O2 Development – Needs Improvement

Greater London Planning Report April 2022 – Conclusion

London Plan policies on housing, town centres, social infrastructure, public open space, affordable housing, urban design, strategic views, historic environment, transport, and climate change and the environment are relevant to this application. The application does not yet comply with these policies, as summarised below:

• Land use principles: The comprehensive redevelopment of a highly accessible, under-utilised site, made up of large areas of surface-level retail car parking, between two town centres and within a growth area, for the delivery of new housing and town centre uses, is strongly supported; subject to further consideration of the scale, type, and location of town centre uses. The demolition of the existing O2 Centre has been assessed against Circular Economy principles and parts of the existing substructure could be retained, which is welcome

• Affordable housing: 35% (by habitable room), split 60% London Affordable Rent and 40% intermediate rent within both the Detailed and Outline Phases. The applicant should confirm the affordability of the tenures proposed, and an element of London Living Rent should be considered. Subject to this, meeting all other policy requirements, and investigating grant funding; the proposals may be eligible to follow the fast track viability route.

• Urban design and historic environment: The site is not identified as appropriate for tall buildings and there are concerns that the scale and massing of Outline Phase 3 results in some areas of non-compliance with London Plan Policy D9(C), including ‘less than substantial’ harm to the significance of heritage assets.

The applicant should provide clarification on the height strategy in response to site’s topography, consider means to reduce the level of harm to heritage assets and townscape, and better respond to Policy D9.

The proportion of single aspect homes for the Detailed Phase should be reduced and family-sized removed, and separation distances between homes increased. Parameter Plan and Design Code changes are required.

A revised Fire Statement is required.

• Transport: The move to a car free development in this highly accessible location is strongly supported; however, the potential to facilitate active travel, mode shift, and improved legibility is not yet realised. Improving the accessibility and capacity of public transport, in the context of displaced car trips, increased density, and range of land uses is a priority.

The safeguarding of areas of land for the improvement of adjacent stations is required and discussions are ongoing concerning step free access. Improved bus access and infrastructure must be secured.

• Climate change and environment: Further information is required on energy, whole life carbon, circular economy, green infrastructure, water, and air quality.

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