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‘Mind-altering herb garden’ vision for litter-strewn rail land

Network Rail blank calls about transforming land

26 April, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Katie Gosling at the spot where she hopes to create a community garden

A RUBBISH-STREWN strip of railway land blighting a neighbouring children’s playground could be transformed into a wild herb garden.

Katie Gosling is pushing for a community gardening project to be introduced at Network Rail-owned land next to Broadhurst Gardens Children’s Play Area.

Swiss Cottage councillors believe funding can be secured for the scheme but work cannot go ahead until the landowner tweaks its lease agreement with Camden Council.

Ms Gosling, who lives in Canfield Gardens, hopes to create “a small but mind-altering” extra space for children who use the playground. “The land is often littered because a fence unnecessarily borders between useful land and the wall that borders the trackside,” she said.

Network Rail had a professional respons­ibility to give the go-ahead “to a fantastic project”, she added.

Swiss Cottage councillors have pledged to “cover all costs” through Camden’s Com­munity Investment Levy.

Councillor Leo Cassarani said: “Paradoxically, the current lease would allow Camden to build flats, shops or a car park on that strip of land, but not to turn it into a community garden. For once, money is not the main issue. Convincing Network Rail to work with us seems to be the biggest hurdle at this stage.”

The New Journal has approached Network Rail for a comment three times since February 25.

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