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Controversial development at 156 West End Lane approved by Camden

PUBLISHED: 14:56 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:56 03 February 2017

West Hampstead Stop The Blocks campaigners outside the committee meeting at Camden Town Hall last night. (Photo: Polly Hancock)

West Hampstead Stop The Blocks campaigners outside the committee meeting at Camden Town Hall last night. (Photo: Polly Hancock)

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The application, for the redevelopment of office spaces into an eight-storey housing block, was approved by the council’s planning committee.

The plans will see 156 West End Lane knocked down and replaced with eight-storey housing blocks.The plans will see 156 West End Lane knocked down and replaced with eight-storey housing blocks.

Developers A2 Dominion lodged the application that will see the current site, housing offices along with Travis Perkins building merchants, torn down and replaced by 164 new homes - half of which are earmarked as being “significantly below market rent”.

The development will also provide retail, community and employment space.

However, the plans caused fury among some residents - with designs described as a “blot on the landscape” - with a “Save West Hampstead” opposition campaign also set up to fight the proposals.

Ian Ferrie, a Lymington Road resident nearby, previously told the Ham&High: “The magnitude of this development is astronomical, especially as it is right next to a conservation area. It’s a blot on the landscape.”

In an open letter to Camden Council and A2 Dominion, “Save West Hampstead” outlined their mission to “ensure proper scrutiny is applied both to the management of public assets and to the people we elect to represent us and provide stewardship for our community”.

“We are calling for a better solution,” they wrote.

“Councillors and elected representatives are transient, but the communities they leave behind are forced to live with their legacies.

“There are better ways than the proposals outlined and these need to be explored before a decision that will negatively impact the community, the environment and the general amenity of residents while simultaneously failing to provide the type of housing that is so desperately needed.”

However, despite their protest and a number of campaigners gathering outside Camden Town Hall ahead of a Planning Committee meeting last night, the proposals were approved by councillors.

Cllr Theo Blackwell, Cabinet Member for Finance, Technology and Growth at Camden Council, welcomed the decision.

He said: “Camden welcomes the plans for new buildings on the site of the old 1970s Camden offices at West End Lane. The plans approved 50% affordable housing on the development - a rare achievement. This means homes to rent at 30% market rents for people on our waiting list and shared ownership homes for those on average incomes.

“It also provides employment space for start-ups and light industrial uses.”

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