Thursday 20 December 2012

Sherriff Road Improvement

Following up a suggestion from a local resident I received a message from a Camden Council highway engineer to day.
"Thank you for your enquiry dated 06/12/12 regarding the issue of certain vehicles travelling the wrong way along Sherriff Road, even though the “no entry” signs are in place. A Design Engineer in my team has investigated this junction and has agreed with your suggestion of adding arrows on the road indicating left and right turning lanes from Sherriff Road into West End Lane. This should make drivers aware that the road is one way out of the Sherriff Road.  In addition, one of the “no entry” sign needs to be turned slightly so that it is visible to drivers approaching from either direction along West End Lane.

The above measures have been drawn up and passed to our Engineering Service to be implemented. I hope once the additional arrows are in place drivers will be more aware that the road is one way hence compliance will increase. Please do let me know if this is still an issue once the works are completed."

Let's hope this does the trick to make this junction safer. 

Thursday 13 December 2012

Legible London Comes to West Hampstead

Residents may have noticed the installation of Legible London panels along West End Lane.  The panels, installed by TfL, provide maps and directions to landmarks and streets within the local area.  There are currently 5 boards on West End Lane: at the junction with Mill Lane, junction with Dennington Park Road outside the Library, two outside the Thameslink station on Iverson Road and at the junction with Hemstal Road.  Two more panels are due to be installed shortly, one near the entrance to the Thameslink station on West End Lane and one on the corner of Blackburn Road.

Earlier this year, your Ward Councillors highlighted the need for improved signage around the Interchange for visitors to the area, especially with the new entrance to the Thameslink station in Iverson Road and the anticipated extra traffic during the Olympics.

We hope the boards will prove a useful facility in the area but would welcome feedback from residents.

Monday 10 December 2012

Camden's Local List

Camden Council is producing a Local List to identify the buildings and features that residents value and so contribute to the character of their local area. Being on Camden’s Local List will not mean that these buildings and features are ‘listed’ in the statutory sense but by being locally listed it will help ensure that the significance of each feature is taken into account as part of the planning application process. As of 22 November you can nominate the local features which carry history, traditions, stories and memories into the present day and so make your local area special. This consultation will run until 21st January, 2013 so start nominating!

For further infortmation go to

More business space needed

What is Camden Council doing to help new business around West Hampstead? Empty retail and business units have been allowed to stay empty for years, enquiries are rebuffed, premises are not marketed and then put up for auction. The former Housing Office on West End Lane is likely to stay empty for a year and the only dedicated industrial site on Liddell Road is being earmarked for a new school and housing. There is a woeful lack of available business premises in the area and units and sites are still being allowed to change from commercial to residential use. Residents moan about the poor range retail offerings in West End Lane but this will not change until the area supports more businesses and employment that will boost the weekday trading.

Over the past year several local entrepreneurs have sought my help to locate suitable business premises in West Hampstead and I am told that all enquiries about Camden properties get nowhere. Premises are advertised on the Camden website for many months but are not available to view. I have asked the Council for help to secure temporary tenants in the retail units currently being vacated on the 187-199 West End Lane site, to prevent the area to becoming blighted prior to development, but resources are not available.

Why does the Council allow buildings to remain empty and not allow tenants to pay rent and business rents to generate income for the Council to support local services? Other boroughs have innovative schemes to boost small business and support local entrepreneurs so why cannot Camden do the same? The new West Hampstead Farmers Market has sparked much new interest from local entrepreneurs so there is definite commitment to start businesses but affordable premises are needed to do so. We have a Labour Administration that cannot be bothered to manage its assets to generate income and appears as inept as the last Labour Government in managing its economy. Whilst it takes the easy option of mothballing and then selling off every available site, the local business community and entrepreneurial spirit that could boost the local economy and create jobs, is being neglected.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Planning Permission for Farmers' Market approved

Planning permission for the West Hampstead Farmers' Market has been approved by Camden Council. 

London Farmers' Markets were allowed to run a market on the Thameslink forecourt site on 14 occasions in a year before planning permission was required.  The market has been run every Saturday since 22nd September 2012 and has proved to be very successful both for local residents and traders.  There was much local support for the market to be run on a permanent basis and the planning application received 287 responses in support and 2 objections.  The market can now continue to be run every Saturday between 10am and 2pm for the forseeable future.

Comments on the market include it improves the sense of well being and community in West Hampstead, provides good quality fresh food that is otherwise lacking in the area, supports British farmers and local producers and has benefited other shops by drawing people into the area.

Long may it continue to thrive!