Camden’s Site Allocations meeting of 18th November has been recorded and can be found at the following link:
The main points of the meeting have been written up by an attendee and are copied below:
- The new site allocation plan (SALP) will probably be adopted in 2023, so it will be unlikely to affect the O2 Site – therefore the current site allocation will apply. (time codes approx. 1:07:30, 1:15:00 and 1:20:30)
- The SALP has a higher status than the WHI Planning Guidance/Framework, which Camden published in October (1:17:xx)
- The current SALP projects housing allocations across the whole borough in order to meet the London Plan housing requirements over the next 10 years, and it already meets Camden’s requirements, when using the 950 unit figure. Camden may wish more, but it doesn’t actually needmore, which presumably will help residents seeking to maintain a more reasonable density. (1:22:30)
Also worth noting, Camden does have a temporary housing problem because numbers are below target for the next few years, and then over target when several large sites subsequently come online (presumably incl. the O2 Centre). Therefore, Camden would like to see some of those housing allocations moved forward as soon as possible to meet their targets in early years. [That suggests to me that they would be happiest with a development plan which the community can quickly agree and accept (and therefore bring the construction forward as soon as possible) rather than a deeply contested plan, which would hopefully delay and eventually change the project and therefore also delay the eventual construction date.]
- The webinar starts by running through the different development areas in Camden. I think it would be interesting to check the densities allocated in the current SALP for the other major sites, by comparing the proposed site allocations in the plan with the actual site areas: if someone feels like taking that on, it would be interesting to know if the densities proposed for the O2 Centre are higher, lower, or similar to other sites like Camden, Kentish Town, Camley Street / St. Pancras Way etc.
- At 1:14:00 we are given a framework for objecting to height & density in the SALP: “If you have a problem with height and density, you would write that we [Camden] are not putting forward an appropriate strategy for the site and you should be looking at this alternative strategy instead”. . .
- Camden is prepared to share the methodology as to how it projected the 950 units (1:38:30 and 1:40’55) but we may have to chase them about exactly when! Dan Pope (Chief Planning Officer) also added “the key purpose of this consultation is to hear people’s views on those numbers” so, in the light of the anger from the community on the call, it will be interesting to see how Camden approaches the Landsec proposal.
Finally, congratulations to everyone in helping to organise attendance for this meeting. Many times throughout the event the Chair commented on the dominance of interest in the O2 site and, therefore, that she was struggling to keep a balance across the whole of the borough. I really think they got the message about the level of community feeling here!