O2 Centre development: Concerns remain about size of buildings

The tallest of the buildings in Landsec's application stand at 15 storeys, or 110.4 metres

The tallest of the buildings in Landsec's application stand at 15 storeys, or 110.4 metres - Credit: Landsec

The height and scale of the buildings in the O2 redevelopment plans have continued to raise eyebrows, following the application going live for the Finchley Road site in West Hampstead

An application was registered on Camden Council’s website on February 16, in which developer Landsec outlines its plans to construct around 1,800 homes, play spaces, a community centre and other amenities. 

Before the plans had even gone live, some residents were raising concerns about the amenities that will be available as well as the scale of the development, while others saw it as an opportunity for the area

The potentially to-be-demolished O2 Centre in Finchley Road.

The potentially to-be-demolished O2 Centre in Finchley Road. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Divided into three areas, referred to as Town Centre, the side nearest Finchley Road, Residential Neighbourhood and the Community Green, which is towards White End Lane, the plans also detail the range of structures Landsec, intends to build. 

The largest of the buildings will be located in the Town Centre, facing Blackburn Road, reaching a maximum of 15 storeys, or 60.9 metres.

The intention, according to the plans, is to create a “varied skyline of individual vertical elements to reduce a sense of uniformity”. 

The plans add: “This approach responds appropriately to the sensitivity of the designated townscapes surrounding the Site, such as the South Hampstead Conservation Area to the south.” 

A draft sketch of how the streetscene and the public areas of the O2 Centre redevelopment could look. 

A draft sketch of how the streetscene and the public areas of the O2 Centre redevelopment could look. - Credit: Landsec/AHMM

Keith Moffitt, co-chair of the Fortune Green and West Hampstead Neighbourhood Development Forum, said that given the surroundings of the proposed development, concerns remain around the height of the buildings in the plans. 

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“The height of the proposed buildings is a key issue”, he said: “The plan says: “Any new development will need to respect, and be sensitive to, the height of existing buildings in their vicinity and setting. 

“We don't feel that this can be said about the proposals, as the site borders three conservation areas, all of which are typified by relatively low-rise buildings usually at most five storeys high.” 

Tim Trillo, project lead for the O2 Centre at Landsec, said: “Including taller buildings here allows us to better balance different local priorities and deliver significantly more social and community benefits.

"It means we can provide over half the site as public open space, create large new green spaces, and deliver the retail, leisure, health and community facilities people have told us they want to see.

"All alongside making a really significant contribution to Camden and London’s affordable housing targets.”