Planning application nears for Murphy's Yard redevelopment

Drawings of the plans

Drawings of the plans - Credit: Murphy

A planning application is anticipated “before the summer” for the redevelopment of Murphy’s Yard.  

Proposals for the 15.5-acre site between Gospel Oak station and the bottom of Highgate Road in Kentish Town include buildings from three to 19 storeys.  

The site would host up to 750 homes, industrial space, offices, restaurants, and healthcare and leisure facilities.  

A new pedestrian and cycle route – the Heath Line – would connect Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak to Kentish Town, and open up an industrial area long closed off to the public.   

The latest consultation was held in March by the developer J. Murphy & Sons Limited, which says the plans have been drawn up in consideration of neighbours. 

But Maya De Souza, chair of the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum, told the Ham&High: "Camden was once renowned for low-rise, high-density development with popular developments in the adjoining areas.

“We believe that this should be the starting point for a re-think, alongside a more realistic assessment of site capacity.

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“The information Murphy's have provided us is so limited that it provides no assurance of quality housing or good design, whilst at the same time showing an intention to cram huge amounts of housing and commercial space onto the site.   

“What we want to see is continuity with what we have already in the neighbourhood, not a divided area with high quality housing on spacious tree-lined streets on one side with cramped low quality housing on the other.” 

The proposals include up to 41,000 sq m of industrial space; 33,000 sq m of office space; 16,000 sq m for healthcare; 4,100 sq m for leisure and retail; and one third of the site as public open space.  

Of the 750 homes 35% would be “affordable” under the government’s definition.  

The Heath Line, meanwhile, would stretch 700m including a raised cycle and pedestrian route next to Highgate Studios.  

The developer says this route would help create a shared play area, comparing the plan to the Goods Line – a linear park and public pathway in Sydney.  

The proposals will see industrial sheds repurposed

The proposals will see industrial sheds repurposed - Credit: Murphy

Henry Herzberg, from the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum, said the group is “excited” by the vision of the mixed-use redevelopment.  

He cited “much needed housing, especially affordable homes” and “new workplace facilities to serve the changing requirements that have emerged over the post digital years”.  

Henry said the developer needs to produced more detailed drawings explaining issues such as the plans’ environmental sustainability; the change of levels within the site; the density and types of housing; and how cyclists, pedestrians and service vehicles would travel through the space. 

Paul Brosnahan, from J Murphy’s & Sons, said: “Our design approach has been developed in close collaboration with the Council and in response to feedback from local stakeholder groups and the wider community, with sustainability at the heart of the approach.  

“A variety of buildings are proposed within the residential and commercial elements of the emerging masterplan, ranging in height from three to 19 storeys.  

“The approach has been informed by a number of key considerations, including impacts on neighbours' amenity and local view corridors.  

“We look forward to sharing an update on the proposals with the community in the coming weeks and are aiming to submit an application to Camden Council before the summer.” 

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

The current Murphy's Yard site - Credit: Archant

A spokesperson for Camden Council said: “The owners of the site are continuing progress on their development proposals for the site and have been consulting locally as part of this process.  

“Officers have been engaged in pre-application discussions and we expect an application to be submitted later this year.   

“The Council has adopted policy and guidance, including the Kentish Town Framework, which seeks to shape the future of this site and sets out a clear vision for a vibrant mixed use employment led development with new homes including much needed affordable homes.”  

A planning application is yet to be lodged. Due to the scale of the development, the proposals will be considered by the Greater London Authority, in addition to Camden Council and statutory stakeholders. 

For more information on the plans visit