CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

How new Camden High Street hotel could look at Sports Direct site 

Councillor in 'two minds' about loss of affordable sportswear shop

04 July, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

THESE are the first images of a new scheme that could radically change the face of Camden High Street.

Fresh plans have been lodged at the Town Hall to demolish a 1930s shop on the corner of the High Street and Delancey Street – currently home to sportswear firm Sports Direct – and replace it with a shops and hotel complex.

Designs show a new 80-room hotel, with an entrance on Delancey Street, will be run by Premier Inn and include a new café and bar open to the public all week that will stay open until midnight on Fridays and Saturday.

The current building dates from the 1930s and used to house a Woolworths, but in recent years has been home to Mike Ashley’s high street clothing outlet.

Building owners Demar Holdings say the plans will improve an unloved corner of Camden High Street, and bring economic benefits with new jobs.

They say there is a growing need for hotels in the Camden Town area, as well as affordable housing. Other benefits the developers cite include improving Delancey Street, and having a new, energy efficient building in place.

The scheme shows new brick-built towers of up to five storeys designed by Morris and Company Architects.

The area has seen huge building projects in the past decade. The Crown and Goose pub and Camden Snooker Hall, behind the site, were also knocked down and replaced.

Plans show the developers will use Delancey Street to unload materials and take away spoil. Hoardings will secure the site, with a pedestrian tunnel created from scaffolding to keep the pavement clear.

Camden Town ward Labour councillor Pat Callaghan said she was in “two minds” over the merits of the scheme.

“The building has upper floors that will be set back, so it fits in,” she said. “We also should welcome investment into Camden Town and the jobs it will bring. But Sports Direct, whatever you think of the company, is a very popular shop that serves a good purpose for people living here. And, above all, we must ensure if the project goes ahead, we very carefully monitor the construction and how it is done. It could cause a lot of disruption with traffic and noise, and that must be dealt with.”

A spokesman for Demar said: “We are pleased to be bringing forward plans for 115-119 Camden High Street that will deliver new hotel facilities, improved retail space and social rented homes in the heart of Camden. These proposals will help to make a positive and lasting contribution to Camden High Street and Delancey Street, creating new local jobs, meeting increased demand for hotel space and providing high-quality, genuinely affordable new homes.”

He added: “Camden High Street is a vibrant and popular cultural destination for millions of visitors each year, and we are confident that these proposals can play an important role in enhancing the area’s unique offer.”

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