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.
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.
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)