A large swathe of land between Finchley Road and West Hampstead could be filled with flats, and the O2 shopping centre demolished if plans go ahead. At the moment, the land has the large O2 shopping centre at the western end, and a cluster of car dealers and a Homebase at the eastern end, with a car park between for 520 cars.

Location map overlay on Google Maps

Landsec owns the shopping centre and most of the land behind, and they are planning to redevelop the site.

The plans would see all that demolished and the site filled with a “linear park”, lined with blocks of flats, of which the developer expects to be able to fit in around 1,800 to 2,000 homes.

The preliminary images are suggestive that where the O2 shopping centre currently stands, as a monolithic facade on the main road, the pavements would be much wider and broken up with smaller buildings that are set back.

Although the large shopping centre will go, the developers have already indicated that a large supermarket will be included in the plans, either a replacement for the existing Sainsburys or another tenant. Likewise, the cinema and sports facilities will be retained in some form.

Development concept (c) Landsec / AHMM

The plans will create a link between West Hampstead and Finchley Road which will be likely more popular than the existing Billy Fury Way.

The first phase of consultations has now closed, but they are still some way from filing the planning application with the council.

The area is rich in local transport links, although the addition of more housing at the western end could add pressure to the already crowded West Hampstead tube station. There’s no indication yet, but as the new development runs right up to the back of West Hampstead tube station, there will doubtless be some eyes looking to the developer to provide a new entrance, with step-free access as a condition of the planning agreement.

(updated with corrected number of car parks as per consultation document)

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9 comments
  1. John Simmons says:

    Looking at GOOGLE Earth, I think you have one too many noughts on the number of cars that the car park could hold!

    Unless there are spaces hidden under the O2 shopping centre or the other “big sheds”, I estimate it to have a capacity nearer to 500 cars.

    However, I may be completely wrong and am willing to be corrected!

  2. Melvyn says:

    The O2 shopping centre is closely linked to Finchley Road Metropolitan Line Station and therefore its redevelopment should provide an opportunity to made Finchley Road Station step free .

    While if the redevelopment stretches further west to where the wood yard is then an upgrade and lifts for West Hampstead Jubilee Line Station should be part of the project thus making all three West Hampstead Stations step free.

  3. MilesT says:

    There has been significant discussion and concern about this locally–with one post on nextdoor clocking up around 800 comments (and counting) across the several weeks when the second phase of consultations was quietly launches.

    The site is part of a wider, partially linked, swath of land identified by Camden for future housing provision, which will encourage the developers

    Concenrns include potential loss of amenities (supermarket, DIY, gym, Cinema, some shopping, can repair) and overbuilding of the site and whether the result would have appropriate considerations to prevent “street” crime.

    The development represents some opportunities to improve accessibility of both Finchley Road and nearby West Hampstead stations (maybe even linking the two to provide a walking route from Finchley Road through to the other West Hampstead stations avoiding a change at Finchley Road), and cross-track access (improving the little known and amusingly named “Granny Dripping Stairs” that links into South Hampstead, potentially providing a additional entrance to West Hampstead underground)

  4. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I guess that the local people aren’t happening about it. Oh dear.

  5. Dave W says:

    I think you’ve confused east and west here: “the land has the large O2 shopping centre at the western end, and a cluster of car dealers and a Homebase at the eastern end”. The O2 shopping centre is at the eastern end, and the car dealers at the western end.

  6. Kerry grover says:

    The consultation didn’t allow for the land being used at a lower density to provide genuinely affordable housing which is badly needed here. In this area a 2 bed flat will cost nearly £1m and already there are several large empty overpriced flat developments in the Swiss Cottage/ Finchley Road area used almost entirely by rich “investors”. Including Russian and Far Eastern to park money outside their own countries. . They sit there forlornly year in year out dark and dead at night. It’s killing the area. It would be the right thing to do if Camden council would just refuse this application and insist on a genuine not a sham consultation.

    • ianVisits says:

      How do you lower the cost of the flats by building fewer of them on the same amount of land? Normally lower density means higher prices.

  7. drhhmb says:

    This used to be railway sidings to which I took my son to watch the shunting nearly fifty years ago. There was also the coal merchant from which my mother bought coal, and a Cadbury’s distribution depot. For a while there was a car park with a path to Finchley Road Underground station.

  8. Thomas says:

    Out of interest this site was originally reserved for Ringway 1 just east of it’s junction with the M1

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