Derwent London plans major demolition and redevelopment on Tottenham Court Road

Derwent London, the property development company who eleven years ago said "we want to get rid of the idea that we will come in and knock everything down", is planning to knock down yet another large building, adding to the pile of rubble it has already trucked out of Fitzrovia. The Network Building on the …

Film: Reclaim housing as a human right, not a commodity

Buses and London skyline at night.

The increasing cost of housing and the lack of homes for ordinary people is happening because the wishes of global capital are serviced over and above the needs of the many. As Architects for Social Housing have observed: “Building more homes does not push house and rental prices down. While the law of supply and demand …

The life and changing times of the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre

Newspaper front page.

The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre, which will be closing in June, was a product of its time and was one of several community advice centres being established across Camden and other inner London boroughs in the 1970s. The opportunity arose as a result of funding provided by the Home Office to tackle inner city problems. This …

Residents in affordable housing at Rathbone Square complain of poor quality materials and design

Front of building.

Great Portland Estates may have been awarded "Property Developer of the Year" but people living in "affordable" homes at its Rathbone Square site in Fitzrovia are struggling to live in poorly designed flats and are watching their bathrooms fall apart mere weeks after they moved in. Residents complain of high service charges, incompetent management, rotting …

Camden Council gets £870k to tackle rough sleeping

Someone sleeping on the street under a blanket.

Camden Council has secured £870,000 of government funding to assist homeless people in the borough after a count of rough sleepers identified a more accurate picture of its street population. The money, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), is the highest amount awarded for any individual local authority. Neighbouring Westminster Council …

Volunteers sought for Camden rough sleeper count

Someone sleeping on the street under a blanket.

Camden Safer Streets Team will be carrying out a comprehensive count of people sleeping rough in the borough this week and is looking for volunteers from the community to help. In the autumn of 2017 an official count revealed that there were total of 1,137 rough sleepers in London. Camden reported the largest increase from …

Tributes left for homeless man who died sleeping on Tottenham Court Road

Flowers left on pavement.

Bunches of flowers and messages have been left on Tottenham Court Road in memory of a homeless man who died last week while sleeping on the street. The Huffington Post reports that a man who was aged in his 40s and was known as "Irish Keith" died on the pavement outside Curry's PC World in …

Mortgage providers will not lend for affordable homes at West End site

Front of building.

A Westminster council planning committee is being asked to approve a legal agreement to enable affordable homes at a landmark West End development to be re-sold at market prices because mortgage lenders will no longer finance the type of property offered. The "intermediate affordable" homes are at Rathbone Square, part of a major development by …

Number of council homes grabbed by private landlords revealed

Front cover of Inside Housing magazine.

The extent of former council homes sold under Margaret Thatcher's Right to Buy policy and which are now owned as buy-to-let has been revealed by research published this week. Inside Housing magazine has published details of the number of former council homes now being let by private landlords, after analysing statistics from two-thirds of councils …

Camden’s planners appear to have given up on this legal agreement

Former Strand Union Workhouse.

Next Thursday Camden's planning officers will try to persuade councillors to approve plans to redevelop a disused hospital building in Fitzrovia, but without the developer honouring a legal agreement to build the full amount of social rented homes on the site. UCLH Charity which owns the derelict Middlesex Hospital Annex in Cleveland Street wants the …

Offices can be the majority land use on a site identified for housing in central London says planning inspector

Corner of building.

A site which was identified for housing can be used for mostly offices, ruled a government inspector who has given planning permission to redevelop a former hospital building in Fitzrovia. The inspector made the decision after taking into consideration a policy published by former mayor Boris Johnson during the twilight of his tenancy at City Hall. Arthur Stanley House …

Makers of docudrama hope to educate people about the realities of sleeping rough

Woman sleeping on the pavement.

A new film called Sleeping Rough will dramatise the lives of three people who tell their stories of how they came to be homeless and living on the streets. Henry Aughterson, a third year medical student at University College London (UCL) and who lives in Camden, took part in research for the film and told Fitzrovia News about the project …

Is rough sleeping in London really in decline?

Rough sleeping on pavement.

The latest statistics from the Greater London Authority (GLA) state that there are now significantly less people sleeping on the streets than there were a year ago. Yet local anecdotal evidence suggests that rough sleeping is not in decline. The latest quarterly rough sleeping figures for London which covers the period July to September 2016 …

Reporting on new football pitch attacked by both sides

Astro Turf pitch.

Fitzrovia News has received scathing criticism accusing us of inaccurate and negative reporting on a news story about the opening of a new 5-a-side football pitch at Whitfield Place in January. We reported that Fitzrovia Youth in Action had taken over management of the pitch at The Warren playground in agreement with Camden Council. We stated …

Camden and Westminster want to relax requirements for affordable housing in Fitzrovia

Scaffolding worker on site.

The prospects for securing any further affordable housing in Fitzrovia appear to be narrowing as both Camden and Westminster want to change their statutory planning guidance in favour of major developers. It is in the interests of developers to reduce the amount spent on affordable housing to an absolute minimum and many commission confidential ‘viability …

Camden Council forced into u-turn on amendment to affordable housing guidance

Road sign: Euston Road, Camden, NW1.

A barrage of objections from community groups has forced Camden Council's planners to ditch proposals which would allow money raised from property development in south Camden to be spent elsewhere. The proposals would have meant payments in lieu for social housing raised through s106 agreements from construction projects in the three southern wards  — Bloomsbury, Holborn & Covent Garden, …

Private renting and inequality under discussion at tenants meeting

Front of Camden Federation of Private Tenants offices.

Camden Council's private renting scrutiny work, and housing and inequality in London, are the topics for discussion at next week's public meeting organised by the campaign group Camden Federation of Private Tenants. Councillor Danny Beales, chair of Camden Council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee will be talking about the work of the Private Rented Sector Scrutiny Panel. …

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 …

Today’s Fitzrovia owes a debt to 1970s activism

Children and adults on new playground.

The 1970s were an extraordinary period of protest, disruption and change in many major cities. London was no different and it was in this decade that urban redevelopment, slum clearance and road building provoked local communities to form protest movements. Fitzrovia is often compared with its neighbouring ‘urban villages’ of Soho and Covent Garden. All …

Is Camden Council telling the truth on rough sleeping?

Woman sleeping on the pavement.

Camden Council has told the government that there were only 15 rough sleepers on a "typical night" in the whole of the borough during the autumn of 2015, far fewer than the number in statistics published by the Greater London Authority. Camden didn't bother to go out and count rough sleepers but did an estimate instead, yet …