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Save the Gondar Gardens Covered Reservoir from development

Please help us to preserve an area of green open space in an urban environment.

This protected Open Space and Site of Nature Conservation Importance is a “green lung … of high environmental value” (Planning Inspector 2013) and provides views which “constitute a considerable public asset” (Planning Inspector 2005). We urge Camden Council to refuse plans for building on the reservoir site which would destroy the Open Space, increase the population of Gondar Gardens by 50% and put additional stress on oversubscribed schools, parking and other services.

The whole of this undisturbed open space in north-west London (NW6 1HG) has ecological value. Ask yourself this:

1. Who has the moral right to destroy Camden’s only known slow worm habitat (a protected species), home to four “red listed” bird species – song thrush, starling, house sparrow and lesser spotted woodpecker – and other important birds, bats and invertebrates?

2. With over 1,000 new homes approved within ½ mile of the site since 2011, and more planned around the nearby stations, is this proposal necessary or just greedy? Camden is already exceeding its housing targets.

Linden Homes and Wates Development purchased the site in 2010. Without even waiting for a decision on their previous plans, which would preserve 93% of the site as a nature reserve to be managed by the London Wildlife Trust, they are seeking permission for a much larger development which would destroy the majority of the protected Open Space.

Gondar Gardens reservoir was built in 1874 as a grass-covered reservoir - the roof is supported by wonderful Victorian brick arches. Thames Water decommissioned it in 2002 and, having tried and failed to develop it themselves, sold it to developers in 2010. The new owners immediately cut down all the trees on the street frontage and put up unsightly hoardings to make it look like a building site. But it is actually a protected green space.

They won permission on appeal for an "ingenious" low-level but ultimately unbuildable scheme for 16 houses; they are awaiting an appeal decision on a scheme for 28 flats just on the street frontage which would preserve 93% of the protected open space as a nature reserve. But without waiting to hear about that appeal, they are seeking permission to build 79 homes across the site. That is excessive, greedy and unnecessary; and it will destroy the open space and put additional stress on oversubscribed schools, parking and other services.

Please help us to preserve our green open space. Sign our petition now.

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