CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Take your chance to shape this most important planning document

19 November, 2021

The O2 Centre site on Finchley Road

• CAMDEN are to be congratulated on recently agreeing finally to hold some public engagement and consultation on their latest draft of the Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP), which will ultimately determine the maximum acceptable scale and density, and consequently building heights and massing, of the proposed development by the developer on the O2 Centre site.

After a year of guiding the developer through successive “pre-app” meetings to strive for ever-higher dwelling densities on this site, but not making public the draft SALP upon which this briefing was based, we have suffered a major “democratic deficit”.

Local residents’ views have seemingly been ignored in the interests of maximising developer profits, and revenues for Camden Council, all at the expense of amenities and quality of life for existing, and new, residents.

Concerned residents and all users of the O2 Centre and the very large supermarket with its highly-valued parking, are strongly encouraged to use these two welcome opportunities to make their views known directly to Camden, by participating in the following:

1 – The Camden Development Management Forum virtual meeting on Thursday November 18 at 7pm, where they will present, and receive questions and feedback on, the latest draft of the SALP, including that for the “West Hampstead Interchange” area, which includes the greater O2 site.

Registration for attendance at the virtual meeting can be made at: https://camdenplanning.councilsuk.live/eventregister

2 – The online consultation on the revised draft SALP which will be conducted via the same “Commonplace” website where the previous SALP consultation was held (in February 2020).

We are advised that this will be opened up for new comments soon: https://camdensiteallocations.commonplace.is

Please do not miss these final opportunities to shape one of the most important planning policy documents, against which the eventual planning application from the developer (expected in late December) will be assessed.

We know Camden can deliver quality, family-oriented, and human-scale, highly-sustainable, social housing developments, such as the recent deservedly award-winning Agar Grove in Cantelowes; and many years ago, the inspired Alexander and Ainsworth Estate in Abbey Road.

It would be unconscionable for Camden now to allow far lower standards on a private development, which will still offer up to 35 per cent to 50 per cent affordable housing, in order to ensure generous developer profits.

ERIC PEEL, NW6

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