Revealed: Where roughly 15,000 new homes may be built around Hampstead and Highgate
PUBLISHED: 16:50 19 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:26 26 October 2020
These maps show where roughly 15,000 new homes could be built in and around Hampstead and Highgate in the coming decade.
Developments are planned in the area by three different London councils – Camden, Haringey and Barnet.
All UK councils have been ordered to produce “Local Plan” documents, which allocate land to meet government-set targets for new homes.
On these interactive maps – one showing planned developments by each council – every area earmarked in a Local Plan for more than 400 new homes has been highlighted. Click on each one to find out what is planned.
Most of the proposed development sites are within the boundaries of Camden Council, where councillor Danny Beales, who is responsible for the borough’s Local Plan, said the public was largely on-board.
He said: “The council understands that there is a housing crisis in Camden and a need for genuinely affordable new homes. We recently set up a citizens’ assembly and one key priority which came out of it was that there need to be more homes and everyone should have access to a safe, affordable home.”
Camden’s Local Plan does not identify specific sites where homes should be built, but it is currently consulting over a document which would – its Site Allocations document.
The consultation was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and must now be reconsidered in light of recent changes by government to planning laws.
“We need to work out what that might mean for our site allocations,” said Cllr Beales.
Of the major developments proposed in the Site Allocations document, the largest development projects are planned in Kentish Town.
Thirty hectares of land to the north and west of Kentish Town train station have been earmarked to take 2,000 new homes, according to a Camden Council “site allocations” document.
Some of the construction projects have already begun.
The homes would form part of a new neighbourhood, which would also include industry, employment, open spaces, and leisure and cultural offerings.
The council reasoned that much of the site was currently “cut off from its surroundings” and “occupied by industrial and warehousing uses, largely at low densities, with significant amounts of car parking”.
Therefore, said the authority, it presented “a significant opportunity for intensification and diversification”.
The new developments would be, “seamlessly integrated and well-connected” with nearby communities in Kentish Town, Gospel Oak and Dartmouth Park.
The bulk of the new homes would be delivered at two key sites – the Regis Road industrial site and Murphy’s Yard – which would be connected to one another by a new bridge.
This 7.5-hectare site is bordered at the north and west by railway lines, to the south by Holmes Road and to the east by York Mews.
It is expected to take roughly 1,000 new homes.
It is currently home to the Kentish Town business park, which has housed businesses including Royal Mail, UPS, BMW and Howdens.
Planning documents call it a “growth area for comprehensive, employment-led, mixed use development”.
Files say redevelopment would see a “higher density, more land efficient” industrial space created, which “will create space for the addition of other uses including substantial residential, cultural and community facilities (including generous open space).”
A scheme would be set up to ensure any businesses who wished to remain were incorporated into the new design.
This site, just under seven hectares, became the business premises of J Murphy & Sons – an infrastructure company which helped build the Olympic Park – in the 1980s.
But planning documents say the company intends to relocate, freeing up much of the land for residential development.
The site would be expected to accommodate 750 new homes.
Off of Highgate Road, it is bounded to the north, west and south by railway lines. Its northern-most point is directly opposite Hampstead Heath.
OTHER KENTISH TOWN DEVELOPMENT
The remaining Kentish Town properties would be achieved through a series of much smaller developments.
Proposals include rebuilding the Kentish Town fire station as part of a 35-property housing development on its current site.
A similar scheme is proposed for the current police station, which would be reimagined as part of a new 80-home development.
Other sites which would be redeveloped include the Highgate Business Centre and the Kentish Town Road car wash.
But major developments in Camden’s Site Allocations document are not limited to Kentish Town.
CAMDEN GOODS YARD
Seven connected parcels of land at the edge of Camden Town are expected to deliver 1,200 new homes, some of which have already been constructed, such as at Gilbeys Yard.
The nine-hectare site stretches from the Regents Canal to the edge of the Roundhouse concert venue, previously used as a train engine house.
The goods yard grew up around the railway and the canal in the 1850s. It was where goods transported by rail or boat were loaded to continue their journeys by horse.
It was later used to store beer for Gilbeys, which was at the time the world’s biggest wine and spirits firm.
Today, part of the site is owned by Morrisons, which has a supermarket and a petrol station there – but planning documents said the company was willing to sell its land for housing development.
The Morrisons supermarket site would take 573 of the planned homes, whilst the petrol station site would be used for new employment, retail and leisure developments.
A 120-property housing estate at Juniper Crescent would be replaced with a 410-unit complex, yielding 290 new homes.
Additional development of a Network Rail site in Juniper Crescent would add another 50.
WEST HAMPSTEAD INTERCHANGE AREA
The West Hampstead Interchange Area is listed in Camden’s Site Allocations document as a “key growth area”.
The area contains five sites, across which the council anticipates 1,150 new homes can be accommodated.
The vast majority are planned for land behind the O2 centre, at the junction of Finchley Road and Blackburn Road, where 900 homes are proposed.
The 4.5-hectare site, formerly a railway sidings, was converted in the 1990s into the O2 shopping centre, two car showrooms, a car park and a Homebase store.
The document states that the O2 centre will remain, but part of the car park will be converted to housing.
The council says the significant loss of car parking provision would encourage residents to use healthier and more sustainable transport.
The plan includes new retail, social and community facilities, open spaces, public art, planting and lighting, “to help support a safe environment”.
It adds that the development “should be used to create better quality walking and cycling focussed streets”.
The other sizeable development in the West Hampstead Interchange Area would be at 156 West End Lane, where 164 new homes are planned.
The site is at the same junction of Finchley Road and Blackburn Road, but on the other side of Blackburn Road.
WENDLING ESTATE AND ST STEPHEN’S CLOSE
More than 400 homes could be built on this 2.6-hectare site, which currently forms part of the Wendling estate.
Files say existing homes would be demolished so the estate could be regenerated to include more properties.
Currently, the area suffers “high levels of relative deprivation and significant housing challenges,” the council’s site allocations document said.
“Residents need homes that don’t flood when it rains a lot,” ward councillor Marcus Boyland told the Ham&High. “Homes whose plumbing and heating you can rely on.”
The site allocations document added: “The existing design means that Wendling Estate is very inward looking, turning its back on the surrounding roads and railway and connectivity from one side to the other is poor, leading to wider issues of dead ends, poor passive surveillance and antisocial behaviour.”
The redevelopment would, “create a safe, welcoming and attractive environment that limits the opportunity for crime and antisocial behaviour”.
However, the proposal would only go ahead with the support of existing residents. A ballot, which was delayed earlier this year by the Covid-19 pandemic, is now due to be held next summer.
In February, a group of residents held a meeting and passed a vote of no confidence in the cabinet member responsible for the regeneration, Labour councillor Danny Beales.
But, said Cllr Boyland, who attended that meeting: “In my experience of people who live on the estate, it’s quite a popular idea. Ever since I’ve been elected, I’ve had people coming to me, asking me when it’s going to happen.”
In addition to these planned developments by Camden Council, others are proposed in the area by Haringey and Barnet councils.
Haringey’s large development in the Hampstead and Highgate area is called Clarendon Square.
A major development is underway on a 4.66-hectare site off of Hornsey Park Road, as part of Haringey Council’s Local Plan.
The Clarendon development was listed in the Local Plan as able to accommodate 1,080 residential units. However, developer St William says it will in fact deliver 1,714 apartments.
The developer was granted planning permission in 2018, despite more than 100 objections raised with the council.
Among them was one from Polly de Boer, secretary of the Parkside Malvern Residents Association, who registered “the strongest possible objection to the proposed development” on behalf of the group.
The association called the development “excessively intensive and dense... far beyond what is acceptable for a sustainable, healthy community.”
They added: “There is insufficient open space for the density and intensity of the development.”
Other common objections included the height of the buildings, which was up to 15 storeys, increased noise and increased traffic.
Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, raised concerns that the plan included “a block of over 100 units, adjacent to the railway and 15 storeys high, without one affordable home”.
The application involved demolition of the Olympia trading estate and other commercial buildings, prompting complaints from businesses as well.
St William describes the development as a “city village”, which will include landscaped gardens, business premises, shops and community spaces.
Show apartments went on display in August 2020. One-bedroom apartments are listed at just over £460,000.
The other major development in the area is proposed by Barnet Council. It is known as Brent Cross – Cricklewood.
BRENT CROSS – CRICKLEWOOD
The Brent Cross – Cricklewood development is Barnet Council’s largest regeneration project.
The £4.5billion project is intended to accommodate more than 7,500 new homes and a new Thameslink train station.
Works will be carried out within a “growth area” identified in Barnet’s Local Plan.
The region is bounded to the west by Edgeware Road and Cricklewood Broadway, to the south by Cricklewood Lane, to the east by Hendon Way and to the north by Park Road.
The scheme became council policy in 2012 and was planned for delivery within 20 years, but has experienced a series of delays.
The council entered into partnerships with Capita to work on the station, with Hammerson and Aberdeen Standard Investments for the town centre regeneration and some housing, and with Argent Related for the bulk of the new homes.
Hammerson has repeatedly delayed the town centre regeneration, citing “turbulence” in the UK retail market. However, other elements of the plan are moving forward.
In spring 2019, Barnet Council was awarded just under £320million to deliver the new Thameslink station and other “critical infrastructure”.
In October 2020, Argent Related announced its plan to build 6,700 homes in the area. It said its development would also include more than 3million square feet of office space and 50 acres of parks and playing fields.
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