O2 Centre developer removes 50 homes from plans
Proposals are 'too dense'
08 October, 2021 — By Tom Foot
A new artist’s impression of how the transformation may look
A DEVELOPER said it is ready to remove 50 homes from its planned overhaul of the O2 Centre site amid a raft of objections the project is too big.
Landowner Landsec said it now planned to have 1,850 instead of 1,900 homes on the site that includes demolishing the shopping centre in Finchley Road, Sainsbury’s car park, Homebase and car showrooms near West End Lane, West Hampstead.
The drip feed of information from Landsec – which includes pictures of potential designs for the first time – comes ahead of a formal planning application expected to be submitted to the council before the end of the year.
John Saynor, chairman of West Hampstead Amenity and Transport (WHAT), said: “The reduction of 50 homes isn’t much – it still leaves a very ‘dense’ scheme – large numbers of homes packed into a small area.
“I visited the Battersea Power Station site last week, where they are building 5,000 homes on 42 acres. It’s a forest of tower blocks, packed close together. And yet the O2 scheme – 1,850 homes on 14 acres – is denser. It’s three times more dense than the government’s Model Design Code specifies.
“We think that the density should be significantly reduced to make a more human-scale place. It’s good that there will be a gym and cinema – but no swimming pool. But then you need to pay £1,000 a year to use the current gym and pool.”
In a new survey launched this week the company said it would also include space for a replacement gym and a cinema – and also “contribute” to “station improvements” at Finchley Road Overground and West Hampstead Tube stations.
But Mr Saynor said the group remained “unhappy there is still no commitment to help pay for a lift at West Hampstead Tube station”.
The 1,850 homes will be three to 16 storeys in height and there will be a target of 35 per cent being “affordable”.
Residents have called on Landsec to help end a decade-long failure to create disabled access to West Hampstead Tube and Finchley Road Overground stations.
Landsec has already suggested it will aim to include space for a supermarket, health centre, community centre and “large central green space”.
Project leader Timothy Trillo said: “Over the last few years we have worked with the local community to create what I think is a transformative and comprehensive masterplan for the O2 centre and surrounding land.”
The public can respond to a “masterplan” on www.o2centreconsultation.co.uk