Category Archives: In the media

Clean Air Monitoring

The DPNF have joined the Camden’s Air Quality Action Plan by linking up with community members to establish air monitoring at hotspots in the area. Nitrogen dioxide emissions, mostly from diesel cars, cause 23,500 of the 40,000 premature deaths from air pollution each year, according to government data. In April last year MPs said air pollution was a public health emergency.

The following document gives an overview of the project and links to the current UK Air Quality Strategy (2007) objectives  https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/National_air_quality_objectives.pdf.

If a local authority finds any area where these objectives are unlikely to be achieved it must declare it an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and put together an action plane to improve air quality. Camden’s Air Quality Action Plan was published in 2016 https://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/stream/asset/?asset_id=3478895&  Camden monitors hotspots across the borough and initiated the Camden Community Air Monitoring Programme to enable a wider monitoring network.

Clean Air monitoring on Gordon House Road

Air monitoring diffusion tubes on Highgate Road

The DPNF has established diffusion tubes between the railway tunnels on Gordon House Road walking towards Gospel Oak Station and Gospel Oak School. And also on Highgate Road close to Parliament Hill School, William Ellis and La Saint Union. The locations will monitor the level of pollution that impact students travelling to and from school on a daily basis. 

John Slater and Robert Mitchell of Brookfield Mansions have set up monitors at four sites around Swain’s Lane:
1. Junction of Swain’s Lane with Highgate West Hill,
2  Junction of Swain’s Lane with Hillway
3 Junction of Swain’s Lane with Chester Road
4. Outside Brookfield Primary on Chester Road
 

Key air pollutants 

The key air pollutants in Camden are NO2 and particulate matters (mainly PM10 and PM2.5), and to a lesser extent sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO). These pollutants arise from road traffic, gas boilers, and other sources. Air pollution levels are monitored using a number of different instruments some basic, such as diffusion tubes and some complex, such as the fixed monitoring stations.

Nitrogen dioxide 

As a participant of the Community Air Monitoring Programme, we will be measuring the levels of NO2 present in the area we have chosen. NO2 is produced when fossil fuels are combusted for purposes such as powering vehicles. The European Union legal limit for NO2 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air (40μg/m3).

NO2 is strongly linked with emphysema, bronchitis, and heart disease. Overloading of nitrogen has also been connected with the degradation of sensitive habitats and deteriorating biodiversity. It is therefore important the causes and effects of NO2 production is understood and awareness is raised of ways to reduce exposure.

For more information, follow this link https://opendata.camden.gov.uk/stories/s/Camden-Air-Quality-Monitoring/bmrm-k7pv

To find out about the range of actions being taken across the borough visit https://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/environment/green-camden/air-quality/

Highgate Report 2013

Councillor Sian Berry prepared a report on Air Quality in Highgate as a result of a 2013 study looking at traffic speed and monitoring data and can be download  via the link:

https://camden.greenparty.org.uk/campaigns/air-pollution.html

And the follow up study over a wider area is on this map here:

https://camden.greenparty.org.uk/assets/images/local_parties/camden/Air%20Pollution%20in%20Camden%20-%20Camden%20Greens.pdf

Camden Air Action

Further work has been via Camden Air Action whose reports and mapping are here, although they only present interactive type maps:

Wider study: https://camdenairaction.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/check-out-pollution-levels-in-your-neighbourhood-with-citizen-science/

School Study 2017

Schools study this year: https://camdenairaction.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/schools-monitoring-project-spring-2017/

We have a plan! First Draft Plan Published at AGM

FROM transforming a redundant Petrol Station into a community grazing green – or perhaps a new business hub – to reducing traffic in the area, the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum has drawn up a wish list of projects that could become reality under new plans.

jessicaAfter three years of research and development the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum were pleased to present their First Draft Plan at their AGM last night.

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Sian Berry demonstrates her multimedia skills by photographing, tweeting and commenting on the evening’s events

There was an excellent turnout at the Highgate Library Civic and Cultural Centre. The Forum were supported by Councillors, Sian Berry, Sally Gimson and Oliver Lewis.

Sian Berry has offered advice throughout the process, attending meetings and contributing to the development of the Plan.

The evening was introduced by Ellen Gates, Chair DPNF, who opened the session with “I’m pleased to say that we have a plan!”

Gates went on to explain the how the committee had tackled the process of gathering information and then developed policies that considered the issues that the community felt strongly about.

Businesses

Director of make:good, Catherine Grieg, who undertook the recent grant funded engagement programme in the area, presented their work that had been guided by the Forum. Local resident, Jon Levy, questioned the reduction of provision for Young People in Camden and the controversial HNCC development.  He later wrote to the Forum about his concerns: ‘The immediate community around HNCC has voiced overwhelming displeasure and objections to the scheme.’ wrote Levy. ‘These community views have been ignored by the developers and the architect himself has rejected any criticism of a project that is doomed to bring 36 additional private houses onto council land without a single affordable home.’

policiesEllen explained that this was a first draft and that it was important for the community to sense check and comment on the content to ensure that the policies best represented public feeling going forward. ‘We now need your feedback and endorsement to help us through to the next stages of producing the Plan for our neighbourhood.’ she said, directing people to feedback via the website or by leaving comments at Truffles Deli in York Rise.

Ben Castell went through the draft policies touching briefly on each and directing the audience to the read the plan summary and the full draft plan that can be downloaded from the DPNF website. Chris Harrison introduced specific neighbourhood sites that anticipated major changes over the next few years; these include the Mansfield Bowling Site, the ASF Garage on Highgate Road, Swains Lane and Murphy’s HQ opposite Gospel Oak Station; and Kay Hughes described key projects that would protect and enhance green corridors, pocket parks and gardens, cycle routes and main transit routes.

The evening concluded with an imaginative approach to the ASF Garage site, proposing that the land originally belonged to the community and should return as a protected ‘green’ space – with the potential to be redesigned as a business hub to relocate creative industries from Highgate Studios to Dartmouth Park. Proposals were described by Ilona Hay, texere studio, and Michael Pawlyn, Exploration Architecture.

Texere Studio’s proposal show the petrol station canopy as a green roof with aerial walkways connecting into the green space below. The space under the canopy could be used for various beneficial purposes such as a farmers market.

goats_ASF

Local Architect, Ilona Hay of texere studio, presented a whimsical vision of the ASF Garage site reimagined as a grazing landscape and community Green

Exploration Architecture’s scheme envisaged removing the garage and rerouting vehicle access to Denyer House so that the green space could be continuous from the railway arches all the way to Chetwynd Road. Integrated into the landscape with green roofs, starter units for small businesses would be grouped around a glazed courtyard.

Comments on both proposals would be welcomed and will inform the way the ideas are developed.

Base Master Plan with Parking Path

A plan view of the ASF Garage site transformed in to a green roofed and glazed business hub, presented by Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architects

Encounter : Highgate New Town with Fabian Watkinson

London is full of modernist architecture, from the hidden and private, to the big and public. Not all of it is understood, some is hated. Slowly attitudes are changing, and more of us now appreciate postwar buildings. Presented by John Escolme and Judy Matheson, Encounter, the architectural history radio series, explores the work of the architects responsible for these buildings, giving them a voice to talk about what they created and why.

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Programme 3 : Highgate New Town
Creating a modern interpretation of the traditional street became something of a mantra for architects working for Camden Borough Architects Department in the 60s and 70s, and in this special edition of Encounter, John Escolme and Judy Matheson return to Camden Borough to take a tour of Highgate New Town. Fabian Watkinson discusses the changing fortunes of council housing in the area.

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Encounter is broadcast across London on 104.4 FM on arts station ‘Resonance’ and online at resonance.stream
The programmes can be heard again after each broadcast at http://www.monitorproductioninsounmd.eu
where you can also listen to the first series of the programme

Future of Mansfield site to be decided today

The future of the former Mansfield Bowling Club is likely to be decided at the Council Chamber today in a meeting due to start at 7pm. Local action groups, protesting at the loss of the site as a historic local sporting amenity, are hoping for a large turnout to demonstrate against the proposed housing scheme.

‘The Council Officers have done a u-turn and are now recommending approval. Our delegation will need strong support and a demonstration of our fury if the Committee is to reject the Application. Please come if you possibly can. We all know that when the Officers are trying to push through a bad decision it comes up just before a holiday.’ Keith Northrup, Chairman of the Mansfield Neighbours Group.

The project would see 21 houses built, including 11 affordable homes. It would also have three tennis courts, a clubhouse, a “pocket park” and a contribution of £600,000 to the Town Hall to be spent on sporting facilities elsewhere.

Mansfield sporting facilities

For more information on the objections to the proposal, see the group’s full response here.

The story is covered in depth in the Camden New Journal and the Ham & High.