CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Wharf development objectors call for canals to be used for freight

One Housing wants permission to build new housing complex next to Regent's Canal

17 March, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Artist’s impression of how the new housing blocks at Bangor Wharf could look

HOPES of revitalising canals in Camden Town for transport and freight will be punctured if a wharf site is turned into a new housing complex, campaigners have warned.

The Friends of Reg­ent’s Canal group are urging the Town Hall to reject proposals to turn a warehouse at Bangor Wharf in Georgiana Street into a new 40-home development, which they say will make the dock inaccessible.

The wharf was used for decades for a variety of freight and cargo, and objectors believe north London’s famous waterway should be put back into use to reduce the number of heavy lorries on the roads.

One Housing wants permission to demolish the warehouse and an electricity power station to make room for two new blocks on the site, including one six storeys high. Of the 40 homes, six will be rated as “affordable housing”. It is the second run at winning planning permission after the council rejected an initial application, partly due to the lack of infrastructure for canal users.

One Housing is appealing that decision and submitting an alternative design. Friends of Regent’s Canal chairman Ian Shacklock told the New Journal the latest designs failed to tackle issues raised from the last attempt.

“I fail to see how anybody can describe this revised plan as an improvement on the last one,” he said. “Once again the developers are trying to shoehorn an oversized ugly block into a purpose-built access point that could – and should – be used for road-to-water transfers. I hope the council rejects this swiftly before we all incur pointless costs. If the developers are not interested in helping to revive the canal then I think they should exercise their vandalism elsewhere. ”

He added: “Clearly the business leaders and planners of today are more interested in short-term solutions than in what they are leaving behind for future generations. They are allowing or encouraging HGVs to saturate our city streets while the purpose-built waterways remain idle.”

A spokesman for One Housing said: “We have listened to local people and worked with the council to develop plans that will benefit the community. This brownfield scheme will open up the canal side to the public and provide space for local businesses to grow while creating much-needed housing in the borough. We have also listened to canal users and our plans include moorings for barges as well as a water tap for their use.”

 

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