Camden Blueprint: Somers Town Neighbourhood Plan

Somers Town Neighbourhood Planning Project

Somers Town Neighbourhood Planning Project Map

Welcome to the Somers Town Neighbourhood Planning Project online map. Here we will be adding lots of information about the Somers Town area, things we would like to change or improve and things we'd like to keep and protect. There's still alot more information to add but for now, have a look at the site key to see what's been plotted already.

View Somers Town Neighbourhood Planning Project in a larger map

Site key:

Recent updates:

15 March: Governance meeting

The governance working group met to discuss the recently announced Neighbourhood Planning Regulations as well as objectives of and members of the neighbourhood forum. A comprehensive account of the meeting is available below:

14 March: Planning and Development group walkabout of police depot development site

We took a walkabout along Brill Place/Phoenix Road, a street which has been earmarked for development as a through route between Euston and St Pancras International train stations if HS2 proposals go ahead. Development along this route could have significant implications for the residents that live along its path, as well as the wider Somers Town community.

  • download: Walkabout notes

6 March: Walkabout 2

Our walkabout today focused on the streets of the north-eastern quadrant of the boundary area, an area consisting mainly of privately owned or rented accommodation. Many of the residents who live in this part of Somers Town had not been contacted before and were unlikely to have heard of our project. Therefore we took along some promotional leaflets which explained all about neighbourhood planning and were either dropped through people's letter boxes or handed out to locals we met along the way!

05 March : Report back Somers Town Neighbourhood Forum meeting

Local stakeholders and working group members regrouped to update one another of all the hard work undertaken on the project since the last forum meeting. You can read a detailed description of progress made so far by clicking on the link below:

Follow up meeting dates were arranged for the following working groups:

  • Business, employment and training 26th March 5pm
  • Planning, Development, Housing and Environment 16th March 4pm
  • Community Safety date TBA
  • Governance date TBA
  • Engagement, IT and outreach date TBA

Recent Updates:

1 March: Inaugural meeting of the Governance working group

The meeting which took place at Somers Town community centre looked very briefly at establishing a basis for developing a forum constitution. The discussion covered type, objects and membership and will be discussed with all group members at the next meeting (TBA).

28 February: Inaugural meeting of the Planning and Development working group

Those who had signed up to this working group had the opportunity today to update council officers on the project and clarify the relationship with the place planning process. Key development sites, and range of other partnership mechanisms for progressing wider priorities, were identified.

24 February: Walkabout Somers Town with local residents

Meeting with several residents of Somers Town, today we took the opportunity to walkabout the lower-west quadrant of the Somers Town boundary to help identify areas of both immediate and more long-term concern and opportunity.

The area covered is bordered by Eversholt Street (west), Polygon Road (north), Chalton Street (east) and Euston Road (south). This mainly includes a mixture of Camden Council and Origin Housing estates, in many cases represented by active Tenants and Residents Associations. Estate security, under-used open spaces and Chalton Street Market stood out as some of the most pressing issues to tackle. You can read a detailed breakdown of our walkabout by clicking on the link below:


13 February: Report back meeting with local stakeholders

Interest in the neighbourhood planning project continues to grow in Somers Town and our most recent meeting was attended by around 30
local stakeholders with a further 17 sending their apologies!

Those who had agreed to undertake outreach of uncontacted groups at the last meeting reported back to the group and we were pleased to see many of the so-far uncontacted stakeholders in attendance at the meeting.

Jim Murray from Bloomsbury Village Neighbourhood Planning group (another neighbourhood project we are working on as part of the Camden Blueprint) delivered a short presentation about the project in Bloomsbury which was well received by Somers Town stakeholders.

Information gathered from previous meetings, outreach work and local planning frameworks had been plotted on the map (opposite) to provide a detailed overview of work done-to-date.

Discussion followed and further priorities were identified for the area. It was agreed to develop working groups around the following areas:

Working sub-groups

Community safety

•  Business, employment and training

•  Planning, development, housing and environment

•  Governance

•  Engagement, IT and outreach

Working groups are open to all residents, business or any other stakeholders in the Somers Town area.

If you would like to sign-up to one or more of these working groups, please contact:

Sarah Elie: or

Donna Turnbull:

You can download papers from this meeting using the links below:

10 January: Report back meeting to local stakeholders

The beginning of the new year saw a growing interest in the project, demonstrated in this instance by a turn-out of over 20 local stakeholders. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and agree members for the Somers Town neighbourhood planning forum, process terms of reference, agree local priorities and reach out to local residents and agree future meeting dates. Attendees committed to targeted outreach of un-contacted or important contacts.

Recent Updates: 2011

Having gained significant interest at the first Neighbourhood Planning event in September 2011, a series of follow-up meetings and outreach sessions were organised for Somers Town stakeholders to explore how to move forward with the neighbourhood planning process and set about improving the lives of all who live, work or visit the area.

Here's a brief outline of what we've been up to since September!

  • 13 December - Today was the second of our targeted outreach meetings to conduct place-check surveys with young people in Somers Town, this time with New Horizon Youth Centre service users (young people age 16-24). Main priorities were identified as: affordable housing, training and education opportunities, and safeguarding existing services.
  • 29 November - Somers Town Community Association AGM. Today we had the opportunity to present the Somers Town Neighbourhood Planning Project to a wider Somers Town audience. The local youth team presented their video on elderly people's viewpoints and priorities for Somers Town and are now working on a video to explore younger people's perspectives of the area in which they live.
  • 16 November - Discussions with local residents at previous meetings helped identify young people as a key group to target for outreach work. This was the first of two targeted meetings aimed at finding appropriate methods to engage local young (and elderly people) in the project. Copies of the Place Check survey were distributed at the Centre and once completed, fed-back to CamdenCEN. One method to engage both young and elderly people in the project was to create a 'virtual place-check' by getting young people to film people and places around Somers Town.
  • 14 November - project postcard distributed to local estates.
  • 8 November - Meeting with Somers Town residents at Somers Town Community Centre to discuss and suggest potential candidates to sit on the shadow forum and/or subsequent working groups. Only a few residents and one local councillor attended the event demonstrating that a lot more work was required to fully engage the local community.

30 September: Somers Town Neighbourhood Planning Event

The first Somers Town neighbourhood planning event took place at Somers Town Community Centre as part of our Camden Blueprint Project. We facilitated a series of targeted workshops with residents, in particular those who are under-represented or do not usually take part in community activities.

As with our first planning project in Bloomsbury the residents were asked to define their 'neighbourhood boundary', discuss and establish a likely community forum to guide the planning process and build a contact database, skills and resources bank. This time they were also asked to set their key priorities for the area and agree potential working groups for the community forum.

Over the course of the day over 40 people attended the workshops. The first focus group was with parents of under 5s, followed by older people in the afternoon. Our final workshop was held as an open-session, and widely advertised through local media to ensure that as many local people as possible could attend, share their views and join in the debate.

A brief event outline and our conclusions and recommendations can be found on this page.

You can also:


  • In the first workshop we wanted to find out how local people define the area in which they live i.e. their 'neighbourhood'. We wanted to know which areas and streets they would include or exclude, and their reasoning behind the decision to mark the boundary where they did.
  • In the second workshop we facilitated discussion around picking a neighbourhood forum to guide the planning process. We wanted to know from attendees who they thought should be included on the forum or as advisors, and why they decided to pick these people.

Workshop 1: Defining neighbourhood boundaries

With each target group we asked the participants to discuss the area in which they see themselves living and draw a boundary line around it to define their 'neighbourhood boundary'. In our recommendations the boundaries are based on the most commonly identified streets. We also asked each participant to mark where they live, work or study on the map.

Workshop 2: Building a neighbourhood forum

In this exercise, each group of participants was asked to pick their ideal community forum from a selection of cards depicting, residents associations, local business, councillors, landowners etc. Participants could add extra cards if a stakeholder had not been included. The aim was to build a forum of approximately 21 members which was representative of those who live, work and study in the area.

Setting priorities and Setting up a bank of resources

Learning from our very first planning event in Bloomsbury we decided to ask participants on the day to list their top three priorities for the neighbourhood. The intention was to establish why people were interested in developing a neighbourhood plan and identify the most pressing things they wanted to change. As the workshops were targeted, it meant that some priorities received additional weight from these groups. Priorities were frequently linked by participants and discussion about priorities revealed more complexity. Taking all that into consideration, these were the most common themes:

•  Jobs and training

•  Safe and clean environment

•  Housing services

Working Groups

The working groups were suggested initially as a way to progress the project without having to repeat the workshop activities. There is a large residential population in Somers Town. Informal groups carrying out varied, interesting activities may have a better chance of engaging people than repeating the same workshops. This event gathered enough information to get started. Suggested working groups are:

Planning and development: to focus on development pressures and other plans affecting the neighbourhood.

Governance and management: to develop the neighbourhood forum.

Themed groups: that can start to develop planning priorities

Outreach: to BME communities and other hidden voices in the area.


These recommendations are based on the information gathered at the event and are intended only as a means to get started. The emerging forum will need to be open and able to change as more people get involved.

  • The boundaries are based on the most commonly identified streets.
  • The forum recommendations are based on the most frequently identified members

Neighbourhood boundaries: 

North: Oakley Square south side, Crowndale Road – Pancras Road .

South: Euston Road

West: Eversholt Street

East: Midland Road

With possible additions that could be decided at a first forum meeting: Euston Station, Ampthill Estate (west) and St Pancras Station (east)

Neighbourhood forum places:

1 ward councillor (or 3 rotating); 13 residents; Somers Town Community Centre; New Horizon Youth Centre; Age UK; 1 voluntary sector health rep; 1 faith rep; 1 voluntary sector BME rep; 2 local businesses; British Library; Francis Crick Institute; Origin Housing; Safer Neighbourhoods Team or police; schools rep.

Total 27

Suggested Next Steps

  1. An informal report back meeting / drop in to set up working groups
  2. Young people's work to establish priorities, ideas about the neighbourhood and how young people want to be involved in the longer term
  3. Agree an outreach work strategy and actions

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Planning and Development Context

The Bloomsbury Village Neighbourhood Plan will need to fit in with a number of approved planning and development policies set out in the Camden Local Development Framework November 2010. These policies and more, can be inspected online at : . You can also download a table summarising the LDF Core Strategy policies and Development Policies (DP) .

Background information about the Local Development Framework, Site Allocation and Placeshaping can be found on our ' Neighbourhood Planning ' page.

The following picture is an extract from the South Camden Proposals map 2010.

A number of specific Development Proposal sites are included here together with some Central London frontage designations. Apart from a Conservation Area designation plus a number of Open Space designations much of the rest of Somers Town is not covered by any specific Planning and Development policies.

What is essential to note however, is that Somers Town sits between two Growth Areas (King's Cross Railway Lands including the 2 railway termini, and Euston.

Ampthill Estate is included within the Euston Growth Area / Central London designation. These Growth Areas are based on the Opportunity Areas designated in the Mayor's London Plan, but the boundaries have been set by the LDF Proposals Map.

The LDF indicates that these areas are “suitable for large scale redevelopment or significant increases in jobs and homes, and are based around transport interchanges where increased capacity is planned”.


The Council has also prepared a new ‘submission draft' Site Allocations document that will eventually be adopted as part of the LDF. The Council will start consultation on this draft Site Allocations document in October 2011. The new draft document sets out detailed policies for individual development sites, including sites in Somers Town and the Growth Areas. The Site Allocations document must be “consistent with the LDF Core Strategy and in general conformity with the London Plan”.

  • download the full Planning Briefing here
  • download the full South Camden Proposals Map 2010 here

Neighbourhood Planning Regulations

The new regulations for Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 have been published and came into force on 6 April 2012. Applications to become a ‘neighbourhood forum' and to set boundaries can now be submitted to the Council. The applications will be assessed against the regulations and communities are advised to ensure that any application is fully in line with them before they apply.



In addition to LDF documents, the Council also produce Place Plans to help guide the development of each area. King's Cross has been chosen as a placeshaping priority area because it is an important and vibrant area within the borough which is also a major focus for growth and change.

The area is undergoing significant development and regeneration, particularly through the major Argent/King's Cross Central development which is now underway and investment in the area's stations and transport facilities. These changes raise a number of opportunities and challenges for local communities and businesses and for us to manage.

LB Camden planners has prepared a plan that will set out a vision for the future of the wider King's Cross area that reflects our priorities and those of local people.

It will also include a set of actions to ensure that changes in the area deliver services, facilities and public spaces that work for people who live there and those who work in and visit.

A first draft of the plan has now been prepared and will be discussed with stakeholders groups:

 Under these circumstances the Community Forum in Somers Town may consider setting up a Planning and Development Working Group.

You can find out more about Placeshaping on the camden council website

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