Work to start again on Swiss Cottage, Camden, tower

10:04 am July 27, 2022

10:23 am July 27, 2022

Less than a year ago, a developer told a town planning inspector that a housing project at Swiss Cottage was “not viable”, but has now announced that he will start work again.

Essential Living wanted to change the agreed planning application for 100 Avenue Road, but were turned down by Camden Council and later by a planning inspector.

Now he has announced he will resume work on the 24-storey, 184-flat tower block next to Finchley Road.

Camilla Lesser, Head of Development, said: “As a build-to-let developer who is also a long-term operator and investor in its sites, Essential Living has the opportunity to take a longer-term and broader view. term of its investments.

“Although normal commercial performance is still not achievable in the short to medium term at 100 Avenue Road, we have decided to proceed with construction of the approved project.

“We remain fully committed to the long-term future of the site and make a positive and lasting contribution to the local life of Swiss Cottage.”

Construction is expected to begin by mid-2023 and be completed by 2025.

The developer returns to the allowed-in-appeal program in 2016, which includes a new community space for children’s charity The Winch.

The block will include 184 new homes, of which 54 (30%) will be affordable.

Of these 28 units will be rented at “affordable rent determined by the council”, 18 at “reduced market rent for a minimum period of 15 years”, five at “intermediate rent”, approximately 80% market share, and three to “shared rent”. ownership”.

At the start of 2021, Essential Living sought to amend its scheme to include only the 18 “low-rent-on-the-market” units “in perpetuity” and facade alterations, both of which were rejected by Camden Council.

A town planning inspector rejected his appeal for social housing reductions in January and approved changes to the facade in May.

100 Avenue Road
– Credit: Archant

The site is close to the Belize Conservation Area and Belsize Society Membership Secretary Anne Stevens said: “This thing has been on the cards for ages.

“Their proposal to move forward makes no financial sense, from what we can see.”

She said the inclusion of social housing makes it ‘slightly less objectionable’ but the tower, despite not being in the conservation area, ‘will dominate the green space there is at Swiss Cottage’ .

She added: “We were opposed to the proposed use of the Avenue Road site when it was first mooted.

“We supported Camden’s refusal to grant the initial planning permission when it appealed. We opposed Essential Living’s attempt to reduce the amount of social housing it contained.

“And while we accept that Essential Living has every right to move forward, and that they at least provide the social housing they were obligated to in the beginning, we still don’t like that. We don’t think not that this is the right development for this site due to the nature of the proposed buildings.”

Cllr Danny Beales, Camden Cabinet Member for New Homes, Jobs and Community Investment, said: ‘In 2016 the Secretary of State granted planning permission for this site on appeal after it was rejected by Council .

“Since then, we have been clear that the developer must meet its affordable housing obligations.

“I am happy that the developer has now accepted our point of view and that after a long period of time and delay, this development can start.

“It is important that a line is finally drawn under this issue, ensuring winch safety, certainty for local residents and much needed affordable housing at Swiss Cottage.

“This sends a clear message to developers in Camden that they must deliver on their promises to residents.

“Council will continue to stand with our residents and challenge developers who seek to avoid providing the vital affordable housing our borough needs, which is secured by planning permission.”

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