110-page document opposing O2 Centre development given to council

Three men holding 110-pae document full of signatures outside of Camden Council's office

Calvin, Marx and Don took a 110-page document with signatures objecting the O2 Centre Development to Camden Council's office. - Credit: Calvin Po

Three council election candidates have given Camden Council a 110-page document full of signatures opposing the O2 redevelopment on Finchley Road.

Calvin Po, 27, of Mansfield Road, along with neighbours Marx de Morais and Don Williams have been collecting signatures since summer last year.

They are candidates for the South Hampstead ward for the Conservative Party.

Every week, the trio set up a stall outside of Waitrose on Finchley Road to collect signatures, and they also went door to door to collate the views of their neighbours. 

Three men with long document wrapped around their necks outside of a big Sainsbury's shop in north west london

Outside the current O2 site. - Credit: Calvin Po

"Marx and I were really concerned when we heard what Camden and Landsec had planned, and decided to do something," Calvin said.

They collected more than 1,000 signatures, but say they have only had capacity to verify about 700, which have been sent as a planning objection to the council.

The petition was handed into Camden Council's office on March 18.

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Their main objections to the development are the height of the buildings, the loss of amenities and car parking and environmental damage.

Calvin said: "At almost every doorstep our neighbours complained about the loss of amenities they all use, such as the Sainsburys, Homebase – which has the only garden centre in our area – the cinema, shops, and the other leisure facilities such as the gym and swimming pool."

"The loss of the car parking, the only parking on Finchley Road, is also an issue."

He added: "Demolishing relatively new and sound buildings like the O2 – built in 1998 – and creating skyscrapers will be terrible for carbon emissions, and will create air and noise pollution across 18 years of construction."

Speaking on behalf of the O2 Centre project, project lead Tim Trillo said: “Our plans for the O2 Centre site will have a very positive contribution to the local area, transforming what is largely a 520 space tarmac car park into a new green neighbourhood that connects the two communities of Finchley Road and West Hampstead. These plans dedicate over 50% of the site to public open, green spaces.

“Having listened carefully to the feedback from local people, we know some of the amenities in the current O2 Centre are still well liked, and that’s precisely why we are proposing a new revitalised town square which will include retail and leisure spaces, as well a supermarket, cinema and gym."