London’s Green MEP, Jean Lambert, today visited the proposed Brill Place site of the UKCMRI medical lab in Somers Town, accompanied by Camden Green Party councillor Maya de Souza and Green Party campaigner Natalie Bennett.
She expressed astonishment that the UKCMRI consortium had entirely ignored the democratically agreed plan for the site (which calls for 50% housing, 50% of that to be affordable housing), and defiantly ploughed ahead, spending a great deal of public and charity money in the process .
Jean said: “It is possible to imagine a far more suitable plan for this site – a development that combines council housing and community facilities to cater both for the community of Somers Town and the huge numbers of workers who travel to this area every day.
“Trees, open spaces, walkways that provided the permeability for the site that Camden council’s plan calls for – all of these could make a model development that would be something we could be proud to show European visitors stepping off the Eurostar. Instead the developers want to construct a hugely over-large bulky building that will detract from the Grade I-listed St Pancras station, and which would look more at home on an industrial estate than in central London.”
Camden campaigners explained to Jean how developers had turned their back on both the Somers Town community, which will face the staff entrance of the huge proposed structure, and its loading bay, while the grand entrance – and the small plaza at its front, faced St Pancras station.
Jean added: “I’m very disappointed that the developers haven’t even worked to support the Euston CHP corridor plan. This calls for major new developments along the Euston Road to incorporate highly efficient combined heat and power plants that not only meet their needs but also contribute to the heating and power needs of the surrounding residential estates.
“I congratulate Camden Council on its target of reducing carbon emissions in the borough by 40% by 2020, but note experts claim this can only be met by the extensive use of highly efficient combined heat and power plants. And yet the developers of the UKCMRI are simply meeting some of their own needs with a relatively small CHP plant – not helping out the people for whom they say they want to be good neighbours.”
Note to editor
 Note for editors: the Camden Development Committee will be hearing the application on December 16, having almost cleared its agenda to devote the entire session to the development.