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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 6 August 2009
Short-cut in the balance

• WE write as the three principal members of a deputation to Camden’s development control committee on July 23, which was the culmination of a year of sustained effort by the Bloomsbury Conservation area Advisory Committee (BCAAC) and The Camden Civic Society to resist the application made by the British Museum for a truly monstrous extension.
What was particularly outrageous was the supine support given to this scheme by English Heritage, which is supposed to act as a government watchdog to protect the national historic and architectural heritage.
We wrote on July 14 to English Heritage, requesting them to withdraw their advice to Camden, but have yet to receive a conclusive response.
Our efforts, which developed into a real “David and Goliath” struggle, started last summer with an initiative to alert the wider public.
We felt quite alone, but gradually support and press interest grew and, by the time of the meeting, there was a substantial body of 20-strong phalanx which included Dame Liz Forgan, chair of the museum trustees development sub-committee, Andrew Burnett, the deputy director and Graham Stirk, the architect.
We were also relieved that the council released the following measured statement: “After careful consideration the committee decided that the proposed benefits of the scheme did not outweigh their concerns about the design within its context.
“The council will continue to respond to the concerns of the community and other interested parties looking to take this project forward.”
But these words do not reflect adequately the genuine sense of shock and indignation which was so apparent at the meeting itself.
Hero Granger-Taylor
Hugh Cullum

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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