Search

Shock as Camden Council reveals West Hampstead tower block plans

12:52 11 July 2014

The first sketches of the latest Liddell Road development plans

The first sketches of the latest Liddell Road development plans

Archant

Camden Council has risked the fury of residents in West Hampstead after revealing controversial new plans that would see what may be the area’s tallest building constructed.

The proposals – which have been described by leading community figures as “shocking” and “bizarre” – would see a 14-storey housing block built as part of the redevelopment of the Liddell Road Industrial Estate.

The estate, home to 24 businesses, will be bulldozed and replaced with housing, increased employment space and a primary school building.

However, the new plans are likely to ignite anger in West Hampstead following the added revelations that no affordable housing will be included in the scheme and a £3million “surplus” is set to be invested elsewhere in Camden.

It has led to accusations that the council is ignoring its own planning policies and comes as West Hampstead Neighbourhood Development Forum finalises its own planning guidelines for the area, which have been agreed by the surrounding community.

James Earl, chair of the forum, said: “I was shocked when I saw the new plans – especially to see this tower sticking out like a sore thumb and to discover there would be no affordable housing.

“Affordable housing and the height of buildings are the two most talked-about issues for people in West Hampstead.

“To see the council go against two of their own planning policies like this is quite bizarre.

“The proposals are clearly at odds with what we have so far laid out in our Neighbourhood Development Plan and I can’t see residents being supportive of them.”

If built, the new tower would outdo the already much complained about 12-storey housing development at 187-199 West End Lane.

Cllr Angela Mason, cabinet member for children, highlighted what she says are the benefits of the development.

“Everyone agrees that we urgently need more primary places in this area,” she said.

“The new proposals will produce a fantastic new school building and a big increase in the number of jobs.

“The lack of affordable housing is so we can fund the construction of the rest of the site.

“We also believe the position of the tower block – set against the railway line – will mean it won’t have an adverse impact on surrounding buildings.”

Since West Hampstead’s three former Liberal Democrat councillors lost their seats to Labour representatives at the local election in March, some members of the community feel the area is now “on its own” in opposing the plans, which are supported by the council’s Labour-led administration.

Branko Viric, who manages family-run business West Hampstead Motors and has been based at the Liddell Road site for over 13 years, has been fighting with other traders to halve the development.

“The Lib Dem councillors fought our corner on this development but now we’ve got three Labour councillors in a Labour-run administration,” he said. “We’ve no choice but to leave.”

The public can see the plans on Tuesday and Wednesday (July 15 and July 16) at the Sidings Centre, West Hampstead Community Centre and West Hampstead Library.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:45
Lynne Featherstone accepts her award from Ben Cohen, chief executive and founder of Pink News.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone has been named the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s “ally of the year” by Pink News, the biggest gay news service in Britain.

Yesterday, 15:50
Sheila Gunn

A former Camden councillor who served as press secretary to Sir John Major during a distinguished career in journalism and politics has died.

Yesterday, 14:58
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Picture: PA Archive/Sean Dempsey.

Communities came together for special events to mark the Jewish day of Shabbat as part of a new initiative spearheaded by the UK’s chief rabbi to engage Jews with the traditional holy day.

Yesterday, 14:48
Dame Maggie Smith was filming on location in Primrose Hill for the film adaptation of Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van. Picture: Alex Flood

Dame Maggie Smith dressed down for the day to reprise her role as a tramp in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s autobiographical play and novel, The Lady in the Van, which was filming at a café in Primrose Hill last Thursday.

Most read news

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

As a state of emergency is declared in Burkina Faso, what does the future hold for its president and people?

It might not be moving very fast but it’s still causing problems.

After staging an Ebola-themed night, a nightclub has been forced to make an apology after hundreds complained about the tasteless event.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition