Voting Green brings results – the influence of Green Councillors on Camden's Local Plan

3 May 2015

Highgate Green Councillors past and present - Maya da Souza and Sian BerryFrom Caroline Lucas in Westminster to our MEPs in Brussels, elected Green representatives are respected as some of the hardest working in politics, speaking in more debates and asking more questions than their colleagues in other parties.

That's no different here in Camden, where the work of Highgate councillor Maya da Souza and her successor Sian Berry (left) have led to a significant number of Green ideas being incorporated into the new Camden Local Plan, which will influence planning decisions in the Borough for years to come.

With Camden in the grips of a housing crisis, important steps forward include higher levels of affordable housing in new developments. To reduce levels of fuel poverty, there will be raised standards for energy saving in new buildings, and stronger requirements for existing buildings when they are extended.

Other suggestions from our Green Party councillors incorporated within the Plan include:

  • New measures to protect offices from being converted to housing.
  • Stricter tests for viability in the case of pub conversions, particularly where the pub has been designated as an Asset of Community Value.
  • A clear policy for car free housing across the whole Borough.
  • More support for decentralised energy.
  • Clearer policies against demolition of buildings, based on the loss of embodied carbon as well as heritage value.
  • A wide range of improvements to basement policies, including the use of independent expert reviews, paid for by the applicants. 

Cllr Berry has now called on Camden Council to strengthen the Plan further to support housing, health, the economy, sustainability and transport. 

Read our full submission here. Our asks include:

  • Action against the number of unoccupied and 'buy to leave' residential properties, which is currently at double target levels.
  • Stronger policies on affordable housing, including limits on rents for 'investment' homes.
  • A new secondary school south of Euston Road.
  • The extension of new protections for pubs to apply to other places of cultural significance such as the restaurants on Drummond Street.
  • A requirement that all new commercial buildings are built with 'green roofs', which provide insulation and absorb rainwater preventing flash floods.
  • An increase in the provision of parking spaces for bicycles.

Natalie Bennett and Sian Berry campaigning on Drummond StreetGreen Party leader and Holborn & St Pancras parliamentary candidate Natalie Bennett (left, with Sian Berry) said, “Time and again, elected Greens prove themselves to be among the most determined and committed local representatives. The work our Councillors have done here in Camden to influence the Local Plan is astounding, particularly as the first-past-the-post system means they work as lone voices, despite much higher levels of popular support.Electing Greens is a sure fire to deliver a new kind of politics – and that starts with electing a strong group of Green MPs in parliament after the General Election.”



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