Members of HWAG joined with local residents at the end of last year to discuss proposals for the Hawley Wharf Development which are now expected to come before the Council in the latter part of 2010.
At a public meeting in December, local residents showed that they do not oppose the
development as such. But they have major concerns about how it is done: the site layout, the mix of use, employment opportunities, transport issues and, importantly, the way the development could make the area we live in more attractive and useful rather than a large commercial tourist attraction.
The meeting resulted in a set of draft Principles, circulated to participants at the last meeting. These and other matters have been discussed with the developers. We are planning a second public meeting at which we will report on these discussions, and consider next steps.
It will again be in Holy Trinity Church at the corner of Hartland Road and
Clarence Way, at 7.30pm on Monday, July 12. We hope you can come.
The central issues for discussion continue to be:
■ Employment opportunities for local people, preferably at a low rent
■ Shops, markets etc. should be of use to the local population as well as visitors.
No additional market space unless it is of community benefit
■ No additional strain should be put on public transport services
■ The size and bulk of the development no higher than the viaduct
■ The development should not have an adverse effect on local life by increasing the
current high levels of anti-social behaviour, pollution, litter etc.
■ The canal should not become part of the development, should be protected from the development, and there should be limited access to the site (as on the other side of the bridge).
Further to the public meeting held on 3rd December, and discussions of the working groups since, the following attempts to summarise the wishes of the Community.
1 Mix of Use and Site Management
- There should be no more retail use on site A, than was established prior to the fire, UNLESS it is agreed to be of local/community benefit
- Retail use should generally be confined to the ground floor level
- At upper levels there should be provision for a range of employment types within specific use classes, (B1(a) , B1(b), B1(c) for craft units, starter offices, sound recording studios, craft and other workshops, where the rent is restricted to affordable levels for those uses. The detail would be covered in a Section 106 Agreement.
- Site C should include uses such as an Art House cinema, a doctors surgery, a local Police office/holding facility, a local Post Office, any or all of which would be welcomed by the local community
- The greatest need is for residential accommodation. Distribution of this across all sites would ensure a natural 24 hour policing, but there are also arguments for greater segmentation. Provision should be tenure blind, and provide for affordable and private with priority reservation of nomination in affordable for local residents.
- The exclusive use of Site B for residential would prevent the joining of Camden Town with Kentish town by “ribbon development” of retail/commercial
- Castlehaven Road frontage should have provision at ground level generally for the use to local residents and not uses solely for visitors
- A management policy for the site and surrounding areas is essential as part of a Section 106 Agreement to include 24 hour wardens and 24 hour toilet provision.
2 Site Layout, Height and Design
- On all sites the general height of masonry structure should not exceed the height of the railway viaducts. Set back floors, with lighter structures would be acceptable above this generally three storey platform.
- Torbay Street should be closed to allow a more horizontal treatment to be developed along Hawley Road
- The frontage to Castlehaven Road should respect the height and scale of the terraces around Castehaven Gardens
- Hawley Road should be narrowed, more crossings provided to slow traffic and be planted with semi mature trees to soften it and make it less of a barrier
- Appropriate amenity/garden spaces must be provided for the residential development including space for children, teenagers and dogs
- Materials should be high quality and respect the historic context
3 Transport and Access
- A Green Plan is needed to demonstrate how the negative effect on the existing transport will be mitigated.
- Pedestrian movement within Site A should be generally parallel to the towpath, from Camden High Street through to Kentish Town Road.
- Circulation for visitors to Castelhaven Road and Hawley Road should be discouraged. Residents will find their own ways through.
- The towpath should be generally separated from the development, with windows overlooking the canal, and occasional doorways at ground level
- The more the site provides for the local community in retail, non retail and housing, the less will be the impact on the transport services
- The blocking of side roads will be required through Section 106 Agreements to reduce the impact of car-borne visitors on nearby residents.
- The development will have an effect on local schools and health facilities
- The Castlehaven Community Centre is already oversubscribed for most activities
The Clarence Way play facilities are already un
We met in Holy Trinity Church on December 3. Father Rowlands was very kind and allowed us the freedom of the church, while assuring us that not many people would turn up. He was proved wrong in that and acknowledged that his pews had never been so full. We think there were more than seventy people there, with some coming and going.
Matt Sanders was an excellent Chair and he and Paul Whitley gave a Powerpoint presentation, beginning with some background information about the site and its context, a brief resume of the planning process, and an explanation of the relationship between this exercise and the Working Group organised by the Council. Residents were then encouraged to make comments and ask questions around four themes: the mix of use and site management; site layout, height and design; transport and access; and adjoining areas – impact and benefits.
Comments and questions were searching and articulate. This was the third recent public meeting about the development and this seems to have taken the discussion forward – although it might have had the reverse effect and induced fatigue with the subject. On some matters there was agreement – no more bars, cafes and fast-food outlets, more space for artisanal workshops, real shops, perhaps a market like Borough Market. On other matters, such as open space and the separation or otherwise of the towpath from the market area, there was more than one point of view.
The output from the meeting will be a document for the Council and for the developers. If money can be found, we hope to hold two or three workshops to explore these issues more deeply, to reach conclusions and to create a shared residents’ vision for the site. At the very least residents can continue the discussion via email (email@example.com) and can follow the blog (http://hawleywharfarea.wordpress.com). All blogged thoughts will be welcome.
We could not have come this far without the generous help of volunteers, who designed the posters and invitations and gave us a logo; knocked on around 1200 doors and distributed leaflets; arranged the logistics for a public meeting; and recorded proceedings by taking notes. The notes will be circulated to those present and are available to anyone who asks for them. This brief note is to tell residents what has happened so far and what is to come. Needless to say, all offers of help will continue to be welcome.
There will be a public meeting, open to all residents, at 7pm on Thursday 3 December.
It will be at Holy Trinity Church, corner of Hartland Road and Clarence Way.
This event is being jointly organised by Camden Gardens Residents Association, Camden Town Unlimited, Castlehaven Community Association,
Clarence Way Tenants and Residents Association, Harmood, Clarence, Hartland Residents Association and Hawley Residents Association.
All residents welcome. Come and learn about the current proposals and how you can influence what happen.
Some issues which may be addressed at the public meeting are;
Appropriate design • relationship to
neighbouring buildings on Hawley Road
and frontage to canal • uniformity or
variation of height
Uses for local benefit • maximum use
for bar/café/market • design of public
spaces • open spaces • mix of private
and affordable residential housing • employment:
encouragement of local crafts, artists’ workshops, locally
needed services • zoning or mixed residential, commercial,
Impact on public transport, green transport
measures, cycle and pedestrian routes •
relationship with adjacent areas • need for
road restrictions • access from towpath
Impact on canal frontage • effects on
neighbouring residential housing and
existing open spaces • potential
environmental improvements •
measures to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour on
site • potential for improvements to local facilities
Any questions: phone 07944 678 095
Local people have been concerned and alarmed at the current mismatch between the Hawley Wharf Development Plans and the needs and wishes of
It is a huge project and the outcome will affect the character of this area for the next fifty years, and the lives of our children and grandchildren. It will have an impact on residents, businesses, schools, health and police
services in the Camden Town and Kentish Town communities.
If done well, a revitalised Hawley Wharf can be commercially viable and contribute to the social and economic life of the area. If done badly, it will bring more visitors to the area, increase transport problems and add to the problems which Camden already faces as a tourist and “retail destination”, with a noisy and crime-ridden night-time economy.
Some guidance from residents and others in the area would benefit the development.
Tenants and Residents Associations, as well as Camden Town Unlimited, have given their backing to a new initiative to consult residents about their needs and wishes for the area and how they can be achieved in the new development. It is your views we want and we will convey them forcefully to Camden Council and to the developers.
Please come to the meeting.