CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Proposed densities for the O2 Centre site need to be looked at

15 October, 2021

• DESPITE all the concerns about the excessive density and scale being proposed on the O2 Centre site, in the latest announcement by Landsec, of a further consultation on the masterplan, they have only reduced the number of proposed new dwellings by 50, from 1,900 to 1,850.

This will not materially reduce the impact of having almost 4,000 new residents in an area of only some 14 acres/ 5.7 hectares. It would equate to a density of some 330 dwellings per hectare (about 650 persons/ha).

That’s unprecedented housing density for both Camden and even for a large inner-London site, and one that is some six to seven times the average housing density for Camden.

The figure of 330 dw/ha will also be some three times more dense than specified by the government’s Model Design Code, and will massively exceed the 2016 London Plan SRQ (Sustainable Residential Quality) density matrix recommendations for urban settings such as this one.

To put this into perspective: the most densely populated area of central London is Islington, with a population density of 160 persons/ha; Manhattan has 275 p/ha; and Mumbai (one of the most densely populated cities on Earth) has 530 p/ha.

On all counts of density (dwellings and people), the latest iteration of the O2 Centre site proposals would hold the record ahead of Islington, Manhattan, and even Mumbai.

In the interests of local democracy, residents need to be publicly consulted by Camden on the change in the latest draft of the Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP).

It would be a massive stain on Camden’s record of local democracy, and show an arrogant disregard for the interests and concerns of residents, if approval of the revised SALP document were to take place at a cabinet meeting in November with no further prior consultation; despite it being a fundamentally different proposition from what Camden did consult upon back in February 2020.

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