Councillors voted yes to the proposed CIP plans, including the controversial 25 storey tower block, in last night’s long and long-awaited Committee Vote. Councillors clearly suspended disbelief in an evening of magic tricks and cute child sideshows. We were asked to believe that a 25-storey tower block would not be visible: ‘glazing’ making it disappear into our constantly balmy blue skies in England; believe in visuals that appeared to be from the point of view of ants on the ground; believe that future residents of luxury million quid apartments will have no need for cars or taxis; nor for bays to allow for their inevitable Ocado or Deliveroo deliveries; that trees have a negligible impact on pollution; that breaking WHO limits on pollution is not cause for action, or even concern, that as its ‘in line with the averages in the ‘back streets of Camden’ (that’s ok then!); that raising the population density will have no impact; that Somers Town has too many parking spaces currently; that wholesale disregard for Somers Town Neighbourhood plans or indeed its own council policies are ‘slight deviations’, that total open space will increase with 5 new huge developments on it… With all the distraction afforded, no-one raised the blindingly obvious; which is quite why is so much development is needed to refurbish one school (which we all actually agree is needed).
At one stage the public gallery were told sternly not to applaud: ‘this is not a spectator show! But how could we not with magic tricks and child actors? Note to deputations: never compete with children or animals.
The show goes on: campaigners have made a call in to the Secretary of State.