As many of you know, in 2019 Maria Fidelis lower school will move from its current site on Starcross Street.
Camden Council and their architects recently consulted with our community about potential meanwhile uses for the site, until the HS2 works have finished in ten years or more. When HS2 has finished building, Camden and the other owner, LC&R, will decide what to do permanently about the site.
The good news is that after a lot of pressure from the community Camden has agreed to make the south side of the site green open space, to start to mitigate all the losses of green space and trees that we have suffered. However, Camden proposes a construction skills training centre north of the school building.
The presentation from the consultation meeting is here. Please let us know if you have any comments. Camden’s summary of comments at the consultation meeting is below. We will be correcting and adding to various points.
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Camden’s summary of responses at the meeting:
- The meanwhile uses for the Maria Fidelis site will be designed in such a way to reduce/discourage crime and anti-social behaviour – e.g. drug use and rough sleeping.
- It is expected that the Council will manage the temporary green space for the 10 years of meanwhile use
- The green space close to the Exmouth Arms will not be a space that becomes a replacement beer garden for the pub
- The planning application for the site will cover:
o Range of use classes for the main school and multi-use (former gym) buildings
o Landscaping of the green space
o Detailed design of the Construction Skills Centre
o Construction traffic management plan
- Noise is a consideration for the planning application and noise studies will be undertaken for the meanwhile uses on the site
- Current proposal is for construction traffic to the Maria Fidelis site to be off Hampstead Road via North Gower Street. This is the route through which the school currently receives deliveries.
- The entire site will be a car-free development .
- Council will liaise with Maria Fidelis School management to explore the possibility of a community tour of the site.
- There will be a further meeting with the community in the autumn to present the final design proposals
Feedback from community members
- Community in the West Euston area up to Hampstead Road is already under extreme stress due to the impacts of the HS2 scheme and some feel the construction of the skills centre and the works to refurbish the main school buildings will add to this.
- Some members of the community would like the planning permission for the Maria Fidelis site to be time limited.
- The community welcomes the proposed location of the green space to the south of the site as this area is quieter and draws people to Drummond Street.
- Consideration be given to a green wall on the Construction Skills Centre frontage that faces on to the green space and to there being roof gardens on the flat roofs to increase the amount of usable green space.
- A reassurance be given that there will be no additional noise from the Construction Skills Centre in to the surrounding area.
- Community would like a commitment that those accessing the site use public transport
- Main school building should include workspace for smaller businesses and start-ups
- Community welcomes the retention of the gym as a multi-use space, to include a wide range of community type uses and activities However, if community space could be found within the main school building, this would be even better as the gym could be demolished to increase the amount of green space on the site.
- The needs of the Euston Mosque should be considered in the site design
- There should be no restaurants on the site