Planning applications
Camden no longer writes to anyone who might be affected by neighbouring development. It is crucial therefore to register for email alerts of any planning application near you, using this page to register.

Planning a development?
Holly Mount
Occasionally the Society is asked to advise in specific cases. Unfortunately this is something we are not able to do, as formal advice is the sole preserve of professionals in the respective fields; law, surveying, architecture or whatever. We may be able to suggest firms who can provide such advice, and of course in most cases they will charge a fee.

Hidden rivers revealed

You might have wondered whether the hidden rivers of London matter all that much, because they’re… well… hidden!

Not any more: intrepid cameraman Farokh Khorooshi has filmed the River Fleet at one of the few points it can still be seen flowing in Hampstead.

Nowhere in Hampstead is very far from the Fleet or one of the other subterranean rivers that flow into the Thames. So we say, take a look… remember the considerable pressure that can result from a flow of water… and have another think about that basement you’ve been planning.

The work of the Planning Sub-Committee 

For years Hampstead has been a magnet for property developers. Especially those with deep pockets. And despite the fact that Hampstead is a Conservation Area, which ought to protect it from the excesses of poor development and bad architecture, there have been many lamentable changes in the appearance and character of the area.

And why has this been allowed to happen?

The fault lies not only with Camden’s planners. Successive central governments have pursued two dismally depressing policies. Promoting high density development regardless of location and context, and taking a relaxed view on uncontrolled development rights to alter, extend and rebuild.

Yet Hampstead remains one of London’s most historic and beautiful places, with many listed buildings, streets and places of an amazingly varied and fascinating character. Where else could one find such a remarkable range of fine architecture, from the late 1690s to the present?

Against this backdrop the Planning Committee works relentlessly to limit the damage done by bad development, planning and design.

Members scrutinise every planning application and raise comments on, and objections to, every example of bad design: intrusion into neighbours’ privacy; air, noise or light pollution; and any other matters of concern.

It requests enforcement against breaches of planning control, gives evidence at planning appeals, and tries to influence Camden’s planning policies and their planners to reject the bad and welcome the good.

The Society has even gone to the unusual lengths of requesting, and winning, leave for a Judicial Review of a particularly objectionable proposal.

Preserving trees

Trees, both privately and publicly owned, are immensely important to the character of urban areas, especially in a high-density area such as Hampstead. Many trees are endangered by development, disease, and even some residents! After all, trees obstruct light, undermine foundations, drop leaves…

The Planning Committee has formed a specialist tree group, which works with Camden’s tree officers, to try to protect endangered trees and encourage the planting of new ones.

Ground response to basement development in Camden
A summary of the talk to the Society
on 23 May 2013
by Dr Michael de Freitas, Chartered Geologist