Plans to convert a disused railway in North London into an elevated walkway for pedestrians has taken a step forward after the team behind the project filed for formal planning permission for the first of three phases.

If approved, the Camden Highline will regenerate a disused railway viaduct to create a new elevated park that links Camden Town via Camley Street to just north of Kings Cross. The Camden Highline route will be 1.2km long, running 8m above the ground, with entrances on Camden High Street, Royal College Street, Camley Street and York Way. Once completed, it will feature gardens and walkways, alongside seating areas, cafés, arts and cultural interventions, spaces for charitable activities and areas for children’s play.

Camden Highline ground level view visualisation (c) Hayes Davidson

The planning submission is for the first phase of the project, from Camden Gardens to Royal College Street, and the park is planned to open in phases from 2025. The second phase, to come later will link the Highline to the eastern edge of Agar Estates, and the third phase will take it to Maiden Lane Estates.

Phased map (c) Camden Highline planning application

Alongside its health and social benefits, the organisers of the project predict that it will attract two million new visitors a year, contributing £16m of annual spend to Camden Town and Kings Cross.

Camden Highline, the charity behind the project, is now turning its focus to fundraising for construction and preparing to expand its fundraising team and trustees to support this work. The masterplan is led by the practice behind the New York Highline, James Corner Field Operations, together with Camden-based practice vPPR Architects.

Phase one layout (c) Camden Highline planning application

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8 comments
  1. Niall says:

    It may be extremely short lived as the line has been found to be crucial for reactivation in the London Rail Freight Strategy just one year ago…

    https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/London-Rail-Freight-Strategy-Summary-Report.pdf

  2. Brian Butterworth says:

    Doesn’t this clash with the idea of having more Overground trains from Stratford to Camden Road where they will reverse to provide a better service?

  3. Paul P says:

    This section could easily become a bottle neck or be used as part of an ambitious future plan like connecting High Speed 1 and 2. Turning into a garden seems a really bad idea

    • ianVisits says:

      Just as a railway can be turned into a garden, a garden can later be turned into a railway.

      But until it’s a railway, why not have a garden?

  4. Paul P says:

    My point is only a political rather than technical one. People don’t like to lose things by nature and NIMBYs have disproportionate influence. If the space becomes a public garden first then local people & local politicians are liable to kick up more of a stink in response to a future rail scheme that seeks to utilise it.

  5. tops says:

    Whatever the rights or wrongs of the project, Camden Highline will be leasing the space from Network Rail (for twentyyears if memory serves, maybe 25) so you’d imagine everyone is going in with their eyes open.

  6. Rob says:

    I can’t see the point of this project. There’s bad views all the way along it, and meawhile nearby you could walk the Regent’s Canal to Kings Cross with its fantastic vibe. Would two million people really go to a bridge because it has small trees planted on it. I doubt it very much.

  7. nickrl says:

    The industry made huge mistakes in the 60’s by giving up land that was later needed. This is a strategic asset and it needs to be protected for the rail network. Now if NR was to electrify across from Ipswich to Nuneaton and divert all the intermodal traffic off the NLL then by all means turn it into a public amenity.

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