Residents, neighbours and visitors to Somerton House are concerned at the dangerous increase in fast moving motor traffic through Duke’s Road.
Pedestrian safety concerns arise from; traffic exiting from Euston Road into Duke’s Road, and traffic entering Duke’s Road against the one way system from Burton Street and Flaxman Terrace.
Somerton House Residents’ Association raised residents concern with Camden Council, Transport for London and King’s Cross Police SNT.
SHRA also raised concerns with The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) asking motorcycle couriers not to ride against the one way system through Duke’s Road as a short cut onto Euston Road.
TFL have carried out a consultation and intent to install a green man pedestrian crossing on Duke’s Road in December this year 2019. Camden Council and King’s Cross Police SNT have yet to respond.
TDL, who are currently in dispute with their couriers said they would inform them not to use Duke’s Road as a short cut. The IWGB courier branch have yet to respond.
Residents raised several complaints about noise pollution coming from local roof air conditioning equipment disturbing them in their homes, especially at night.
Somerton House Residents’ Association identified the noise comes from two nearby buildings; The Premier Inn Euston (PIE) 1 Duke’s Road/ 141 Euston Road and The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) 1 Mabledon Place.
SHRA contacted TDL building manager who identified and resolved the noise issue emanating from their 5th floor air conditioning plant.
SHRA contacted PIE management about the ongoing noise coming from air conditioning units on the hotel roof (5th floor) outside East facing flats of Somerton House. PIE management and Gerald Eve property management acknowledge there is a noise issue from the roof air conditioning equipment and are working to resolve.
SHRA reminded PIE and Gerald Eve the noise issue has been an intermittent long running nuisance since installation during hotel expansion construction in 2007 and a resolution is required ASAP. We will raise again at our next meeting with PIE management on 20th June.
If you are affected by noise from roof air conditioning units in your flat please contact SHRA Secretary John by email, or via the website contact form.
Somerton House Residents’ Association entered ‘Best Green Corner’ in Camden in Bloom community gardening competition.
We were very pleased our green space and reclaimed garden entrance planters won 1st prize for Best Green Corner in Camden in Bloom 2018, bettering our 2nd prize win in 2010.
SHRA were invited to afternoon tea with the Mayor of Camden, Cllr Jenny Headlam-Wells and Camden in Bloom Winners in the Mayor’s Parlour to receive our prize and certificate from the Mayor.
Thanks to everyone for support, Residents, Camden Garden Centre, Camden Council, local neighbours and Camden Film Office for donation towards SHRA planters and green corner. Big thanks to Alara Health Store and The Camden Garden Centre for our prize.
SHRA met with David McKenna and Alison Forrester from TFL, Louise McBride from Camden Council and the Premier Inn area manager to discuss the dangerous junction at Duke’s Road, Euston and Road and Churchway; and HGV deliveries to the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee Euston.
SHRA had raised concerns about large single crewed HGV’s reversing into and out of Duke’s Road, reversing across a footway on blind corner beside The Place dance school, and making multi point turns across St Pancras Churchyard.
At the meeting on 21/09/2017, held on Duke’s Road, TFL reiterated no unloading at any time on the red route. Camden reiterated no unloading at any time on double yellow lines and kerb markings.
TFL said they are planning to install a pedestrian crossing at the Duke’s Road / Euston Road junction within the next five years.
Camden said they will repaint the double yellow lines and kerb markings and will monitor the situation.
Since the August meeting, Camden Council have repainted one side of Duke’s Road double yellow lines and kerb markings.
Premier Inn and Costa Coffee Euston HGV deliveries continue to needlessly and dangerously reverse in to and out of Duke’s Road.
Premier Inn’s Chief Operating Officer has told us the cladding on the Euston hotel below Somerton House is not combustible. We also have reassurances that outstanding lighting and stairwell issues raised will be addressed.
Camden Council will be fitting new fire doors in the coming weeks, the contracts manager is aware of outstanding shared lighting and stairwell issues.
UPDATE: 7th JUNE 2019
Camden Council have informed SHRA they are unsure if the cladding attached to Somerton House is fire safe.
Camden will be inspecting/investigating the external cladding on the 12th of June with a team of abseilers. Waits who are currently carrying out fire safety works on behalf of Camden in the building will be facilitating these inspection works.
SHRA have also contacted Premier Inn’s COO Simon, and Property Management Company Gerald Eve’s Partner James requesting appropriate reassurances/action that the buildings cladding is fire safe.
Camden Council has granted an outdoor drinking licence to the hotel underneath Somerton House.
Somerton House residents fear they will have to walk past drunken revelers to get to their front door up until 10’o’clock every night. They are unhappy that in front of their homes there is now a large beer garden.
Twelve separate objections from local residents were lodged, but the licensing panel were swayed by the professional arguments of Premier Inn’s solicitor.
Two local residents addressed the committee highlighting issues such as:
The Premier Inn’s history of unresponsiveness to concerns raised by local residents; they sited an ongoing five-year battle against a noisy air conditioning unit installed without planning permission as evidence.
The Premier Inn’s inability to police it’s currently licence arrangements, pointing out that outdoor drinking has been a daily occurrence during the recent hot weather
The detrimental effect the noise of outside drinking would have on residents’ wellbeing, adding as it does to the barrage of other noises that the hotel creates.
Residents are disappointed that none of their concerns were taken on board by the Licencing Committee. Many residents of Somerton House are Council tenants with specific health needs that will not be helped by this additional imposition on their lives. We feel the Council is once again failing in it’s duty of care to Safeguard vulnerable residents.
The Premier Inn’s solicitor’s statement centred around the fact that his client’s hotel was a “premium product” and they would not permit anything to damage the brand’s reputation. This assertion was clearly accepted by the Committee despite the fact that residents had highlighted numerous examples of the Travel Inn’s less than premium conduct.
The Committee members were not acquainted with the unique overlapping layouts of Somerton House and the Premier Inn, and all present agreed that the diagram provided was insufficient to accurately convey the full impact their decision will have. Indeed, Travel Inn solicitor John Gaunt himself had to apologise to the committee for mistakenly misrepresenting the layout of the premises.
The Licencing Committee representative seemed unaware of the ongoing investigation underway by his own department into breaches of the current licence, so this fact was disregarded.
Residents believe these two pieces of evidence would have a profound impact on the decision and are of the opinion that the Council should have ensured these points were presented to the committee.
Drinks on pavement
Somerton House Residents’ Association Chair corrected John Gaunt’s assertion that no open drink containers would be taken onto the public footpath. In fact the largest of the two drinking areas can only be accessed via the public footpath. Residents are very concerned that this fact will inevitably lead to groups of drinkers blocking the pavement and causing a nuisance.
The Chair asked if a site visit was possible. The panel said this was possible under the rules. We have since noted on the Camden Website that adjournments for site visits are possible.
Some minor conditions were added to the license:
there is to be absolutely no drinking on the pavement outside
there should be frequent litter picks and glass collection.
residents will be given a number to call if they have issues (020 7554 3400)
a nominated employee will be responsible for policing the outside areas at all times
Residents returning home after the hearing were greeted with the unpleasant site of beer glasses full of cigarette butts uncollected on a table outside the Premier Inn. We remain concerned that this represents the hotel’s real commitment to our local neighbourhood.
We are disappointed that the Council has again chosen to put the financial interests of a large business above the welfare of it’s own residents.