We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received over the past few months. If you don’t see yours here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here.
1) What is the O2 Centre Masterplan? What are the benefits it will bring?
We’re Landsec, the owners of the O2 Centre site, and the O2 Centre Masterplan is our plan to redevelop the O2 Centre and the surrounding land.
The Masterplan is all about creating something better than before. By transforming the O2 Centre, car park and surrounding land, we can deliver new 1,800 new energy-efficient homes, including affordable homes, shops, two public parks, a health centre with enough space for 11 GPs, a community centre, a nursery, and affordable workspaces, all centred around a new town square.
We’ll re-provide services such as the supermarket, cinema, and gym. The phased nature of the development means that the O2 Centre will remain open for another 5-7 years.
We’re committed to improving transport links, including with a £10 million contribution to step-free access at West Hampstead tube station, as well as improved pedestrian and cycle opportunities between Finchley Road and West Hampstead. The development will also lead to a 165% net gain in local biodiversity and create 1,000 new jobs.
The Masterplan was approved by Camden Council’s Planning Committee in March 2023. We’re now in the process of finalising the Section 106 agreement with the Council.
2) When do you expect to start work on site?
Following the approval from Camden’s Planning Committee in March 2023, we’re now in the process of finalising the Section 106 agreement with the Council. Our target is to start work on site in 2024, with the first homes delivered in 2027. The whole development is likely to take about 10-15 years to complete and will be delivered in 3 phases.
3) When will the O2 Centre close?
We expect the O2 Centre to remain open for another 5-7 years.
This is because the development is being delivered in phases. The first phase, which will be delivered on part of the car park and Homebase, will see the delivery of 608 new homes, including 192 affordable homes, new commercial space, a community centre, and a . There will also be improved pedestrian and cycle connections between Finchley Road and West Hampstead.
4) Will the new development include shops, a supermarket, gym, cinema and other facilities?
There will be 18,000 sqm of new commercial space across the development in total. This includes lots of space for new shops, which will be centred around a new town square near the Finchley Road end of the site.
We’ll ensure that a new supermarket is provided, as well as a cinema, café and gym. We’ll also provide a new 1,000 sqm multidisciplinary health centre with enough space for 11 GPs, as well as a 270 sqm community centre.
5) What is going to happen to the Sainsbury’s?
We know how important the Sainsbury’s is to the local community and have committed to re-providing a supermarket in the new Town Square. We have been in discussions with Sainsbury’s about their requirements for a new supermarket.
6) What impact will this have on public transport?
The Transport Assessment confirmed that rail lines would continue to operate within capacity and there will be a negligible impact on London Underground capacities.
The site is ideally placed to minimise the impact on public transport services, given that demand will be spread over five train stations all within a four-minute walk of the site and plenty of local bus stops.
We’ll also make a £10 million contribution towards step-free access at West Hampstead station.
7) Will you be improving access at West Hampstead tube station?
Yes, we’re committed to making a £10 million contribution towards step-free access at West Hampstead station.
8) How will this impact local services like schools and GP surgeries?
We submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment as part of the planning application which tests the Masterplan’s impact on local infrastructure. The results have shown that there is enough capacity in local primary and secondary schools and that the current number of registered patients to GPs in the local area is within the benchmarks set out by the Health Urban Development Unit.
As part of the development we’ll also provide a 1,000 sqm new multidisciplinary healthcare facility with enough space for 11 GPs on site, as well as a nursery.
9) How big is this site?
The site is approximately 5.77 hectares – it extends from Finchley Road and the O2 Shopping Centre to West End Lane. It is also one of the most well-connected sites in terms of transport infrastructure, making it the best place to deliver the new homes that Camden and London need.
10) How much open space will be provided in the new development?
When completed, 50% of the site will be public, open space. This also includes two new public parks and a town square.
11) How many homes will be provided?
This scheme would create 1,800 new, energy-efficient homes. There is a real shortage of homes in Camden and residents are often priced out of their community. We intend to market it to locals first, helping you to stay in the borough.
The O2 Centre site is uniquely positioned for new housing. It is surrounded by five railway stations and plenty of bus stops. We also have to balance the trade-offs between maximising the benefits for the community with density and height. We cannot deliver one without the other. Our plans reflect the very best outcome for this land, delivering two public parks, a health centre, a 270 sqm community centre, and nursery while re-providing the supermarket, gym and cinema.
12) Why is this a car-free development?
Car-free development is a requirement set by Camden Council and the Greater London Authority for all major schemes in well-connected parts of London.
However, there will still be some parking for blue badge holders and service vehicles.
13) How many affordable homes will be provided?
There will be around 1,800 homes for this site. 36% of the homes delivered in the first phase will be affordable, and 35% of the homes across the rest of the Masterplan will be affordable. This represents 10% of Camden’s affordable housing waiting list.
14) Will the new buildings fit in with the architectural style of the surrounding areas?
Yes. Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the architects of the scheme and Camden specialists, worked hard to make sure this is a place that feels like part of the local area. Inspiration has been drawn from existing buildings locally, such as Arkwright Mansions and Waitrose on Finchley Road.
15) What will be the implications of the development in terms of sustainability?
Sustainability is at the heart of the Masterplan.
There will be two new public parks and over 150 new trees in the completed development. We expect this to lead to 165% net gain in terms of biodiversity.
The car-free nature of the development (with limited exceptions such as for blue-badge holders) should also help to improve local air quality.
The Masterplan will be all-electric, with heat pumps and PVs meeting all heating, cooling, and hot water demands. The remaining carbon emissions will be offset to LBC to support local carbon reduction projects. The new homes will all be designed to be energy efficient. All homes will be ventilated by Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) units, providing background fresh air without the need to open windows.
The deconstruction of the O2 Centre will ensure the retention/reuse or recycling of the most carbon intensive elements. A significant 50% of the embodied carbon will be retained.
16) How tall are the buildings going to be?
The buildings will range from 3 to 15 storeys.
We have carefully considered the height and location of the buildings to take into account several important factors such as sunlight, site levels and the need to deliver a significant number of new homes here along with public open space and community amenities.
The taller buildings have been positioned to the northern parts of the site to ensure that the new public spaces and courtyards will enjoy excellent sunlight throughout the year.
17) Why are you proposing taller buildings here?
The O2 Centre Site is uniquely positioned in that it is bounded by five railway stations and plenty of bus stops. It is an ideal location for a new community, and this is why it is earmarked for significant redevelopment in both local and regional planning policy.
By including tall buildings, we can deliver the social and community benefits that people have said they really want to see here, including 50% of the Site being delivered as public realm, affordable workspace and new local infrastructure like a health centre, community centre and transport improvements. The proposals try to strike the right balance between a number of competing requirements and opinions as we shape a sustainable neighbourhood, connect communities and realise potential.
18) Will the new development make local flooding more or less likely?
Currently, this Site is dominated by materials like concrete and tarmac which do not allow good drainage, and therefore the risk of flooding is heightened.
Greening, and especially the inclusion of rain gardens and swales (sunken marshy borders), is the best possible way to mitigate flood risk. We are working with landscape and biodiversity specialists including the London Wildlife Trust on this and will also be including green roofs and sustainable drainage along with many other best practice sustainability and environmental measures across the new buildings.
A full climate assessment, Health Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment have been submitted as part of the planning application.
19) What fire safety measures have been put in place for this development?
As a long-term investor in sustainable places, Landsec builds only to the highest design and safety standards. This includes the use of all non-combustible materials, high performing smoke extract systems and sprinkler systems throughout each building as well as evacuation lifts and staircases.
We also recently submitted revised plans to ensure that the O2 Centre Masterplan exceeds the gold standard for fire safety, with new changes to the scheme that include a second staircase on all residential buildings, a dedicated evacuation lift lobby and alert system for use by the fire service.
20) How many people will live in this development?
There estimated population is around 3,670.
This is based on the GLA population calculation methodology, taking into account the tenure, mix and number of homes proposed on the site.
21) What will you be doing to keep this area safe?
Ensuring that the new neighbourhood feels safe and secure for all is a key priority for us.
We’ll implement a robust safety and security strategy, including with regard to lighting, CCTV and management. We will deliver well-lit and safer cycle and walking routes connecting Finchley Road and West Hampstead. The buildings and public spaces have also been designed to encourage passive safety measures such as active frontages, passive surveillance, and sight lines from apartments.