New �300million Hawley Wharf development for Camden Town approved

A controversial �300million project to regenerate the heart of Camden Town has been approved - eight months after the original plan was rejected in the face of huge public opposition.

The revised scheme to re-develop Hawley Wharf and the surrounding area, including the market site devastated by fire in 2008, was approved by Camden Council’s development committee last night (Thursday, November 29).

In March, the same committee rejected plans from applicant Stanley Sidings for two large brick arches housing a new market and nearly 200 new homes beside Regent’s Canal, amid public outcry over the size and impact of the scheme.

But after months of negotiations with community groups and council officers, the developer was given the go-ahead last night for a new scaled-back proposal.

During the meeting at Camden Town Hall, Mark Alper, a Stanley Sidings representative, said: “It keeps our town centre evolving into the future. I strongly believe we are now presenting to you a scheme that all of us will be proud of for many years to come.”

The two-hectare development will include 170 homes, a revamped market area, a school and an art-house cinema, as well as creating around 1000 new jobs.

There will also be an increase in the amount of open public space envisaged in the original plans and a reduction in the height of a number of buildings.

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But proposals to demolish a row of Victorian villas in Hawley Road will still go ahead as originally planned, despite a petition containing 95 signatures objecting to the demolition.

The approved scheme is the result of months of consultation between the developer and the Hawley Wharf Working Group (HWWG), comprised of local societies and associations.

Paul Whitley, a HWWG member, said: “The Hawley Road villas, although much-loved by all in the community, could not be protected. There isn’t enough space to fit a school in between the villas.”

Praising the negotiations with the developer over the last few months, Cllr Flick Rea told last night’s meeting: “It’s an example of how good planning really works.”

Nine committee members voted in favour of the application, with one abstention.