Planning applications – the saga of the Magnet site continues

Some years ago many of you put in objections to the erection of a 6 storey building at 65 – 67 Holmes Road, the old Magnet Site.  Camden turned down the application but it was approved by the planning inspector and is nearing completion after months of disruption. We have now received notification of a new application to increase the height of the building to 7 storeys.  You will find details on the link below, and can submit comments until 12 November.

65-69 Holmes Road London NW5 3AN
Erection of 7th floor extension to facilitate the creation of 42 student accommodation rooms (Sui Generis) to existing student accommodation

Application number: 2018/4871/P
Application type: Full Planning Permission

View Application

We are really shocked by this.  It has not been raised at the regular Working Group meetings we attend with the developer, and would mean an additional 42 student rooms, plus increased height of an ugly building looking over the neighbourhood.

Based on your previous feedback about the height and mass of the building, and the huge increase in student accommodation in a small area, we have objected on behalf of IARA.  We would be interested to see any comments you submit if you would like to copy us in or email them to us.  This is what we have sent to Camden:

We are the Residents Association for the area that includes Holmes Road, and represents the Conservation Area just to the South of this development.

You will be aware that on the basis of considerable local consultation this association and many of our members individually objected strongly to the original planning applications to build student accommodation on this site. This was on the grounds that it would create a large imbalance of population (there is already a large student block in Holmes Road) and that the proposed building was on far too large a scale and was out of keeping with the area.

The application was strongly opposed by Camden but the Planning Inspector gave permission.

Despite our objections, we have worked closely with the developer through regular meetings of a Working Group set up to liaise with the community and to mitigate the impact of the development during the construction phase. We were therefore astonished to see this further application, which had not been discussed or mentioned in the Working Group.

This makes a mockery of local liaison, which is one of the stated aims of the developer.

On behalf of our members we wish to oppose this application in the strongest terms. It represents a nearly 10% increase in student numbers, a significant increase in height of a building already opposed by local people on the grounds of height and mass (on the edge of a Conservation Area), and will inevitably result in a further extension of the construction phase (which has already caused disruption and noise to traffic, pedestrians and residents of the area.)

Please refuse this application. If it is referred to committee, please notify us of the hearing date.