Act on illegal holiday lets

Thanks to Marchmont Voice, here is an update on the work that the Marchmont Association have been doing to lobby Camden Council to about the problem of illegal holiday lets and their negative impact on our community. Residents have complained at BTRA meetings about persistent noise and other anti-social behaviour from holiday lets in the Brunswick, in one case involving a bottle dropped onto a balcony, narrowly missing a resident.

“The Council has informed us that they are taking steps to prioritise enforcement action against these illegal lettings, and working in partnership with neighbouring local authorities. The text belkow is an extract from Camden Council’s web site giving details of their policy regarding short term letting of residential properties.

Marchmont Association supporters are invited to use the link at the end of the item to report any instances of short term lettings to the Council, and to write to Councillor Danny Beales, Cabinet Member with the remit for Planning, to voice your concerns:

Camden Council says …

“Short term letting can disturb neighbours, with visitors creating noise, sometimes at unsociable hours.  High turnover of visitors/renters can also impact upon permanent occupiers reducing the sense of community and raising the fear of crime.  The short term letting of residential properties also reduces the permanent housing stock.

Current planning policy in the Camden Local Plan is to resist development that changes permanent housing to short stay accommodation/holiday lets. Therefore applications for whole residential properties, including single-dwelling houses and flats, to be converted to short term/ holiday lettings are likely to be refused.

If these new regulations are not followed, then this will be considered an unauthorised change of use for which planning permission will be required.  The Council will take appropriate enforcement action, which can include serving an Enforcement Notice to require the use to cease.

If you suspect a property is being used for short term/holiday letting outside of the new regulations you can report it to us ”

Do report any suspected instances of illegal holiday letting to Camden, and let us hope that this will help reduce the problem.

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Advice from the Metropolitan Police

Following the appalling attacks at the Manchester Arena and at London Bridge last night, the Metropolitan Police have issued the following key advice for the general public:

  •   Residents should stay calm and, as far as possible, continue their lives as normal while remaining vigilant and reporting anything suspicious to the police by calling 0800 789 321. If residents feel in immediate danger they should call 999.
  •   If a member of the public is confronted by a potentially dangerous situation, the Police advise “Run, Hide, Tell”:

o RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go, then…

o HIDE. It’s better to hide than to confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally and only when it is safe to do so…

o TELL the police by calling 999.

Potential for hate crime

We will not allow these dreadful attacks to divide us or to undermine our freedoms. We will not be cowed and our daily lives must continue.

We encourage residents to report and share information of any type of hate crime that they witness or experience in the borough. Our message is clear: hate crimes will not be tolerated and we must stand together to support everyone in our communities. Camden rejects all messages of hate based on people’s nationality or ethnicity.

If you witness a hate crime report it, even if you are unsure what happened – the perpetrator may do it again. If anyone is in danger call 999. For non-emergencies, call the police on 101.

From Cllr Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council and Cllr Abdul Hai, Cabinet Member for Cohesion, Equalities and Community Safety

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Councillors set to kick Tavi Place decision down the road

Marchmont Voice


Camden councillors look likely to defer a final decision on the Tavistock/Torrington Place traffic scheme at Wednesday night’s long awaited Cabinet session. The papers for the meeting contain a recommendation that the consultation findings should first go to a formal Public Inquiry which would “further examine the merits of the scheme”. This is likely to delay the decision for up to another six months and could cost the Council as much as £100,000. Opponents of the plans will see this as a final chance to state their case, with those in favour hoping it is just a final hurdle to clear.

It’s understood that the recommendation for a public inquiry is the consequence of an administative oversight by planning officers when the trial was set up in autumn 2015. At that time the necessary copy of the experimental traffic order was not lodged at the Town Hall. This would have left…

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Consultation with local police

The Camden Safer Neighbourhood Board have announced some forthcoming dates for consultations about neighbourhood policing. At the end of February, the Met will be merging Camden and Islington Police. On Thursday 26 January, there is an opportunity for local residents to meet the new joint Borough Commander, Detective Chief Inspector Catherine Roper, at 7pm in the Council Chamber at Camden Town Hall to find out how the merger will affect policing in our neighbourhood and ask any questions you have.

If you would like to contribute your views in response to the Mayor of London’s consultation on his draft Policing Plan, there will be a meeting to discuss this on Thursday 23 February. You can see the draft plans here.

Then on Thursday 23 March, there will be a meeting in Chalk Farm about whether initiatives to reduce noise and antisocial behaviour linked to Camden’s booming night-life have made an improvements.

Full details are in this CSNB newsletter.


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New date for BTRA meeting


All tenants and residents at the Brunswick are invited to the next meeting of the Brunswick Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (BTRA), which will now be held on Thursday 16 February at 7pm in the TRA room at 10 Foundling Court (on the second floor, reached from entrance 1, nearest to Russell Square tube). The meeting has had to be postponed from its original date in January, due to the long-awaited refurbishment of the TRA room.

Come along to hear the latest about the restarting of the podium works, beginning with the larger podium of O’Donnell Court, among other matters.

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Meeting about Tavistock Place cycle route

A reminder that the Marchmont Association has organised a public meeting to allow local people to have their say about Camden Council’s proposed improvements for walking and cycling along theTorrington Place/Tavistock Place route. The meeting will be held on Monday 19th September from 7pm (doors open 6.45pm) at Lumen Church, 88 Tavistock Place, WC1H 9RS (close to Regent Square).


The Council’s Transport Planners have been asked to present their proposals for “Torrington Place/Tavistock Place route: proposed improvements for walking and cycling”, based on the outcome of their analysis of the one-year trial scheme, which ends in November 2016. This will be followed by Questions and Answers, before the meeting is opened up for debate.

Camden Council will have distributed their formal consultation documents prior to this meeting, giving interested parties prior notice of the proposals, which will enable them to come to the meeting with their prepared questions. Everyone will be given the opportunity to speak and we will be asking speakers to declare their interest, e.g. resident, business, cyclist, motorist, pedestrian etc.

The Marchmont Association intend to hold a ‘straw poll’ at the end of the meeting in order to gauge the level of support or opposition to the proposals.

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Bloomsbury Squares Study Day

Bloomsbury Square in the C18th from

Bloomsbury Square in the C18th from

2016 is a landmark in the story of the Bloomsbury Squares, as they face serious council cuts and explore possible new ways of finance. This Study Day will trace the history of the squares, from their creation as country oases in an urban setting, through their prominent role in the early heritage conservation movement and the postwar opening of many to the public, followed by decline and then reinvigoration at the millennium, to the current situation. We are including a number of short walks to view individual features of the squares as part of the programme.

 Venue:  UCL School of Pharmacy, Brunswick Square, London (Nearest underground stations are Russell Square, Kings Cross/St Pancras, Euston and  Holborn)

Booking through Eventbrite from 1 March 2016: Tickets (incl. lunch and refreshments) £32

Programme includes:

The London Square by Todd Longstaffe-GowanThe history, development and conservation of the Bloomsbury Squares Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape architect and author of The London Square

Green Heritage – the planting of the Bloomsbury Squares Letta Jones, Garden Historian

Tales of Brunswick Square – its life and times Ricci de Freitas local historian and author of Tales of Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury’s Untold Past

Opening the Squares to public activities – including Victorian flower shows Dr David Marsh, Garden Historian

Looking to the future  The challenges of the present and opportunities for the future will be explored

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