“Super-Lab” Planned for Central London, Please Object Now
Add Your Comments by 14th October 2010
many false starts and delays, the planning application for the new so called
“Super-Lab” planned for St Pancras has been lodged with Camden
will be more details on the information below on the NAVA website soon http://www.antivivisection.info
still waiting to hear of a date for the planning meeting, as soon as we
know we will let you know of details of protests. In the meantime, the planners
have given very little time for objections to be raised, so please contact
Camden Council, and the individual councillors and officials who will be
taking the decision about whether to allow the building to go ahead, see
below for contact details.
readers of this list are aware, if this project goes ahead it could be one
of the biggest animal research centres in the Europe, right in the heart
of London. The consortium behind the project, UKCMRI is made up of four
of the usual suspects when it comes to animal experiments: The Medical Research
Council (MRC), The Wellcome Trust, University College London (UCL) and Cancer
reasons to oppose the project
also important to remember that many local residents and their councillors
are totally opposed to the development for reasons other than the animals,
so we have the potential to form a strong alliance to stop it in its tracks.
been suggested that when writing to councillors that we focus on these other
reasons for tactical reasons, as they are more likely to succeed than opposition
to animal research, in particular the threat of the escape of deadly viruses
into the surrounding population.
it's for you to decide how you approach the council, as long as you do take
action, but these are just some of the other reasons why there is widespread
opposition to the project.
Danger of Virus Leaks
proposed centre will be classified as a Level 3+ Bio Containment Facility.
classification allows it to store and work on the vast majority of the most
dangerous substances, pathogens and airborne viruses. Amongst these are
Avian flu, Tularemia, West Nile virus, Yellow Fever virus and Anthrax.
public knowledge that level 3 + bio containment facilities have suffered
security breaches and leakages all over the world, all built by eminent
companies who have guaranteed security. As recently as July 10 2010 it was
reported that the Health Protection Agency was fined £25,000 after
exposing staff at its Colindale laboratory toa spillage of the potentially
deadly 0157 strain of E.coli when more than a million doses of the bug were
leaked onto the floor from a trolley of hazardous waste.
Guardian of Tuesday April 22 2008 said it had found “over 70 dangerous
incidents in labs and breaches of health and safety regulations aimed at
controlling dangerous pathogens over the past 10 years”. The Health
and Safety Executive brought five prosecutions at universities, research
institutes and labs attached to hospitals. Imperial College London was prosecuted
twice in 1996 and fined £45,000. Other cases involved The University
of Edinburgh (fined £3,500) and Birmingham university (£10,000).
The list goes on, and on... (more details on the website soon).
absolute madness to even consider building such a centre in a dense population
centre, next to several housing estates, and close to two of the busiest
railways stations in the world, Euston and Kings Cross-St Pancras, and right
next to the Eurostar terminal with its links to the continent.
top of the risk of accidental leaks, there is also the very real threat
that the centre would be a prime target for “terrorist” attack,
as has been widely reported in the press recently.
have reported that MI5 identified the plans to the previous government as
creating an increased terrorist threat. Presumably this comes from the lab
itself being a prime target for terrorists, and the pathogens it would contain
being a sought after commodity for any "dirty bomb" builders.
millions of passengers passing through the stations, extremely busy roads
on its door step, populations clustered all around it, the centre would
represent a huge risk to Londoners and anyone in northern Europe if a leakage
deadly pathogens was to occur, either through accidental leakage or due
to an attack of some kind.
and Community Facilities
controversial is the fact that the site was originally earmarked for housing
and other community facilities, which are desperately needed in this part
of London. Yet there is no affordable housing aspect to the UKCMRI plans,
nor indeed any residential property or other community facilities.
Camden Council have as their main planning objective the improvement and
increase in social housing, and on the planning application itself it states
that "The application is a DEPARTURE from policy LU1 (Land Use Proposals)
of the London Borough of Camden Unitary Development Plan due to the non-inclusion
of housing as part of the development". This has angered many residents
and councillors in the area, which has an acute housing shortage and homelessness
land where the project is proposed in Brill Place was formerly government
owned, and was put up for auction by the last New Labour Government. The
bid procedure was unfair, indeed some would say corrupt.
details of the other bidders and the sums concerned are being withheld despite
FOI (Freedom of Information) requests, but we know that the UKCMRI consortium's
original bid was one of the lowest to be tabled, and their eventual winning
bid was still more than £20 million below the highest bidder.
also know that there were several higher bidders which did include social
housing and community facilities in their plans.
yet another example of New Labour paying back the pharmaceutical and biotechnology
industries for the many millions the party received in donations over the
years from the likes of David (Lord) Sainsbury. And the losers were the
taxpayers who were robbed of millions because the land was sold cheaply,
and the residents of Somerstown and St Pancras who were cheated out of the
housing or community facilities they were entitled to.
centre would entirely dominate the area, at up to 13 stories, it would be
higher than all the surrounding buildings except the tower on top of St
Pancras station, and would cast a shadow over nearby estates.
1500 employeed on a small site, constant day and night deliveries would
raise the noise and pollution levels of the area. Parking would also become
very difficult for residents.
the disruption to the local community would be intolerable, and in area
with acute problems already.
your reasons for objecting, please contact the council and have your say
about the development. There is a special page on the council website where
you can do this.
to the councillors
also write to the individual coucillors and officials who will be responsible
for deciding whether to grant planning permission for the centre. Ask them
to make a stand and reject the application for any or all of the above reasons.
forward any replies you receive to us
Planning Application will be heard by the Development Control Committee
of Camden Council. This committee is made up by the following 16 councillors:
(There is a convenient list of all the relevant email addresses below if
you want to write to them all at once.)
on the list, Councillor Sarah Hayward of Kings Cross ward is the most directly
affected, ie it's her ward that the site is in. However it should also be
pointed out that as shown below, many also sit on Housing District Mgt Committee.
Therefore they will know that the primary consideration for development
in Camden is supposed to be affordable housing. A number are also members
of the Health Scrutiny Committee and as such one would hope that they would
like to see a proper risk assessment of the planned entity and its security
systems and how this would affect the health of Camden residents if there
was to be a security breach.
Councillor Dave Horan. Labour-Kentish Town (also a member of Health Scrutiny
E mail: Dave.Horan@camden.gov.uk
Thomas Neumark. Labour- Primrose Hill (also a member of the Housing and
Adult Social care scrutiny committee)
Andrew Marshall. Conservative-Swiss Cottage. (also member of standards committee)
Roger Freeman. Conservative- Swiss Cottage
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Matthew Sanders. Liberal-Democrat- Haverstock (also member of
Housing and Adult social care scrutiny committee) gggyhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
E mail: email@example.com
Sue Vincent Labour- Holborn and Covent Garden (also member of Housing District
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
7.Councillor Paul Braithwaite. Liberal Democrat- Cantelowes (also member
of health scrutiny committee)
E mail: email@example.com
Heather Johnson. Labour -Regents Park (also member of Housing District Mgt
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Flick Rea. Liberal Democrat- Fortune Green (also member of Culture
and Environment Scrutiny Committee)
E mail: email@example.com
Councillor Milena Nuti Labour- Bloomsbury
E mail: Milena.Nuti@camden.gov.uk
11.Councilllor Sean Birch Labour - Gospel Oak (also member of Culture and
environment Scrutiny Committee & Housing DMC)
E mail: Sean.Birch@camden.gov.uk
12.Councillor Claire-Louise Leyland Conservative- Belsize (also member of
Culture and Environmemt Scrutiny Committee)
E mail: Claire-Louise.Leyland@camden.gov.uk
Councillor Gillian Risso-Gill. Liberal Democrat - West Hampstead (also member
of Health Scrutiny Committee)
E mail: Gillian.Risso-Gill@camden.gov.uk
14.Councillor Valerie Leach. Labour - Highgate (also member of Housing District
E mail: Valerie.Leach@camden.gov.uk
Sarah Hayward. Labour. Kings Cross
E mail: Sarah.Hayward@camden.gov.uk
Gould. Labour- Kentish Town (also member of Housing District Mgt Committee)
E mail: Georgia.Gould@camden.gov.uk
Council Planning Department Officials
Mc Donald 0207 9742061, Neil.Mcdonald@camden.gov.uk
Richard Kirby 0207 9745952, Richard.Kirby@camden.gov.uk
or the Planning Customer Support Team on 0207 974 5613.
ALL EMAIL ADDRESSES:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Milena.Nuti@camden.gov.uk, Sean.Birch@camden.gov.uk,