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Opposition builds to 700-home development lined up for Chalk Farm supermarket site

Racing expert John McCririck and his wife Jenny have criticised the plans

16 December, 2016 — By Ella Jessel

Early impressions of what the redeveloped Morrison’s site could look like

A ROW is brewing between residents of Primrose Hill and a supermarket giant over its plans to build a “brutal mini-city” of 700 homes for “City slickers” in Chalk Farm.

Morrisons has unveiled proposals for a mega-housing and retail development, called Camden Goods Yard, at its store off Chalk Farm Road.

The supermarket has teamed up with developer Barratt Homes to draw up plans for a “new neighbourhood” which would have a new store with flats above, an underground car park and office workspace.

But the density of homes and the height of the seven blocks, which developers say could include “one or two taller elements of between 10 and 17 storeys”, have caused alarm among neighbours.

Richard Simpson, chairman of Primrose Hill Conservation Area Advisory Committee, said the supermarket needed to go back to the drawing board, and that Morrisons risked losing its customer base by creating an “alien place”.

He said: “The basic approach is wrong. Showy sweeps of steps, twee market places and massively out-of-scale blocks, it’s being designed for City slickers, not for residents of Chalk Farm and Camden Town. And what sort of consultation is it when they are planning a 17-storey tower which they don’t mention in their public display?”

John McCririck and wife Jenny

Among those concerned about the plans are racing pundit and reality TV star John McCririck and his wife Jenny, who have lived in nearby Primrose Hill for more than 30 years.

Mrs McCririck said the proposals were an “overdevelopment” and raised concerns about the lack of green space for the hundreds of new residents the scheme would bring.

“We are all against it,” she added. “I just think it’s not right. You have the City and office blocks and now you’re bringing it into residential areas. They want to build 14-storey blocks or higher and these high-rises are

what we had before and are now being pulled down.”

Phil Cowan, who lives nearby, is concerned that excavation work for the underground car park would cause huge disruption to stallholders in the arches at neighbouring Stables Market.

He said: “The aim would seem to be to cram housing, retail, supermarket, workspace and a petrol station skywards in a canyon-like scenario that would stick out like a brutal mini-city in what is currently an acceptable urban landscape. The scheme is overwhelmingly large for the site.”

A spokesperson for Morrisons and Barratt London said: “As with any new development, we completely understand that neighbouring residents may have concerns about the initial plans.

“We have listened to their comments and are currently working on a new layout for the development which distributes building heights across the site to improve views from around Camden.

“We will hold a second consultation event before an application is submitted to Camden Council and would still like to hear from residents, business owners and community groups.”

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