Grove End/College Lane Stopping-up Victory

posted 30 Nov 2012, 18:54 by dartmouth park   [ updated 1 Dec 2012, 05:27 ]

In a report published on Thursday 29th November, Inspector Jenkins decisively put an end the long running saga of the Baptist Chapel’s developer’s attempt to turn part of Grove Terrace/Grove End/College Lane highway into an enclosed private car park.

The Inspector rejected both of the draft stopping-up orders proposed by the Council, at the instigation of the developer, recommending instead a draft advocated by the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee and other community groups.

The Order we suggested allows the Chapel development the 10 parking spaces needed to preserve the car capping whilst most of the road remains a public highway and cannot be enclosed.

Grove Terrace/Grove End/College Lane are part of an historic route which dates back hundreds of years, long before Highgate Road came into being.  The immediate streetscape consists mostly of Listed houses, including many Grade II*, on one side and Georgian squares protected by the London Squares Act 1931 on the other.  Since we are here dealing an area which is not only the jewel in the crown of the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area but a heritage site of regional significance, it was obviously crucial to protect what has indisputably been a public highway since at least the 1850s and the houses and squares beside it.

The Inquiry was called with very short notice during the summer holiday break.  We were facing two well-funded teams of barristers, solicitors and experts at the Inquiry.  It demanded an absolutely massive effort from us.  It is difficult to imagine a better result.

The Inspector’s recommendation will be a wakeup call to developers who think they can ride roughshod over the Conservation Area.

The Inspector’s Report is very long, 36 pages, and is attached but here are the key paragraphs:

“Order modification: SUO3

3.11        In their submissions to the Inquiry DPCAAC and GTA advocated that if any stopping up order is to be made, the area of highway stopped up should be limited to the area occupied by the 10 approved parking spaces. I will refer to this suggested modification as SUO3. It would still involve the provision of the ‘new highway’ and ‘improved highway’ shown on drawing no. TE610/S247/1/10/D01A (SUO2), modified to include the approved footway splay. However, the area of ‘highway to be stopped up’ would be reduced from that included in SUO2, such that it would comprise only those areas occupied by each of the 10 parking spaces shown on drawing no. 630-051. The Council and the Developer have responded to SUO3 during the Inquiry. As it would reduce the extent of highway closure in comparison with SUO2, I consider that it would be unlikely to prejudice the interests of others were I to take it into account and so I have.….

8              RECOMMENDATIONS

8.1          I recommend that The Stopping Up of Highways (London Borough of Camden)(Number 1) Order 2010 should not be made either as originally drafted or as modified in accordance with either SUO2 or SUO2a.

8.2          I recommend that The Stopping Up of Highways (London Borough of Camden)(Number 1) Order 2010 modified in accordance with SUO3 [3.11] should be made.”

Two questions remain.  First, who in the Council authorised Officers to go hell for leather to get Grove End stopped-up.  Second, will the Council now ensure that Grove End Lodge is included in the car capping agreement when a new Section 106 agreement is drafted.

dartmouth park,
1 Dec 2012, 05:29