O2 Centre redevelopment consultation opened by Camden Council
- Credit: Landsec /AHMM
Camden Council is encouraging the local community to help shape proposals for the redevelopment of the O2 Centre.
Plans have been drawn up for major changes between Finchley Road and West End Lane that could include up to 2,000 homes, a “linear park” and a new town square.
The council has opened a public consultation until April 6 to help shape the framework against which it will judge the developer Landsec’s plans, when formally submitted.
The council’s draft guidance will form part of a supplementary planning document that will be finalised later in the year following public feedback.
The guidance will sit alongside local neighbourhood plans that inform the use of the borough’s land.
Concerns have been raised by residents about the development as part of a separate consultation by Landsec. Worries included the demolition of the O2 Centre and its car park; the height and scale of the proposed housing blocks; and the potential loss of any local amenities.
Landsec, which owns the Finchley Road shopping centre and the 5,000-bay car park behind it, has said that one of its priorities is to ensure Sainsbury’s supermarket – part of the existing centre – is included in the new development.
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The council’s draft guidance says the plans should be based on building a neighbourhood with “its own distinct character”; that is better connected to nearby areas; and that is more environmentally friendly, prioritising walking and cycling.
It says that residential properties should include homes for families alongside “genuinely affordable” housing at social rent – in addition to health facilities and workspaces.
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As a “distinct island” of land “cut off” and “divorced” from neighbourhoods either side of the railway, the council says the redevelopment offers an opportunity to tackle the area’s “poor integration” and “insular nature”.
It says the “inefficient use of land” is more reflective of a suburban shopping centre and is “atypical” of an inner London borough like Camden.
The O2 Centre, its car park and Homebase were built in the late 1990s and the council says the proposals offer an “opportunity” to review the role of the O2 Centre against the challenges facing the retail sector, heavily impacted by Covid.
The guidance says a key part of the plans should be better access to public transport and the creation of a pedestrian and cycling route between Finchley Road and West End Lane – without cars.
For Blackburn Road, it says any changes should improve the “quality and safety” of adjoining routes such as Billy Fury Way.
For more information on the draft guidance, and how to comment, visit https://westendlanetofinchleyroad.commonplace.is/