Councillors reject Swiss Cottage tower plan following huge opposition

An artist's impression of the new Swiss Cottage tower in Avenue Road

An artist's impression of the new Swiss Cottage tower in Avenue Road - Credit: Archant

Thousands of residents opposing the construction of what would be one of the highest towers in Camden have seen a significant victory tonight after councillors chose to reject planning permission for the project.

A packed council chamber erupted in cheers from residents as councillors chose to deny developers Essential Living permission to build the tower.

But the battle is far from over as the Mayor of London has the option to overrule the council’s decision.

Anger over the proposed construction of the £100million 24-storey residential “skyscraper” in the heart of Swiss Cottage – branded “monstrous” and “grotesque” by a former director at English Heritage – left Camden Council’s planning department facing an enormous backlash.

The plan would see the current building at 100 Avenue Road knocked down by developer Essential Living and replaced by a 266 foot tower providing 184 flats, 36 of them “affordable”, along with retail and a community space.

A petition opposing the proposal attracted 3,000 signatures while about 900 residents submitted letters of objection to the development, compared to five letters of support received by the council.

Prior to the meeting, about 100 residents opposing the scheme were turned away by security at the Camden Town Hall in Judd Street due to lack of space in the chamber - a decision that left them hurling abuse at the security.

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So overrun was the council building that security took the unusual step of pulling down metal shutters at its entrance.

But after more than three hours, councillors rejected the project raising concerns about, among other things, the impact on surrounding conservations areas and local services.

More to come...