What’s all this about?
The O2 carpark, Homebase and shopping centre have been earmarked for redevelopment for years. The owners, Landsec, consulted in January about their plans to build 1800-2000 homes, new shops and open spaces on the site (see here for their consultation). They intend to put in a planning application before the end of the year.
Now Camden Council have come out with draft guidance (you can see it here) that it will use to assess these proposals, and they are seeking residents’ views. But
- They’ve given residents just six weeks to comment on a document that will form the criteria for a development that could take a decade to build, and last for many more.
- They aren’t planning any public online consultation meetings, or to writing to residents most affected.
- They say they want to hear from young people, but it isn’t clear how they will be reached.
What does the Council draft say?
There are some welcome statements in the document, such as the importance of any proposals including an accessible entrance to West Hampstead tube station, and the value of green public space to the local area. But there are important things missing. There’s
- No detail on the proportion of family homes and genuinely affordable housing at social rent levels, or specialist provision such as sheltered accommodation, that will be expected.
- No detail on acceptable building heights and scale of development
- Nothing about the type of retail that might be expected if the O2 centre is demolished – such as a replacement for Sainsbury’s and Homebase.
- No detail on what contributions to services such as a new GP surgery or school will be required.
- References to playgrounds, but no facilities for young people such as sports pitches or gyms.