Camden’s Labour Councillors have just approved the demolition of the Swiss Cottage O2 Centre, without a commitment to build the family homes that Camden so desperately needs; as confirmed by the Borough’s declining school numbers.
Residence of West Hampstead needs to brace themselves for 14 years of disruption, whilst the 02 centre becomes a building site, with insufficient guarantees of the amenities that will be provided.
The Labour Councillors even went as far as to approve the demolition of the popular Builder Depot, on Blackburn Road – which they could have requested be removed from the scheme.
Our Councillors recklessly approved the demolition of the 02 Centre with;
- No guarantee that the NHS will actually occupy a healthcare centre on the site
- No guarantee of a new Bus interchange
- No guarantee of a new Nursery
- No guarantee of the four promised new Open Spaces
Even if the Camden Labour group wanted such a poorly designed development to be constructed in West Hampstead, surely they should have insist on some common sense measures. Measures that would protect future residents, such as; insisting that all the flats are connected to heat pumps and solar panels? Or simply demanding that the developer, Landsec, utilises less harmful materials than concrete to construct their poorly designed housing estate.
Just consider the relative scale of the 02 approved redevelopment; which is intended to fill the West Hampstead site with 18 blocks totalling 1,796 flats, in contrast to the 1,750 flats across the huge 62 acre site at King’s Cross, to know; this is the wrong development in the wrong place.
Approving to develop 1,796 housing units, with less than 15% being suitable for families, is a unforgivable oversight by the Labour Party’s Camden representatives.
This is a letter written by Ewan Cameron (Cons Cllr Belsize Ward 1998-2002)