Call for less business space to allow low-rise blocks at Murphy's Yard

Murphy's Yard, a major development site part of the planning document. Picture: Camden Council

Murphy's Yard, a major development site part of the planning document. Picture: Camden Council - Credit: Archant

Residents in Gospel Oak have called for Murphy's Yard developer to scale back its industrial floorspace and distribute the 750 homes into low-rise blocks.

The Elaine Grove and Oak Village Residents' Association has registered its objection to Folgate Estates' plan to create a new neighbourhood behind Highgate Road between Kentish Town and Gospel Oak.  

As well as objecting to the 19-storey towers proposed for housing, residents have queried the employment opportunities and said they are not convinced Folgate has the community in mind.

The map of the planning framework, stretching from Gospel Oak down into Kentish Town. Picture: Camde

The map of the planning framework, stretching from Gospel Oak down into Kentish Town. Picture: Camden Council - Credit: Archant

Folgate has said the development will provide up to 3,610 new jobs.

However EGOVRA's objection statement says "its commitment has been left vague and the range of employment opportunities and commercial ventures outlined does not relate directly to any audit of the services the community needs".

It says there is no evidence of detailed community consultation or for the community to "take ownership of the employment initiatives".

It adds: "The scheme is conceived in relation to Kentish Town and does not take into consideration the employment needs or resources of the Gospel Oak /Haverstock area of social deprivation."

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There are also fears that Kings Cross style locomotive sheds will not link directly to community needs.

"They will enjoy the restaurants, luxury niche shops and craft boutiques, but the commercial profits will not go directly to the community," it said.

Drawings of the plans

Drawings of the plans - Credit: Murphy

Folgate is also proposing an estimated 95,000sqm of non-residential floorspace with plans for eight-storey buildings to accommodate it. 

This is nearly four times bigger than the current industrial floorspace of 20,000sqm.

EGOVRA said if Folgate were to reduce the amount of industrial/commercial floorspace to the current level, there would be space to "redistribute the 750 homes in a community-friendly, sustainable, low-rise fashion".

A spokesperson for Folgate said local people were consulted with five public exhibitions and community workshops.

An email survey sent to 6,000 people "received almost 100 responses" with residents indicating support for multi-purpose community event spaces, an art gallery, indoor sports facilities, a community kitchen or café and local employment opportunities.

Folgate said 3,000 sqm of affordable workspace is being made available. There will be 40,500 sqm of industrial space, up to 34,500 sqm of office space and 16,000 sqm of healthcare space.

The spokesperson added: "The outline application we have submitted has been informed by planning guidance from Camden Council and the GLA and extensive consultation with interested parties over a number of years."