Essential Living, the developers behind the controversial 100 Avenue Road development at Swiss Cottage which was opposed by the Belsize Residents Association, have caused fury by attempting to remove all the affordable housing from the scheme.
The first application 2021/0025/P seeks to scrap all 36 affordable and intermediate rent flats, which were to be run by the Peabody Housing Association, and the developer is also asking to replace the Portland stone specified for the exterior with concrete.
The application to cut costs follows months of delay as work on the site was halted last year due to the coronavirus, leaving demolished buildings including the old Ham and High offices. Essential Living argues that spiralling costs mean the changes are needed to make the scheme viable.
But Swiss Cottage councillor Leo Cassarani told the Camden New Journal: “I would say this is completely typical of the developer, and exactly what the community suspected they would try to do. They have turned around at the first sign of trouble and said we’re going to not deliver even the tiny bit of community commitment we originally said we’d do.”
Cllr Steve Adams (Con, Belsize) said that if the scheme was not viable as originally approved, “then that’s a problem for Essential Living, not Camden”. Lib Dem group leader Luisa Porritt called the application “an insult to residents who engaged with the developer in good faith”.
BelSoc is keeping this under review and will comment on the applications. If any members have particular concerns or points they wish to raise they can do so on the Camden Planning website. Comments have to made by 14 February 2021.