O2 Centre development: Air pollution concerns

Fears have been raised over congestion and pollution

Fears have been raised over congestion and pollution. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Residents have voiced concerns about the air quality around Finchley Road if the O2 Centre redevelopment is approved.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, commented: “The large scale of new construction will entail massive carbon emissions and air pollution, contrary to Camden's net zero and environmental commitments.”

Keith Moffitt, co-chairman of the Fortune Green and West Hampstead Neighbourhood Development Forum said: “It's all very well coming up with construction management plans for construction sites, but all too often they are flouted by the builders, and Camden don't do enough to enforce them. A particular problem is all the extra vehicle movements.

“If the O2 centre itself is demolished that will obviously have an even bigger environmental impact."

O2 centre plans

An application to build 1,800 homes in Finchley Road was submitted to Camden Council in February. - Credit: Landsec

Landsec said they will submit a detailed Construction Management Plan (CMP) to the council with the measures “to minimise dust and noise”.

“We’ll carefully manage the phased construction process throughout, using building practices that focus on reducing embodied carbon, utilising the most sustainable materials and re-using existing materials from the demolished buildings wherever possible.

“Air quality monitors will be installed to track dust during construction and we will work closely with our contactors to follow best practice guidelines set by the GLA to limit dust and pollution levels.

“Our contractors will be required to connect to the grid as early as possible to avoid use of diesel machinery on site, enforce a strict zero idling policy, and ensure that 100 per cent of electricity is sourced from renewable energy tariff for temporary construction supply and commissioning.”

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Camden Council has policies in place to assess mitigation plans to reduce air pollution coming from construction sites.

The Ham&High reported on pollution in Finchley Road last year, showing levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and particle pollution increasing again in 2021, although the indicators were below the recommended limits.

Simon Birkett, founder and director of Clean Air in London, said: "Major proposals like this one raise many serious questions.

"For example, why are car parking spaces needed, will all buildings have 'zero air emissions', how will construction and transport movements be minimised and managed and will the site improve local infrastructure rather than the opposite."