Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December updates

Farmers Market
First the really good news - the Farmers Market has received planning permission so it is no longer "temporary"! It received huge support from local residents - nearly 300 letters hugely in favour with only 3 dissenting voices complaining it took up too much of the space outside Thameslink and created a hazardous situation or that it wasn't good for local shops. These were drowned out in the wave of goodwill which has built up since the Market opened in September. Many congratulations to all those involved and a special thanks to local Cllr Gillian Risso-Gill who pursued the idea over several months! Happy shopping everyone!

And - don't forget the West Hampstead Christmas Market on West End Green this coming Saturday from 10-4.00 . And thanks to all those involved with that as well!

While I'm at it - thanks to Camden for our West End Christmas tree which is lit very prettily this year and also thanks as well to BAM ( Buckingham/Avenue/ Marborough Mansions) for their beautiful bright tree on the corner of Cannon Hill and West End Lane.

New School??
For a long time now there have been empty units in what locally most of us still call "the Sager Building" on Fortune Green Road. They were always going to be difficult to fill with ordinary retail uses as they were too big for a local shop. Tescos solved the problem (and caused a lot of local controversy) by putting two units together while two others have gone over to educational use.
Presumably inspired by this we now have a new "wannabee" lessee who wants to take over the remaining units for a school (this includes the large  one on the corner which was intended as an "A3" use (cafe/bar/resaurant) to replace the old pub).

Abercorn, who are a private school based in Westminster for 7-13 year olds, wish to expand and think they have found the right spot. So far they are beginning tentative discussion with Council planners, local groups and Councillors and plan an exhibition open to the public on the site on 17/18th December (we understand from 3-7pm).

There will be loads of questions eg
  • Is this the right use of the units? Or should they stay empty waiting for a different use?
  • Is this the right site for the school/ for the local community?
  • How much traffic will it bring (we hear that they will bus pupils up from Westminster and only 30 % of their pupils arrive by car!)? And what will the the morning congestion be like?
  • So what does this mean for our already overstretched parking? (Teachers for example)
  • Will all the children be expected to take exercise/sport on the Green all day?
  • What effect will the school have on the Green/ on the Cemetery (noise etc)?
There are no doubt lots more questions people will want to ask - so our advice is go to the exhibition and don't forget to tell your local councillors what you think (you can email us on
So far no planning application has gone in and Camden's consultation on the proposals will not start until way into the New Year so you will have plenty of time to make comments.

A great lady

We were very saddened to hear of the recent death of Bernice Thomas known to the localcommunity as "Bernie". She was an amazing person and great friend who worked tirelessly for the community for many years. On the committee of the old Community Centre in Mill Lane, she was eventually honoured to be appointed a "Life Vice-President" and she was also chosen as a "Camden Good Citizen" .

Bernie helped lots of people and there will be many who remember her multitude of kind acts as well as her cheerful nature and her spontaneous hugs - truly she was a member of the "Big Society" before it became a political slogan. She gave her life to others without asking anything back and she was much loved and will be sorely missed. 

We have just received details of her funeral :

The service will take place at St Michaels Apostolic Church, St Michaels Road, Cricklewood, NW2 6XG at 10am she will then be laid to rest at Hendon Cemetery, Holders Hill Road, NW7 1NB.
We will then Commemorate her life at Heritage Inn, 301 Cricklewood Broadway, Cricklewood, NW2 6PG

We thought it would be great to have a local memorial for Bernie and would welcome ideas of how this may be most appropriate.

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