CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

New complex of 1,000 new homes sized up for West Hampstead

But how many will be affordable?, ask neighbourhood campaigners

10 June, 2019 — By Tom Foot

CAMPAIGNERS in West Hampstead are demanding a large share of social housing is included in plans to build hundreds of homes on a car park.

Land Securities (LandSec), which says it is the biggest commercial property developer in the country, wants to build behind Finchley Road 02 Centre.

The firm owns land between Homebase and Sainsbury’s and intends to submit a planning application this financial year. Its financial report estimates 1,000 homes could be built on the site.

West Hampstead Amen­ity and Transport chairman John Saynor said: “This is potentially a massive housing development and the developers must be open and honest about how much social housing there will be. ‘Social’ housing means homes with rents that are close to council housing levels, which is what is so desperately needed by many people in West Hampstead.”

His group had been campaigning for years for a lift for West Hampstead tube station. “This development will put pressure on our public transport,” he said. “We want the developer to pay for step-free access to an expanded tube station.”

Transport for London, overseen by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, has failed to install a lift at the tube station, where there is no disabled acc­ess. Mr Saynor said any development should also fund a new GP surgery or health centre to address “the shortage of GP services in our area as the population continues to grow”.

West Hampstead, designated by Ken Livingstone’s mayoral administration as a “growth area”, has been transformed, with large housing projects next to the railway lines. Projects in Iverson Road, “West Hampstead Square” and at 156 West End Lane have been approved, bringing a huge influx of people.

West Hampstead Overground platforms have, after several years of work, been expanded to meet the demand.

A LandSec spokeswoman said it was at the early stages of consulting with the community on a possible residential-led, mixed-use development. “We are looking forward to working with the community to hear their views and ideas for the site,” she added. ]

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