This is all about Somers Town…
Here men die 10 years earlier than they do just a few miles away in wealthier parts of Camden.
That’s why we need open space, greenery and trees. The poor air quality caused by idling trains and taxis, traffic congestion and construction work has a direct impact on health.
Few have gardens in this area, which makes open space more important. People need active areas and places for relaxation and quiet.
There are three spaces that could be improved, and be better connected:
- a space for being active with gym, play space and Plot 10 on Polygon Road
- Purchase Street / Brill Place open space
- heritage and wildlife gardens around St Pancras Old Church.
Our Neighbourhood Plan proposes to make Somers Town as green as possible, with ‘green lungs’ connected by streets of trees, green walls and planted rooftops.
Developments such as Hs2 and Cross Rail could have a devastating impact on this area. HS2 will:
“take 10 years and entail… 24 hour working…lorry movements…dust and noise…”
For more information, look at the Somers Town HS2 petition -it’s an appendix to Our Plan.
- Annual START Festival of cultures set up after racist gang murder of Richard Everitt- see START website for photos.
- In 2013 and 2015 there was a Fair and ‘Sports Day‘ in Brill Place park
- Local bands like Mighty Caretakers and ohGunquit!
- historic old St Pancras Church with concerts and events
- Plaques to Charles Dickens, Mary Wollstonecraft, filmmaker Mike Leigh, Basil Jellicoe – all lived here once
- unique social housing history with slum clearance in 20th century
We suffer from high unemployment, particularly for young people, despite being surrounded by new developments.
The Business, Employment, Education and Training Group (BEET Group) has launched a Job Hub to help local people find work, train and overcome some of the problems that stop them working.
Housing matters in an area of social housing, with rising land values.
People in Somers Town don’t want to be pushed out by development that gentrifies the neighbourhood. People here, even the higher earners, can’t afford to buy or pay market rents. Even 80% of market value, so called ‘affordable’ homes are beyond the means of most local people.
We need homes that:
- relieve overcrowding
- so people can stay near to their families and jobs
- maintain a sustainable community
- affordable in relation to local income not the market
Somers Town has some fine examples of public housing from the past 100 years. These should be celebrated and expanded.
The Somers Town Neighbourhood Plan advocates using different delivery mechanisms, like Community Land Trusts, for building homes and other important community amenities.