By News Reporters
Somebody in Camden Town Hall must have said: “Now — between the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics — would be a good time to sneak this out and hope nobody notices.”
To the north of the Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia neighbourhoods is Euston Station. Its proposed development as an HS2 terminal will be planned by the Fitzrovia-based firm Arup. Sarah Hayward leader of Camden Council made much political capital out of her opposition to the expansion of Euston and she was quite rightly greatly admired for standing up for the many people who live and work in Drummond Street, the Regent’s Park estate and beyond.
To the south we have the Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road which is being partly developed by Derwent London, who also own a lot of propery in Fitzrovia. Camden Council rejected Derwent’s monsterous redevelopment plans for the Saatchi & Saatchi building in Charlotte Street. Sarah Hayward was a member of the planning committee that rejected this proposal. And well done we all said for sticking up for us in Fitzrovia.
But what is not generally known is that Sarah Hayward as Cabinet Member for Communities, Regeneration and Equalities was towards the end of 2011 privy to discussions about letting Arup and Derwent London under the guise of The Fitzrovia Partnership run a business improvement district (BID) in Fitzrovia.
Fitzrovia News submitted a freedom of information request to Camden Council asking how the decision to let Arup and Derwent London hold a ballot came about. It seems very little was actually recorded and the information trail is not very clear. But one thing is certain: Sarah Hayward was involved in allowing Arup and Derwent London to lay the foundations to create a new commercial district in Fitzrovia, conveniently placed between Euston Station and Tottenham Court Road Crossrail Station.
And without any public consultation whatsoever. In fact it appears she didn’t even mention it to our three Bloomsbury ward councillors. Councillor Adam Harrison who lives in Fitzrovia only found out about the BID proposal from Fitzrovia News.