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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 5 February 2009
Still protecting the Heath

• THE “Say no to the road” campaign featured on January 29 concerns one small aspect of a comprehensive long-term improvement plan for the Parliament Hill area of Hampstead Heath.
This is the main gateway to the Heath, with up to four million visits per year.
It contains many of the facilities of the Heath, with Lido, running track, café, bandstand, a small office, children’s play facilities, etc.
However, the area is
very municipal in appearance, and also does not attract many from the communities in congested urban areas to the south.
The whole purpose of this plan, which was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in September, is to make this area much more welcoming, to bring in the countryside, improve existing facilities, remove redundant buildings, reuse offices (but not build new), provide new facilities to
attract new users, and resolve current conflicts between pedestrians and essential vehicles along the busiest pedestrian path on the Heath.
The timescale to prepare and consult on this plan and bid was extremely short.
The City of London consulted about 20 local organisations on the Heath Consultative Committee, including the Heath & Hampstead Society, who then unanimously approved this conceptual plan as a basis for the lottery bid.
If successful, all elements would be subject to detailed design and much wider public consultation.
The Heath & Hampstead Society was formed 112 years ago specifically to “protect” the Heath and this remains our fundamental objective.
It is because the Highgate Road entrance is so busy, with various crossing paths, that the plan proposes to use part
of the existing footpath north from the Lido for about 40 essential vehicles per day, with a new footpath nearby to remove dangerous conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles.
This path is used by one third of the number of pedestrians and has just one crossing point, from Lissenden Gardens, where excellent visibility can be made.
We do agree that the detailed design of the route must ensure it retains its rural feel, but are confident that this can be done.
Heath & Hampstead Society

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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