Greening Kentish Town Road
A busy local road has become a greener and more pleasant place to be, following a successful bid by local councillors and the neighbourhood forum to the council for a share of money raised by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
CIL is a tax on development by local authorities to collect vital funds that can improve the local areas and mitigate the impacts. It can be used to fund facilities ranging from strategic projects such as improvements to roads and schools across the borough to local infrastructure projects.
“Due to a combination of local housing developments and traffic from nearby construction sites, Kentish Town Road has become increasingly busy.
“All six local councillors and the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum proposed that a series of planters should be installed along the road. It is a road with currently very little greenery.
“The new planters contain a mixture of trees and plants, and these will help improve air quality and the local environment for residents, shop users and visitors to Kentish Town.”
21 planters have now been installed, situated between Prince of Wales Road and Leighton Road, in the Kentish Town and Cantelowes wards and they look fantastic.
“The spending of local CIL is led by ward councillors based on local priority lists for each ward which have been developed in consultation with local communities. Since being introduced in 2016, this system has significantly altered how communities can benefit from developers contributions.
“There is currently around £5million in total available to be allocated across the whole of Camden for local projects. The amount of CIL collected depends on the level of development which has come forward within a ward in the last year.”
Ian Grant from the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum said: “Several community groups in Kentish Town came together and worked up proposals for the planters.
"It is good to see groups with originally differing views work up an agreed proposals and work with the Council."
Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum, whose plan involves ‘green gateways’ and increasing greenery and biodiversity, formed a working group around 18 months ago with representatives from Transition Kentish Town, Kentish Town Road Action and Camden Air Action. Following walkabouts, stalls in the High Street gauging public reaction and mapping exercises, the final plans were worked up with councillors and Camden Council.
The project follows on from the garden initiative on Kentish Town station where CIL funding was provided for Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum and Transition Kentish Town last year.
The available amounts by ward can be viewed on the CIL spending page on the Camden web site. So far, local CIL funds have been allocated to 45 projects following requests from ward councillors, with a total value of £1.13 million since the new system was launched in 2016.