Site Details Area: 6,000 sqm Ownership: Public: London Borough Camden Existing Use: Builders merchant, offices, showroom, storage yard. Ward: West Hampstead
Planning Designations Town Centre: West Hampstead (front part) West Hampstead Growth Area
Other Information The London Plan identifies the site as within the West Hampstead Area for Intensification Planning Guidance for West Hampstead town centre (Camden Planning Guidance: CPG5) Adjacent to Crown Close designated open space
West End Green Conservation Area is to the north of the site
Public transport accessibility level: excellent (6a)
Adjacent to West End Archaeological priority area
Relevant Planning Applications None
Site allocation guidance A mixed use development to include residential alongside retail and employment uses. Other appropriate town centre uses could include community and cultural uses (including education). Development will be expected to:
Provide appropriate town centre uses along the frontage with residential including affordable housing above and to the rear of site
Provide flexible employment floorspace (subject to relevant criteria)
Maintain or enhance the existing building line to retain adequate pavement widths to assist pedestrian movement and interchange between stations
Provide an improved design relationship to adjoining Canterbury Mansions and West End Green Conservation Area to protect and enhance the character and appearance of this area
Provide a legible and improved pedestrian / cycle link from West End Lane towards Crown Close through new landscaping and good design
Incorporate new publicly accessible open space (potentially suitable for temporary market use) and enhance the function of the adjacent open space
Ensure an acceptable relationship to the adjacent residential properties on Lymington Road
Incorporate public realm improvements that positively contribute to and integrate with streetscape and interchange improvements along West End Lane
Provide infrastructure for supporting local energy generation on site and/or connections to existing or future networks where feasible
Site Context The site is occupied by a 5 storey building currently houses a bathroom showroom with council offices above and a builder merchants/large yard area to the rear, which abuts designated public open space to the east. There are commercial / residential properties to the north of the site. There is car parking area to the south of the building (built out overhanging the railway) and a narrow public footpath runs along the southern boundary adjacent to the railway.
Main Policy Considerations The site is within an identified growth area (Policy CS1) where council expects mixed use development to maximise site opportunities in line with the identified objectives for West Hampstead Interchange (Policy CS2), whilst protecting and encouraging the provision of a range of employment facilities (Policy CS8 and DP13), retail (Policy CS7) and protecting and enhancing adjacent open spaces (Policy CS15). Housing is the priority land use and will be sought as part of more efficient use the site (Policy CS6 and DP2) .The Council will ensure that new development will preserve and enhance nearby built heritage assets (Policy CS14 and DP25).
Further Information The architectural quality and impact of this property is very poor for what is a site prominently located in the town centre. The site is considered to be appropriate for a residential led scheme, but also including other appropriate town centre, employment and community uses. Provision of employment floor space will have due regard to relevant policies, and supplementary guidance contained within the Camden Planning Guidance. Employment uses are important to the overall vitality of the Town Centre and Camden economy and there is an overall demand for flexible space that can be used for a range of employment uses. This is supported by the Camden Employment Land Review (June 2008) which identifies this as an accessible and well configured site suitable for light industrial uses within a residential led development.
Similarly the inclusion of community facilities including education use will be supported. Retail space should be flexibly designed to be able to accommodate smaller and more affordable units to support and complement the prevailing character of the centre. This site is prominent within the town centre frontage and development should reflect this aspect. The Supplementary Planning Document for West Hampstead states that the number of ground floor retail units in this frontage should not fall below 75%. In addition there are controls over the number of food or drink units.
The site offers greatest potential for higher scaled development to the site frontage (West End Lane) and to the south towards the railway lines, with a transition in scale towards the more sensitive residential interface to the north (Lymington Road) and east. Development should respect the existing building line to maintain acceptable pavement widths and on-street interchange objectives and higher quality public realm. If redeveloped the existing relationship of new development immediately adjoining Canterbury Mansions to the north should be considerably more sympathetic in terms of scale, height and design with an appropriate transition in massing towards the south and east of the site.
The legibility and community safety of the existing footpath to the south could be significantly improved and should be enhanced to both improve the links towards Finchley Road and also improve pedestrian permeability from the adjacent residential areas to the town centre and public transport interchanges. The space adjacent to the railway used for parking should be incorporated into complementary proposals to create more attractive routes and public space. New spaces could be designed to offer opportunities for temporary uses such as market use.
Built development will not normally be allowed on designated open space and any scheme should look to fully integrate the public use of the adjacent space for the benefit of existing and new residents of the site and neighbouring uses. This may open up opportunities to enhance provision and create more attractive open space as part of proposals. Development should relate appropriately to open spaces and not be detrimental to its function or ecological value. Proposals for expansion will also be supported.