays. In addition there will be a one-day part closure between Finchley Road and London Bridge on Sunday 1 July to allow for points replacement."

Friday 8 June 2012

West Hampstead/Fortune Green Area Forum on Tuesday, 19 June - on parking, crime and planning

The next West Hampstead/Fortune Green Area Forum (Area Action Group) is scheduled for Tuesday, 19 June, at the Synagogue Community Hall on Dennington Park Road. Regular attenders have been notified by e-mail or letter.

Here’s the agenda for the meeting, which Cllr Keith Moffitt will be chairing:

7 - 7.30 pm: an opportunity to meet ward councillors informally over tea/coffee

7.30 meeting starts:

Parking Policy review
For more details of the review, see below. The consultation formally ends on 18 June, but Camden will take into account comments made at the area forum.

Community Safety
Representatives from the Fortune Green and West Hampstead Safer Neighbourhood Teams

Neighbourhood Development Plan                        
James Earl, chair of the West Hampstead Neighbourhood Development Forum.

We'll aim to finish by 9.30 at the latest.

We look forward to seeing lots of West Hampstead residents on Tuesday 19 June.

More details  of the Parking Policy Review from Camden:

As part of the Parking Policy Review (PPR), a public engagement exercise will take place, to gauge opinion on issues relating to the size, days and hours of control of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs), as well as on the maximum stay in pay and display bays. I would welcome your views on this issue and ask that you send your comments to

The results of the consultation will inform where changes may be required to CPZ days and hours of control to respond to changing parking demands and lead to the development of a work programme of CPZ reviews. A report outlining the consultation responses will be considered later in the year, outlining any options for change. It is also proposed that this will be considered by the Culture and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

This questionnaire is being undertaken as part of the wider Parking Policy Review (PPR). Some changes have already been implemented and details about these can be found on the PPR web page at Parking Policy Review.

The questionnaire will be available for anyone to respond to, but direct notification will be sent to the groups below:

- Residents’ and Tenant’s Associations;
- Businesses (through business forums and monthly e-newsletter)
- minority groups such as those representing the disabled and elderly;
- individuals who have previously requested changes to CPZ hours.

The questionnaire is available on the Council’s web site for public consultation on the following link:

Hard copies of all documents can also be obtained by emailing (although please consider whether you really need a hard copy as we wish to keep printed material to a minimum).

The public consultation ends midnight on Monday 18 June 2012.

If you have any questions about the consultation or would like further information, please contact:
Phone: 020 7974 4639

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Jubilee Celebrations in West Hampstead

Big Lunch on West End Green on Saturday
Residents in West Hampstead and Fortune Green entered into the spirit of  the Jubilee weekend with street party celebrations.

On SaturdayWHeart held a Big Lunch on West End Green organised by Sally Bowman and her team of helpers and sponsored by Chelsea Square.  There was a bouncy castle and face painting for children, a cake competition, raffle with prizes donated by local businesses and Spanish dancing.  One of the highlights was a large black chicken handing out chicken wings from Nandos.

Also on Saturday, the Fordwych Road Residents' Association held their event in St Cuthbert's Church Hall, while on on Sunday residents of Glenbrook Road and Friends of Fortune Green all held Big Lunch events, despite the rain.  The Fortune Green event decamped into the Play Centre where at least 100 residents shared food and some entered the Bake Off competition.

Spanish Dancers at the Lymington Road street party
On Monday, MARA were lucky with their weather for their street party, and on Tuesday, Lymington Road was closed for the LRRA Celebration Streeet Party with two bouncy castles, a steel band, barbeque, more cakes  and Spanish dancers.

Well done all the organisers for helping us celebrate the Jubilee weekend with friends and neigh-bours. Our sincere apologies if we missed anyone in the West Hampstead area out!
Councillors Keith and Gillian at the Lymington Rd party

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Hampstead Garden Centre Site Planning Application Approved

Given the strength of objections that had been submitted from West Hampstead residents, local groups and Ward Councillors, many will be disappointed that the Planning Application for a development of 36 dwellings for the Hampstead Garden Centre site was approved by Camden’s Development Control Committee last Thursday.

Previously, the Officers had recommended the application for Refusal because there was insufficient Affordable housing but when this was increased from 7 to 10 units (only 70% of Camden’s requirement) the recommendation was changed to Approval.  Yet none of the objectors were consulted on the revised application and were only given a week’s notice that the application would be heard at the meeting the day before the Jubilee Weekend when many people were going away and, ironically, when the new Neighbourhood Planning Forum (to develop a local Plan) was meeting.
The Officer’s report appeared to focus on the Developer’s compliance with Camden Policy – even though allowances had to be made – rather than the very real concerns of  local residents.  The case for Change of Use was considered for residential use only, even though the site had had Commercial Use for 26 years.  No case was made of why it could not continue even though no market research had been carried out and the Officer concluded continued retail use would not be viable.  Although the new Placeshaping Action Plan identified the need for office or workshop accommodation, for which the site would be ideal, this was not considered as it was not included in the developer's application.  It would nevertheless provide jobs and employment which would support the local weekday economy.

Bizarrely, because this site is not included in the London Plan for the Intensification of the area, it was not necessary to assess the cumulative impact on the area and local services of this development with the approved plans for 200 homes at 187-199 West End Lane and the 300 Student Housing in Blackburn Road, only 100 yards apart.  Each application is assessed on its merits, not against other applications.

Furthermore, no noise assessment was carried out to meet the concerns of
Sumatra Road about the bulk of this development amplifying the railway noise for them.

Given the continuing outrage of residents around Lymington Road about the South Hampstead School development, the Planning Officers continue to adopt very narrow assessments of planning applications in West Hampstead that favour developers whilst ignoring the issues raised by the people who live here and will have to endure the long term consequences of their recommendations.

Councillor Risso-Gill, a member of the Committee, challenged the Officer and Developers on all these issues that had not been covered elsewhere and Councillor Eagling also challenged the proximity of the railway and erosion of employment space in the area. 

Unfortunately, there was no representation from local residents at the meeting, which usually sways the Committee members if residents feel so strongly against an application that they will attend the meeting to object in person.
Most of the members who voted to approve the application live elsewhere in the Borough and were swayed by the increase in Affordable Housing.  Our objections on the night did result in three members abstaining from voting.

There is a slight glimmer of hope that the development will not be built as the rationale for recommending approval in  the Officer's report based on increased Affordable Housing also commented that such complex designs often find difficulty in securing finance.