LONDON - Could the plans of a well known supermarket business become the new answer to re-development in north London? Morrison’s supermarket and developer Barratt Homes have proposed a plan for a new 700 residential home development at the store in Chalk Farm near Camden Town.
The developer is planning “a new mixed-use community which offers local residents a new neighbourhood, respectful of the local heritage and character. By day it will be a vibrant area with a new Morrisons supermarket and offices for local businesses, whilst becoming a quiet residential neighbourhood with new public spaces in the evening”.
The location of Camden Town is well known as a cultural centre for music, trendy markets and is one of the most popular parts of the city for business start ups.
The eight acre site calls for seven residential blocks with most of the blocks being at seven to nine storeys with options for one perhaps two of the buildings at 10 and 17 storeys. Also included in the plans are health, fitness, concierge, green spaces and possibly allotments for the residents to use.
The phased in construction plan calls for the eighth building to be the temporary home for for the supermarket while a new store and café are being finished.
In 2016 permission was granted by the local planning council for the adjacent Camden Lock Market for new improvements and alterations.
The proposal includes the housing estates at Gilbey’s Yard and Juniper Crescent which were built in the 1990’s and managed by One Housing. Gilbey’s Yard consists of flats and maisonettes and the gated estate ofJuniper Crescent. The plan calls for construction of new homes and future improvements with the assistance of current tenants.
Additional sites to be part of the development include the Stables Market which is adjacent to Morrison’s parking lot and Camden Markets. The management by Market Tech of the sites is planning redevelopment to include a new exhibition space and restaurant. Market Tech is currently developing a mixed use property including housing, shops, school and cinema at the neighbouring Hawley Wharf.
The property site between Juniper Crescent and Primrose Hill is planned to become the passenger rail station for High Speed 2. The passenger services last operated on the rail line in 1992.
As is the case in other London property regeneration schemes opposition to the plans has been heard from the locals. Critics complain that the tower blocks are too tall and will hurt the historic character of the neighbourhoods.
Primrose Hill Conservation Area Advisory Committee chairman Richard Simpson in New Journal has said: “We found the exhibition deeply disappointing. They are still stuck in the mindset that has nothing at all to do with Camden Town and surrounding areas. Important buildings such as the Interchange and Roundhouse would be totally overwhelmed by the scale and density.”
“The way they have distributed the buildings means they have created some unattractive and potentially dangerous public spaces and it has led them to design some excessively high buildings. They would loom over the neighbouring areas in a daunting fashion.”
Martin Scholar of Barratt, told the New Journal , “It was last developed in the 1980s,” “We have to make the most of brownfield sites.” The existing land will be put to good use with public spaces, allotments, a community hall and the plans call for brick facades to match with the existing buildings style.
The plans architect Hendrik Hynes has said: “Currently it is a box sitting in a car park, and is out of character for the environment. It is an out-of-town typology, dating from a time when London’s population was falling. It is isolated by the railway lines, so we have considered how to bring it back into the urban fabric and open it up so people know where it is and use it. It is surrounded by conservation areas and so we have carefully considered the massing.”