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Liddell Road school to open with spare capacity

Liddell Road has a new name. After much careful thought and consideration it has been renamed, wait for it…, “Liddell Place”. Someone suggested an alternative, but for some reason Camden didn’t like it. Where’s Liddell Road? It’s the former council-owned light industrial estate just off Maygrove Road that’s being redeveloped to house an infants school […]


Confusion over Liddell Road school admissions point

The school due to open at Liddell Road in 2016 (assuming Camden councillors vote in favour of the council-led scheme), is an extension of Kingsgate School rather than a separate school. We’ve discussed the reasons for this before. But what does this mean for the admissions point of the new split-site school? Over the past […]


School, 106 flats and workspace: Liddell Road planning application is in

The council’s controversial plan to build a school, flats and employment space on the Liddell Road industrial estate took a step forward on Friday when the planning applications were submitted. Yes, applications plural. Although all the documentation that accompanies the applications is presented as a coherent set of documents, the applications themselves are split into […]


Is Liddell Road tower a “middle finger to West Hampstead”?

Last night’s public meeting to discuss Camden’s proposals for Liddell Road was always going to get tetchy. Alex Bushell from Camden’s planning department struggled to keep on top of an audience that grew increasingly frustrated as the evening drew on. The seeds of dissent were sown when architect Prisca Thielmann from Macreanor Lavington failed to […]


Bluffers Guide to Liddell Road

Ahead of tonight’s public meeting about the Liddell Road redevelopment proposals, West Hampstead Life tries to cut through all the jargon and give you the bluffers’ guide to what’s going on. What’s being proposed? A school, some housing, some offices. What’s there now? It’s an industrial estate with a mix of businesses, including car repair […]


Liddell Road raised in council meeting

At Camden council’s full council meeting yesterday, Phil Rosenberg, newly elected Labour councillor for West Hampstead, used the open session section of the meeting to share some of the feedback so far on the Liddell Road scheme. He mentioned the height and the lack of affordable housing and mused – somewhat tentatively – that maybe […]


Free school group targets Liddell Road

The free school campaign is making waves again. Make that free schools. Plural. Having struggled to get much traction in the latter half of 2013, the NW6 Free School group has re-emerged with a new name, a shiny website and a mildly controversial claim that Liddell Road would be the ideal site for its schools […]


One afternoon on Liddell Road

“Shake my sleeve” said Alan, sticking out a hand covered in oily blue plastic gloves. Alan Livingstone is one of those people you immediately like. He’s 16 – quite cherubic – and an apprentice mechanic at West Hampstead Motors. It was the 64th garage he tried for a position. Apprenticeships are hard to come by, […]


Liddell Road: Show your workings

The Liddell Road saga continues. Now the local Lib Dem councillors have requested a “call in” of Camden’s decision to go ahead with the expansion of Kingsgate School into Liddell Road, which would mean the end of the light industrial estate there now, and the building of 120 private flats and some commercial office space. […]


Camden responds to Liddell Road criticism

If you read the Twitter conversation from last week about the Liddell Road development, you’ll have seen that Cllr Theo Blackwell, Camden’s cabinet member for finance, offered to go into more detail about the council’s decision to give the go ahead to the expansion of Kingsgate School before the larger redevlopment plan has gone to […]


Liddell Road – how the night unfolded

There was a lively Twitter conversation during and after last night’s Camden cabinet meeting, at which the fate of Liddell Road was decided. If you weren’t following along, here’s the bulk of it – rearranged to make a bit more sense than the pure chronological output. It’s also a good record of the promises made […]


Development triggers new Residents’ Association around Maygrove Road

A constitution for West Hampstead’s newest residents’ association has just been finalised, and residents are now waiting for a meeting to formally adopt the constitution and elect its committee. The MILAM Residents’ Association will represent the interests of people living in Maygrove, Iverson, Loveridge, Ariel and Medley Roads. As with many residents’ associations, the catalyst […]


New 159 Iverson Road plans: 10 fewer flats

The planned development of the Iverson Tyres site is back on the agenda. Camden’s planners advised developer Stephen McGregor that the previous proposals, which I discussed back in July, would be unlikely to get permission. His architects went back to the drawing board taking into account the comments from Camden and from locals who came […]


Iverson Road garden centre to close?

I received an e-mail yesterday: “I heard today that Adrian Hall Garden Centre on Iverson Road, right next to the new Thameslink station entrance, is to close at the end of the month. The staff only heard two days ago. Apparently Network Rail sold the land at the point when Adrian Hall would have needed […]


What have you missed since March 26th?

Hello. Today’s final “What have you missed…” comes from both Mark and Jonathan. Why? Sadly, this is the end. WHL has been going for nine years, but all good things etc. etc. We explain all (including what’s happening to the mailing list – don’t worry, we’re not selling your data!) We’ll both be at a […]


Local elections 2018: The candidates

The local elections are on May 3rd. This is when you get the chance (and “you” includes EU citizens) to vote for three councillors for the ward you live in. All the ward councillors who are elected form Camden council (or Brent council for those of you the other side of the Kilburn High Road). […]


What have you missed since December 28th?

Welcome back! Hope you had a good holiday break. What has been happening in West Hampstead at the start of 2018? On New Year’s day, it was 56 Years since the Beatles came to Decca’s West Hampstead studio (now ENO) to audition … and were turned down. Our historians investigated why. Part of the pavement […]


Luxury retirement development ‘can’t afford’ to pay for affordable housing

West Hampstead is facing yet another large-scale property development. It’s the third proposal to redevelop the site at the former Gondar Gardens reservoir. The history of the previous proposals have been well documented on these pages, but what really caught our eye about this one was that it offers no affordable housing either on-site or as […]


What have you missed since August 28th?

‘How Not To Be A Boy’ was published. Author and West Hampstead resident Robert Webb was out promoting it on R4 in Woman’s Hour and Channel 4 news this week, it was also R4’s book of the week (see below). You can pick up a signed copy at our friends @WELBooks (while stocks last). It […]


What have you missed since Jan 9th?

Don’t adjust your computer. West Hampstead Life’s fortnightly update has gone back to weekly just as we hear that rubbish collections are going to be fortnightly. Apparently 85% of our waste can be recycled (and recycling collections remain weekly), but many locals are unhappy about the changes. A West Hampstead teen has been found guilty of attempted […]


What have you missed since December 12th?

The new school on Liddell Road (an extension to Kingsgate School) is opening with spare capacity, three not four form entry. The site for the second phase of Liddell Road will be sold in the new year – but how much for? Latest school SATS tables were released with Kingsgate performing well, but Emmanuel and […]


What have you missed since November 28th?

A man was shot and killed on Kilburn High Road on Friday. The man, in his 20s, was Yasir Beshira (also known as Loopy), who lived in a hostel in West Hampstead. A 22-year-old man has been arrested for the murder, but the police are still appealing for witnesses. Brexit rumbles on and last week […]


What have you missed since October 17th?

The plans for 156 West End Lane (Travis Perkins building) have finally been resubmitted. More than 400 documents later, we’ve summarized the main points. Sunlight (or lack of it) is a major issue, but three consultants agree the impact is acceptable. You can submit your comments, and the decision is expected towards the end of the […]


What have you missed since Oct 3rd?

Fittingly during ‘National Hate Crimes Awareness week’, the LGBTI rainbow flag flew again over West Hampstead, thanks to the help of the fire brigade. The story was featured on Channel 4 news and BBC local news. WHL guest writer Shalini gave us her take on West End Lane’s brunch options. And apparently new-kid-on-the-block One Bourbon offers another one – with pulled pork! […]


What have you missed since… August 2015!?

The rumours are true. West Hampstead Life is back with a new editor but the same mission (and a familiar face is still involved). So, on with the news. West Hampstead resident Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was recently seized by Iranian security services on her way back to the UK after visiting relatives. She has been separated from […]


First look at 156 West End Lane plans

Developer A2Dominion held two drop-in consultations this week, revealing its first plans for 156 West End Lane. The redbrick site, currently occupied by Travis Perkins, has been sold by the council as part of its Community Investment Programme to raise money. The plan is for a mixed-use development, with 202 dwellings spread across three blocks. […]


What have I missed since April 20th?

The existing Liddell Road businesses have been given until the end of the month to quit the site before building work starts on the school/flats/commercial space. WHL reviewed The Petite Corée – we agreed with everyone else! Local marathon runners gritted their teeth on Sunday. Did anyone local best Mark Townsend’s 2h59? No doubt at […]


What have I missed since March 2nd?

Camden councillors voted in favour of the Liddell Road scheme. Only two members of the planning committee voted against. You can watch the whole thing. The meeting refers to some calculations by the NDF on the economics of the Liddell Road scheme, which were published on West Hampstead Life. And if, somehow, you’re new to […]


What have I missed since February 23rd

The planning application for Liddell Road will be decided on Tuesday when it goes in front of the planning committee. The session is open to the public (7pm Camden Town Hall) Fordwych Road will be closed between Minster Road and Mill Lane Monday and Tuesday this week for resurfacing. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank […]


What have I missed since February 2nd?

Camden came out fighting over the Liddell Road controversy, with a letter in the CNJ, a newsletter, and a lengthy blogpost by finance chief Theo Blackwell. There was a major police incident on Mill Lane on Tuesday evening although quite what triggered it remains unclear. We woke up to snow on Tuesday. Even if you […]


What have I missed since January 26th?

The Alliance’s appeal to raise money to send the body of staffmember Natalia Czekaj back to her mother in Poland exceeded its target, allowing the pub to also pay for the funeral. Thank you to everyone who donated. Flooding at Farringdon at the start of the week and planned engineering this weekend has meant chaos […]


What have I missed since January 19th

Thameslink services will not run between St Pancras and Farringdon Monday due to the flooding. Here’s a train going through the standing water. Camden released its viability report on the controversial Liddell Road development. The NDF chairman called it “an insult to the local community“. There’s yet another (though probably final) chance to discuss the […]


What have I missed since January 12th

What appears to have been an electrical fault caused the O2 centre to be evacuated early Sunday evening and it will reopen Monday. Cinema-goers, shoppers and gym members were all turfed out in the cold. The Neighbourhood Forum passed its exam and got a £6,000 lottery grant. The referendum is likely to be in the […]


What have I missed since January 5th?

The West Hampstead & Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Plan passed its independent examination and will now go to a referendum. More on this later in the week. New Year means gym memberships sky rocket, but what’s the right deal for you? We crunched the numbers, weighed up the pros and cons, and cut through the […]


What have I missed since December 22nd?

Happy New Year! It’s a bumper fortnight round-up this week The plan was submitted for the major overhaul of the Overground station, enabling it to cope with the increasing number of passengers passing through. More than 125 people responded to the NDF’s survey on Liddell Road and there is overwhelming opposition to the council’s scheme. […]


West Hampstead Life Review of the Year

West Hampstead is changing fast (too fast perhaps for some). Lets take a look back at the stories that made the news in 2014 (click the images to go to the full story) January 12 months later, the building still hasn’t been repaired. The year began with a violent storm that ripped down the tube […]


What have I missed since December 15th?

Camden’s application to redevelop Liddell Road was finally submitted: a school (420 pupils), 106 flats (4 affordable), and a 5-storey workspace building. More details and pictures. A new bar opened in Kilburn (no ambiguity over its location). It looks very promising. Cook – the frozen ready meals business that cooks its meals on the premises […]


Is affordable housing promise at risk as developer “deselected”?

The minutes from the last Neighbourhood Development Forum meeting contain an interesting snippet towards the end. 156 West End Lane: Stuart (representing Travis Perkins) reported that the site was marketed last year and Mace was selected as preferred developers. Mace have now been ‘deselected’ by the Council and a shortlist of developers have been asked […]


What have I missed since November 3rd?

The rash of commercial burglaries in the area continued unabated with Remix salon among the latest victims. The number of businesses hit over the past few weeks has hit double figures. The Hampstead Butcher & Providore opened its West Hampstead branch on Saturday. Govia, Thameslink’s new operator, has got off to a very shaky start. […]


What have I missed since October 20th?

A fire at the Brondesbury Medical Centre on Kilburn High Road on Tuesday night caused the Tricycle Cinema to be evacuated. Although some damage was done to the upper floor of the GP practice, no-one was hurt and the surgery reopened on the Thursday. Camden granted estate agent Foxtons the change of use permission it […]


What have I missed since September 29th?

The West Hampstead free school campaign did not receive approval from the Department for Education. The CNJ reported on the revised plans for Liddell Road (and locals’ discontent) with them. Whampbooks is back – Books, bargains and booze on November 6th at West End Lane Books. Maygrove Road residents are looking to set up a […]


What have I missed since September 15th?

A double-edition this week covering the past fortnight. There was a second public meeting about the Liddell Road development. Camden has knocked three floors off the height of the tower, bringing it down to 11 storeys, and added (from a base of zero), four affordable units out of the 100 now proposed. Residents at the […]


What have I missed since September 8th?

Three men on trial for the murder of Sabrina Moss in Kilburn just over a year ago each received a life sentence. There’s a second public meeting on Wednesday about the plans for Liddell Road, at which the council is expected to present a revised proposal. The Railway will be closing for six months on […]


West Hampstead’s housing bubble: Deflating not bursting

If the bubble were a balloon then it hasn’t so much burst as been untied and blown around the room deflating and losing all forward momentum and energy over the last few weeks. All of the industry heavy-weights and recent press coverage are reporting falls in asking prices and buyer demand across London; West Hampstead […]


What have I missed since July 21st?

The Liddell Road development plans were this week’s main story: We drew up a Bluffers Guide to the proposals. There was a public meeting that got very tetchy. We’re told that 156 West End Lane will have 50% affordable housing (Camden numbers from earlier this year citing 25% are apparently out of date). We also […]


What have I missed since July 14th?

The West End Lane post office closed and the Sherriff Centre post office opened in St James’s church alongside a café, shop and soft play area. BBC London covered the opening. There’s a meeting on Tuesday about what’s fast becoming the very controversial Liddell Road redevelopment scheme. West Hampstead Cllr Phil Rosenberg raised some of […]


What have I missed since July 7th?

Camden revealed its revised plans for Liddell Road. They include a 14-storey tower block, but still no affordable housing. There’s a public meeting about this on the 22nd July. The affordable housing will be at 156 West End Lane instead – and WHL investigated what affordable housing actually means. What makes West Hampstead great? The […]


Affordable housing for 156 West End Lane

The proposed redevelopment of Liddell Road includes 105 flats of which precisely none are currently designated for affordable housing. Camden’s policy is that 50% of floorspace in any development of more than 50 units should be affordable (although understanding what affordable means in practice is not easy, as we’ll see later). Why then does a […]


What have I missed since June 9th?

Sundays are going to get noisy for those of you living near the Overground station. There’s more noise to come overnight for residents of Sumatra and Ravenshaw streets as Network Rail plans to spend this week clearing vegetation from the Thameslink embankments. The Kilburn Festival, due to take place on July 13th, has been cancelled […]


Schools: What the parties say

It’s fast becoming the most divisive issue in north-west Camden politics. Do we need more schools? What sort of schools? Where should they be? Who should run them? Primary schools It’s universally accepted that a new primary school is needed in our part of Camden. Under current legislation, a new school would have to be […]


What have I missed since February 17th?

WiFi has arrived at West Hampstead (and Finchley Road) tube stations. Flats in the yet-to-be-built 163 Iverson Road development (on the site of the former garden centre) are already on the market. A two-bed in “The Central” will set you back a frightening £900,000. Spring is already springing with sightings of ice cream vans and  daffodils  on Fortune Green. […]


What have I missed since February 3rd?

A ban on all estate agent boards on the commercial strip of West End Lane is looking likely. Three agents – including worst offender Cedar Estates – have committed to West Hampstead Life that they’ll remove all boards by the end of the week. To ensure they don’t creep back, read this article and sign […]


What have I missed since January 20th?

At very short notice, Maygrove Road is to be partially closed for three months from Thursday. A lot of people are unhappy about the communication process. Tonight, there’s a big public meeting to discuss the final draft of the Neighbourhood Development Plan before it disappears into the Camden consultation process. This is your last major […]


Politics and public services: Review of the year

Back in January, local MP Glenda Jackson confirmed what she’d told me back in 2010 – namely that she wouldn’t stand for re-election. Thus the tightest three-way seat in the country would have three new candidates. Chris Philp, who was beaten into second place, finally secured the Tory nomination for the safe seat of Croydon […]


What have I missed since December 16th?

Thieves struck at both St James’ and Emmanuel Churches (odd coincidence, or same person), stealing wallets and purses during Christmas concerts. Two more shopping days before Christmas – we put the West Hampstead Christmas shopping guide on Pinterest too. Ed Miliband paid a flying visit to Kilburn to talk about fixed-odds betting terminals. Aldred Road’s […]


What have I missed since December 9th?

Ballymore announced, with minimal fanfare, that Marks & Spencer will be its anchor commercial tenant in West Hampstead Square. In a Buzzfeed moment, we looked at The 12 Best Christmas Presents You Can Buy in West Hampstead. Is the latest planning application for Gondar Gardens the final card to be played in this long-running game? […]


What have I missed since December 2nd

Camden gave the go-ahead to primary school buildings in Liddell Road, despite a dispute about the number of jobs that could be gained or lost through redevelopment. In a Twitter conversation later than night, councillors agreed they would look into this, though of course the decision still stands. Several local buildings (and two parks) feature […]


What have I missed since October 21st?

The Mario’s block redevelopment plans could go traditional or contemporary. Have a look at the pictures and read more about the proposals. Camden threw out the proposal to turn the empty units in Alfred Court on Fortune Green Road into a private school. West Hampstead’s rubbish problem isn’t getting any better – how can Camden […]


What have I missed since October 14th?

The third Gondar Gardens proposal from Linden Wates isn’t radically different from the previous ones – but it may just be different enough to get the green light. Whampreview gave its verdict on Bellaluna. Thumbs up or thumbs down? The redevelopment of the Mario’s block on Broadhurst Gardens could still be either traditional or modern […]


What have I missed since September 16th?

The parents campaigning for a new secondary chool in West Hampstead set out their stall, and the responsible Camden cabinet member responded. Debate then ensued! Barclays’ Swiss Cottage branch hit the headlines when it was the source of a cyber security attack that cost the bank £1.3m. Kingsgate primary school is expanding – almost certainly […]


Kingsgate school expands… a mile away

While debate rages on whether we need a new secondary school in the area, younger children are almost certainly getting a “new school”. Why the quote marks? Well, it’s not technically a new school, because that would add to the bureaucratic hoops – it’s going to be an extension to Kingsgate School, only it probably […]


Whampforum: The people speak

On May 21st, more than 30 locals gathered to discuss a range of issues along with James Earl, chair of the Neighbourhood Development Forum (NDF), Cllr Flick Rea, and me. Parking, development, shops; all came under scrutiny. The topics are ones we are used to hearing about but the audience wasn’t the usual suspects. This […]


West Hampstead Place Plan: progress report

The West Hampstead place plan, published last year, set out a lot of areas for action. Last week, Camden issued a two-page update on progress. Later in the year we’ll summarise progress against all the action points, but this is a good chance for a mid-term report. The plan has five sections: Development, Economy, Environment, […]


2012 review: What have I missed since Jan 1st

Did someone say bandwagon? Like any publication worth its salt, this website is not immune to the allure of churning out a review of the past 12 months. So here are the crime-fighting vicars and the organic cauliflowers that made up 2012 for West Hampstead. First, the stories you may have missed, then a fuller […]


NDP: Tall buildings and affordable business premises

It was a relatively small group that assembled in the creche room of Emmanuel Church last night. Thankfully a heater was blasting away (the church is apparently investing in underfloor heating at some point – very fancy), keeping the cold at bay. Under discussion was the second draft of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), and […]


What have I missed since July 16th

As the Olympics edge nearer and the sun edges out from behind the grey clouds, what has been lighting up West Hampstead over the past week? Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in the Tour de France and Kilburn became ignited with passion. Many articles referred to his Kilburn upbringing, but this one focused on it […]


What have I missed since July 9th?

Apologies for the delayed newsletter – couldn’t get reliable WiFi last night I’m afraid. We shall crack on! Camden announced proposals to extend Kingsgate School with an entirely new site in Liddell Road although this would mean the loss of some businesses. The council will vote on Wednesday. You can have your say on how […]


Coordinating West Hampstead planning?

Last week, the Fordwych Residents Association discussed concerns about the number of large developments being proposed in the area. James Earl, vice-chair, told me that the meeting came up with this list of 10 developments that have been recently built, are under construction, or have been proposed: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN WEST HAMPSTEAD & FORTUNE GREEN […]


What have you missed since October 9th?

There has been a further spate of mobile phone snatches; by West End Green, on Westbere Road and an attempted one on West End Lane. There will be an area action forum this Thursday in the Synagogue Hall to discuss the this issue. Do come. There’s a brand new chocolate shop on Broadhurst Gardens. But […]