Plans for West Hampstead development a step closer - despite ghetto fears

Controversial plans to build 300 new homes in West Hampstead are a step closer, despite concerns the development will deteriorate into a ghetto.

The Abbey Estate scheme is one of the biggest redevelopment projects in Camden and is being put forward by the council in a bid to tackle the chronic social housing shortage.

But major concerns were raised at a meeting yesterday (Thursday, April 12) that the scheme does not include enough affordable, family sized homes or open space.

Chris Orriss, from Cornhill Investments, a business based in the estate’s car park, which is set to be converted into flats, said: “The area has one of the highest crime rates going. This will be a wonderful development when it is first built, but a few years later I think it will be a ghetto.”

He added: “We don’t want to replace one concrete jungle with another.”


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The scheme, which has to return to the Town Hall before building work can begin, includes 296 homes but only 132 affordable homes. A medical practice will also be built.

Kilburn Cllr Mike Katz said the redevelopment was an opportunity to “transform the landscape”. He admitted that “in an ideal world” there would be a higher affordable housing mix but added “there is much that is good about this scheme”.

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The self-financing scheme is part of a wider project to build more affordable homes.

The proposals recieved outline planning permission from Camden Council at the meeting yesterday (Thursday, April 12).

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