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Revealed: How O2 Centre's owners want to build 1000 new homes on shopping centre's car park

PUBLISHED: 13:18 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:31 04 June 2019

Landsec, which owns the O2 centre, has ambitions to build 1000 homes on its car park in Finchley Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Landsec, which owns the O2 centre, has ambitions to build 1000 homes on its car park in Finchley Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The O2 Centre's owners want to build 1,000 homes behind the shopping centre in Finchley Road, and has launched a preliminary consultation on the site's future.

The site currently includes the shopping centre's car park and a Homebase store. Picture: Polly HancockThe site currently includes the shopping centre's car park and a Homebase store. Picture: Polly Hancock

Land Security (Landsec) has posted leaflets through the letterboxes of homes in West Hampstead and Finchley Road, asking locals to feedback on the "long-term future of the site."

It directs them to a website and three consultation events taking place over the next week.

However it doesn't detail Landsec's ambitions to build 1,000 homes on the car park behind the O2 Centre. Its intentions was in its half-year report, published last year.

The report says: "We intend to submit two planning applications at existing retail locations in the first half of 2019: one will include more than 1,000 homes at Finchley Road."

Landsec told this newspaper that it will work up plans later this year, before presenting them to the community again. It hopes to submit a planning application in spring 2020.

Property firm Landsec bought the O2 Centre in 2010. The shopping centre, which includes a cinema, gym and Sainsbury's supermarket opened in 1998. The company bought it for £125.9million, it now has an estimated value of between £100million to £200m.

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In Camden's Local Plan, the area is listed as the "West Hampstead Interchange," one of the borough's designated growth areas. It is within easy reach of two Underground stations, and both West Hampstead's Thameslink and Overground stations.

Keith Moffitt, former leader of Camden council and co-chair of the West Hampstead Neighbourhood Development Forum said he expected the plans, but believed social housing had to be included.

"It has been a long time coming, we have been expecting this for years. However what we want is a good chuck of genuine social housing, and not available at 80 per cent of market value.

"We will be pushing it to be towards Camden's guide of 50 per cent for affordable housing."

John Saynor from West Hampstead Amenity and Transport (WHAT) backed Mr Moffitt's call for social housing, and said the group wanted the developer to pay for step-free access to West Hampstead tube station, and hoped that any development would include green space and a new GP surgery.

He said: "We'd must make sure that any development contributes positively to the West Hampstead and Finchley Road areas by allowing people to move freely between them."

Currently the site is occupied by the car park and a Homebase store. It was previously the site of a coal depot linked to the mainline railway.

A spokesperson for Landsec said: "[We] are at the early stages of consulting with the community on a possible residential-led, mixed use development on the land behind the O2 centre. We are looking forward to working with the community over the coming months."

The events will take place on Friday, between 2-7pm, Sunday, between 12-4pm and Tuesday between 12-4pm in the O2 Centre. Anyone interested can also visit www.blackburnroad.co.uk, call 0800 307 7961 or email blackburnroad@landsec.com

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