Camden resolves to refuse permission for Swiss Cottage residential tower scheme

Out-Law News | 15 Sep 2014 | 5:12 pm | 1 min. read

Camden Council has resolved to refuse permission for developer Essential Living’s proposals for a residential tower at the site of the former Ham and High newspaper headquarters in Swiss Cottage, north London.

The proposals included the demolition of a three- to six-storey building at 100 Avenue Road and its replacement with two new buildings, one of which would be a 24-storey tower. A total of 184 apartments had been proposed, with affordable housing provision of 34%.

Also planned under the scheme were 1,041 square metres of retail, financial and professional or restaurant and cafe space, a 1,594 sq m community centre and space for a new access route into Swiss Cottage London Underground station.

The plans were on the agenda for a meeting of the Council’s development control committee on 11 September, having been recommended for approval in a planning officer’s report, subject to the negotiation of a planning agreement and the approval of the mayor of London.

The officer's report listed 892 objections to the proposals from residents of neighbouring properties, with only five letters of support received. Particular objections were raised in relation to the height, massing and bulk of the proposed buildings, their overshadowing of surrounding properties and open space, their impact on the character of the Belsize conservation area and Frognal and Fitzjohn's conservation area and the density of housing proposed for the site.

Speaking after the committee voted against the proposals, councillor Sue Vincent said: "I think what is really important here is, because of the size and bulk and the massing ... the negative and harmful impact that the building has on the surrounding area, particularly the open space. The density levels were of huge concern, as was the impact of the proposal on the surrounding conservation areas."