A less-than-chipper Chipperfield speaks out
Your article 'Chipperfield proposals anger Hampstead locals' (AJ 30.10.03) came as rather a shock. After six months of consultation with Camden planners and amenity groups, I was surprised that you decided to write such a negative article.
Not only is the article inaccurate (the issue of affordable housing had been addressed with much more sincerity and commitment than you wish to convey), but its bias is tangible.
Throughout the consultation process, planners and amenity groups have expressed great satisfaction with the openness of our process. This process included four presentations to Camden, two presentations to amenity groups, one to the London Corporation (superintendent for Hampstead Heath) and a public exhibition of the scheme on the site last week (that you made mention of ).
I understand that the pressures of journalism might force you to look for a big story, and that you can always put a few quotes together to make the picture you want ('Local MP Glenda Jackson told the AJ that the project would 'almost certainly trigger a lot of controversy''), but I would expect that a reporter from an architectural magazine would cover the story with a bit more sophistication and insight than the typical sensationalist dribble we have come to expect from our newspapers.
Having said that, the local newspapers were much more even-handed than you were, but presumably 'Chipperfield has fight in Hampstead' does not particularly interest them - they seem to be more interested in the issues. Shouldn't you be?
David Chipperfield, London NW1