Save West Hampstead “Stop the Blocks!” is a large and growing group of West Hampstead residents shocked by the revelation in June 2015 of A2Dominion’s plans to build four large blocks and 200 units in the small site currently occupied by long-term local employer Travis Perkins at 156 West End Lane.
Without any form of prior consultation, Lymington Road residents whose homes back on to the site found themselves unwittingly on the front-line of any proposals for the site at 156 West End Lane and would also suffer the greatest impact from any changes that may occur. Furthermore the proposals would overshadow the Crown Close Designated Open Space and two children’s play areas, including a multi-use games area, casting these valuable spaces in near-darkness for most (if not all) of the year.
So a group of Lymingon Road residents decided to unite and organise a grass-roots community campaign to fight Camden Council’s short-sighted sell-off of publicly owned land and vowed to Stop the Blocks!
The campaign was initially founded by residents whose homes and gardens adjoin the Travis Perkins site and which are inside the southern perimeter line of the West End Green Conservation Area. The campaign has gone on to garner support from the wider West Hampstead and Camden community concerned with the raft of developments blighting the area and that threaten the amenity of all residents, including Lymington Road Residents’ Association, Crediton Hill Residents’ Association, Combined Residents Associations of South Hampstead (CRASH), West Hampstead Gardens & Residents Association, Save Swiss Cottage, and the West End Green Conservation Area Advisory Committee. Some of these ‘developments’ are already under way, while others threaten to commence their planning wars of attrition against local residents soon.
Save West Hampstead “Stop the Blocks!” is also supported by, and building links with, other community groups across London that are facing similar battles against councils and developers, including Save Swiss Cottage and Reclaim London.
Given the pace at which the farcical preferred bidder presentations for 156 West End Lane are proceeding, time is of the essence else the opportunity may be missed to call to a halt proposals that will see valuable public land sold off for a one-time-only payment and the loss of a valued long-term local employer that supports hundreds of local businesses and tradesmen in pursuit of a development that would negatively impact upon the amenity of all West Hampstead residents while simultaneously failing to meet the area’s housing requirements.
The proposals for 156 West End Lane suggest that it could house between 600 – 800 residents and 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 and the impact from this development is yet to be seen alongside other developments in Blackburn Road, Iverson Road, Maygrove Road, Liddell Road, and this is without including proposals for even more blocks on the sites of the O2 Centre car park, Homebase and the two car showrooms, or the Abbey Area redevelopment. See this map for more on the over-intensive over-developments planned for the West Hampstead area.