The Unfortunate Business with the Library etc


This is an open letter to local residents letter from residents of Great James Street:

You are probably unaware that Camden Council is sponsoring a major project for the proposed wholesale redevelopment of the Holborn Library, Cockpit Yard and Johns Mews located on Theobalds Road and Northington Street.
A number of residents from Great James Street has formed a group to object to the current proposals.  We have already sent an objection letter to the Council and other interested organisations.  We are also distributing letters to our neighbours surrounding the Holborn Library, Cockpit Yard and Johns Mews seeking their support.
We will shortly be seeking a meeting with the Council to discuss our objections to this redevelopment.
To finance this redevelopment and to make the Council a very tidy profit, it is currently proposed that more than 100 residential units for private sale and social housing rental will be built on top of the Library building and behind it on the site of the Cockpit Yard workshops.  This will entail the building of a massive seven storey block of flats across the site.  Johns Mews will be converted into a pedestrian alleyway.  A new pedestrian thoroughfare will be built through the current Library building from Theobalds Road to Johns Mews.  The Cockpit Yard Arts Studios will be banished to a lightless basement.   The Library will be totally rebuilt, creating a café and events spaces but what appears to be reduced book stacks and reading areas.
There will be huge disruption to the neighbourhood during the 4 year construction phase and a significant increase in traffic and footfall forever after.
We are objecting to the current proposed redevelopment on a number of grounds as set out in our objection letter to the Council, the main one being that the redevelopment is just too large to be squeezed into a restricted mews site surrounded by mainly listed Georgian houses and with very limited access.
If you are minded, please write to or email the Council supporting our objections.  A form of support letter is attached to our letter.  The main officer responsible for the redevelopment is Sam Eastop
If you prefer, we have a form of petition supporting our objections which you can sign manually.
How to obtain copies of Plans, Minutes and Objection Letter
If you wish to obtain a copy of the current schematic plans for the redevelopment, a copy of the minutes of the meeting of 12 September of the Holborn and Covent Garden Area Action Group at which the Council and the Developers gave a presentation regarding the proposed redevelopment and at which attendees asked questions and a copy of our letter of objection to the Council, then please send an email to us at adding in the “Subject” box of the email the words “holborn documents” (all lower case).  An automatic reply email will be sent to you with these documents attached.
Chris Oakley
Great James Street

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