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Plans for a second Camden market spark concerns of overdevelopment

06:03 06 October 2011

The proposed view of the new Camden market

The proposed view of the new Camden market

Archant

Ambitious plans to build a new market in the heart of Camden have been unveiled, but residents and councillors say they still have “grave concerns” over the development.

Ambitious plans to build a new market in the heart of Camden have been unveiled, but residents and councillors say they still have “grave concerns” over the development.

Developers Stanley Sidings have submitted their application to redevelop Hawley Wharf and the surrounding area, which was partly destroyed by a fire in 2008, presenting plans to build two large brick arches housing a new market and nearly 200 new homes.

Proposals for a new primary school and a farmer’s market in Castlehaven Road were also submitted.

The plans have sparked criticism from conservation groups, however, who warn the development will dominate the skyline and is not in keeping with Camden’s Victorian architecture.

Cllr Matt Sanders, whose Haverstock ward backs onto the site, said he didn’t support the development and was concerned that it would burden the area with thousands more visitors at the expense of residents.

He said: “Our major worry is that we already have Camden Market across the road, we want this development to create something that is for local people to enjoy. The last thing Camden needs is more stalls selling cheap ‘I love London’ T-shirts.

“Camden Town is not Disney Land.”

The proposed market has gone through years of consultation, but many residents have expressed fears it represents dangerous overdevelopment.

Developers say that 900 new jobs will be created through the project, but just 8 per cent of the housing built will be affordable.

In a written submission commenting on the application, Regents Canal Conservation Area Committee said the market’s design had a “festival appearance at variance with the industrial landscape along the canal”.

Sean Affleck, one of the architects, said they had chosen materials in keeping with Camden’s Victorian heritage, and that visitors would be evenly dispersed by creating new routes between Camden Town and Kentish Town.

This will create more of a rational design sealing off dead ends which currently attract crime and anti social behaviour, he said.

“The development takes into account the history of the area. We have a very historic area but we also have the markets that are famed for their exuberance,” he said. The development would strike a balance between the two, he added.

Mark Alper, managing director of Stanley Sidings, said the project will provide a much-needed boost to Camden’s economy.

He said: “There is tremendous demand for stalls in Camden and very little space.

“The idea is not to compete with what is already there but to enhance and diversify it.”

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