Starmer adds to criticism of way Camden is dealing with underground hotel planning application

Hotel on corner of street.

Criticism of Camden Council’s planning department is mounting due to the way it is dealing with an application to increase the number of rooms in an underground hotel below a side street off Tottenham Court Road. The underground hotel is being built in a former car park underneath the St Giles Hotel and Central YMCA. …

Ten days of events take off in a moon-gazing celebration of Bloomsbury

Moonlight image.

The first events of the Bloomsbury Festival are launched today with a moonlight street party in Store Street to celebrate the 50 years since the first moon landing -- the theme for this year's festival. There will be 10 days of events, many of them free, taking in the people and places, art and music, …

Planning guidance revision threatens new social housing in south Camden

Map of south Camden in central London.

Community groups have condemned plans by Camden Council which would mean new social housing gained from property development in central London would not be built, but instead be replaced by cash payments and spent elsewhere. The new proposals are contained in a report drawn up by Frances Wheat the assistant director for regeneration and planning and submitted to Councillor Phil Jones, cabinet member for …

Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 and Community Infrastructure Levy under discussion at Bloomsbury ward meeting

Bloomsbury Area Action Group, 6 Janaury 2016.

The Housing and Planning Bill 2015-2016 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) will be the topics of discussion at tonight's Bloomsbury Area Action Group. Camden's Bloomsbury ward councillors -- Sabrina Francis, Adam Harrison and Rishi Madlani -- have invited Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia residents to the public meeting. Camden council officer Finneguela O'Brien will outline the proposed changes …

Air quality and licensing under discussion at Bloomsbury community meeting

Smog over central London.

Camden Council's Bloomsbury ward Councillors are hosting a meeting to discuss air quality in Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia, and Camden’s Licensing Policy this Monday. Councillors Sabrina Francis, Adam Harrison, and Rishi Madlani invite Bloomsbury ward residents to views on the air quality problem, and how licensing policy could better address local concerns about the social impact of sales of alcohol. …

Bring it on Bloomsbury bitches

Richard Osley of the Camden New Journal reports on Labour’s local election slate for Bloomsbury ward in Camden.

Richard Osley

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CAMDEN’S Labour Party finalised its local election slate last night by choosing Sabrina Francis to stand in Bloomsbury. The vacancy came up late after Councillor Milena Nuti announced she would not stand again at May’s boroughwide ballot.

Many members had felt Sabrina deserves a run again after being overlooked by the party for the Gospel Oak by-election. In 2010, she had done the hard work by standing in Lib Dem-held Haverstock. As Labour made a sweeping comeback to power in Camden, the poll in that ward was delayed by the sad death of Lib Dem ward councillor Syed Hoque. It meant the vote was not held on the same day as the general election like in all of the other wards and Labour lost the bounce that had come with it.

The Lib Dems, already strong there with Matt Sanders and Jill Fraser, pushed on through to win all three…

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Bloomsbury and Holborn neighbourhood area proposal to be heard

By News Reporters Community organisations in Bloomsbury and Holborn will tonight meet to discuss a proposal to create a Bloomsbury and Holborn Neighbourhood Area under the Localism Act.  The Bloomsbury Association says, "We are currently in discussion with Holborn community groups to determine if they would be interested in joining a Forum that includes all of …

Set the controls to the heart of Store Street

By Pete Whyatt For musicians over many years Chas E Foote’s music store was a land mark in Golden Square. Charles Ernest Foote started the shop in Hornsey Road in 1920. In the 1930s it relocated to Soho and was bought by the Della-Porta family — the founders of Premier Percussion — where it sold …

The secret of the gardens at Ridgmount Gardens

By Frances Taylor This short piece about the gardens is an adaptation of an article written by a resident of Ridgmount Gardens and published in about 2001 in Ridgmount Review, the former magazine of the Ridgmount Gardens Residents’ Association. Her article tells us not only about the history of the gardens but also gives a lively …

UCLH Charity to evict more hospital staff from homes

UCLH Charity is evicting 10 hospital staff as well as other tenants from their homes in Huntley Street WC1 to make way for renovating the flats. After the flats are refurbished UCLH Charity intend to rent them out as luxury accommodation to take advantage of the high rents properties can now command in Fitzrovia and …

Loves and lives of the men who built the Radev Collection

Portrait of Mattei Radev.

Hidden away until recently in a large and beautiful six storey townhouse in Fitzrovia, is one of the most impressive collections of 20th century art in private hands in England. The collection includes works by Vanessa Bell, Eugene Boudin, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Maurice Denis, Duncan Grant, Amadeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Lucien Pissarro, Matthew Smith, Graham Sutherland …

Westminster Council to create “partnership” to manage the West End

By News Reporters Westminster City Council is to create a new partnership to manage the West End following recommendations by the West End Commission which published its report last Tuesday. Westminster Council has now made an inital response to the Commission's findings and have published a timetable to implement the recommendations made in the report.  The West End Commission …

Art fails into hole in the ground at Bedford Square

https://twitter.com/andydangerfield/status/327485728265224192 By Angela Lovely Is it art or is it rubbish art? That was the question I pondered as I looked into the perfect circle of a hole in the paving at Bedford Square this afternoon. One of my neighbours emailed Fitzovia News to say: "The Architectural Association have excavated a large hole on the …

The Slave-owners of Bloomsbury

By Nick Draper and Rachel Lang Alongside Bloomsbury's associations with literary and cultural gentility runs a less comfortable story of exploitation and oppression as many British colonial slave-owners settled in the area’s streets and squares in the 18th and 19th centuries, according to an exhibition, The Slave-owners of Bloomsbury which will run at Holborn Library from 1st …

A century of change in Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia

Bloomsbury & Fitzrovia Through Time, by Brian Girling. Amberley Publishing: £14.99 Reviewed by Angela Lovely This attractive books juxtaposes today's street scenes with those of a hundred year's ago. The photographs of people and often animals standing proudly outside shops, homes and industrial sites contrasts with the today's car-clogged streets. Each page features an older …

175 bedroom underground hotel planned for Tottenham Court Road

By News Reporters Bloomsbury residents are concerned about a planning application which has been submitted to Camden Council for a new hotel in a deep basement underneath an existing hotel on Tottenham Court Road. The proposal, submitted last month, is to convert a 140-space two-storey Tottenham Court Road underground car park into a 175 bedroom …

Virginia Woolf’s relevance today

By Christina Latham One of Fitzrovia’s most notable former residents is the writer Virginia Woolf who is regarded as one of the principal female literary figures of the twentieth century. During her time in Fitzrovia, Woolf occupied a fine house at 29 Fitzroy Square: the same house previously occupied by another influential writer, George Bernard …

Charles Dickens’ many addresses in Fitzrovia

By Mike Pentelow Charles Dickens did many moonlight flits in Fitzrovia in order to dodge the creditors of his debt-ridden father, John, so has many local addresses associated with him. In later years Charles housed his secret young lover in the area, while also helping its child prostitutes. And he found the locality rich in …

Pro-choice protesters outnumber attendees at prayer vigil in Bedford Square

By News Reporters Hundreds of people supporting pro-choice gathered in Bedford Square this evening (30 March) to oppose an anti-abortion group who had organised a prayer vigil outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinic. The Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance called the demonstration against the American-style 40 Days for Life group who have been holding their …

Your support for open space in Fitzrovia is welcomed. But please don’t claim credit for the idea

By Max Neufeld It is unfortunate that in their newsletter Bloomsbury ward councillors found it necessary to claim credit for the idea to turn Alfred Place into an open space. For the record, the Charlotte Street Association initiated the proposal for an Area Action Plan for Fitzrovia and as part of the ongoing development of …