We will be holding a protest and small press conference at the Vale of Health at 11am on Sunday 20th September to announce and present our petition to Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss and Tulip Siddiq MP.
There was no legal need for works on the Vale of Health or any of the ornamental ponds on Hampstead Heath as they were not a threat to life or property. The works were clearly for financial gain and the authorities failed to properly protect the Heath against opportunistic civil engineers/dam designers. We wish to highlight this and ensure the Hampstead Heath Act of 1871 is re-enforced so that this sort of unwarranted exploitation can never occur again. We will meet at the Vale of Health then visit the other vandalised areas on Hampstead Heath.
Publisher, Hampstead Village Voice.
To: Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for the Environment and Tulip Siddiq MP.
SAVE HAMPSTEAD HEATH
SAVE HAMPSTEAD HEATH: stop the unwarranted works and building of dams on the small, ornamental ponds of Hampstead Heath which are of no threat to anyone, even in the event of the worst storm imaginable.
Why is this important?
The objectives of the petition are:
1. Save the Vale of Health and other harmless, ornamental ponds from further unwarranted work, damage and disruption.
2. Hold to account those who, knowingly or not, misled the ten councillors into wrongly believing they were receiving independent advise at the Camden hearing: namely Camden Planning and AECOM.
3. Ensure that an iron-clad version of the 1871 Hampstead Heath Act be passed through parliament so that nothing of this sort can ever happen again.
It appears Atkins/AECOM/Bam Nutall have now commenced works on the Vale of Health. Realistically this means only 2 of our 3 objectives are 100% achievable. But we will continue to fight so that those responsible are held to account and this manner of financial exploitation of Hampstead Heath can never happen again. We ask all supporters to continue to promote and sign this petition, which will be read out and submitted at a press conference on the 20th of September 2015.
Over 160 trees have been felled and large swathes of protected Heathland destroyed. It's a 4000,000/1 chance but we might still be able to save some of the historic ponds and surrounding natural habitat. Having been misled into believing they were receiving independent expert advice, 6 of the 10 elected councillors at a Camden Council hearing granted permission for large dams and various grass spills to be built on and around the ponds of Hampstead Heath. It turns out the council's supposedly independent advisor, AECOM, had already formed a strategic partnership with Atkins, the civil engineers building the dams and was therefore not independent. AECOM and Camden Council need to be held to account for misleading a council hearing and negligence, respectively.
Moreover, the Vale of Health pond and other ornamental ponds could still be saved unnecessary damage and 'parkification' if the Secretary of State for the Environment, Liza Truss, steps in and prevents this scandalous pillage of the Heath. Please sign this petition to halt or, at least, downscale the works on Hampstead Heath. If one pond can be spared, one tree saved, it will mean some justice for Hampstead Heath.
How it will be delivered
We will hold a press conference at the Vale of Health.