CamdenNewJournal

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The permission for up to 2,000 homes at the O2 is ludicrous

18 February, 2021

The 02 shopping centre is one of the best known buildings on the Finchley Road

• I TOTALLY agree with Thomas Muirhead’s response to the proposed O2 Centre redevelopment, (A social housing opportunity at O2, February 11).

It is absolutely critical that available space be used for social housing rather than luxury flats and Camden must ensure this is accepted by the developer with no backing out on grounds of cost.

Moreover it is vital not only that Sainsbury’s be retained but that equivalent car parking space is made available.

Judging by the present use of the car park at the Sainsbury’s end, almost full every day, I estimate that around 50 per cent of their trade comes from car borne shoppers, often women with children and buggies in tow, doing a major shop for the whole family.

It is ridiculous to assume that they will use the bus if they cannot park their car. They will go elsewhere and Sainsbury’s will lose the trade.

Furthermore as one who used to use the 268 bus, with Covid-19 lockdown and discouragement from frequent shopping excursions, I now use my car to do two to three weeks’ shopping; and carrying three or four heavy bags to and from a bus stop is impractical apart from waiting around in the wet and cold.

I note that while the developer concentrates on patrons using the nearest bus stops in Finchley Road, there is no mention as to what would happen to the present 187/268 bus stand.

Is it going to be retained? Has Transport for London been consulted? What are the alternatives?

Even with the present buses on the stand, one has to wait in a draughty shelter for the driver to open the doors when ready to depart.

There are many more factors to be considered before the proposed plans can be adopted and, as stated, the council’s planning permission for up to 2,000 homes is ludicrous and well in excess of reasonable living space unless tower blocks are built – the last thing we all want.

Mr Muirhead’s suggested terraced blocks backing on to the tube and railway line to block out noise is an excellent idea.

JOHN STRATTON
Thurlow Road, NW3

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