New hotel plan at ‘pivotal site’
Will it be oxblood red or salmon pink?
12 February, 2021 — By Richard Osley
How the new hotel would look – an artist’s impression published on the council’s website
DEVELOPERS want permission to switch up a major housing project behind Chalk Farm underground station so they can build a new “lifestyle hotel”.
The eye-catching seven-storey proposals for the Met Police’s former garages in Haverstock Hill have already been met with objections, however, and planning officials have been told that the designs are too big.
Camden had granted permission for a 77-home scheme on the site but under the revised project this number will drop to 35 and the OD Hotels group, known for its luxury stay accommodation in Spain, will get the chance to move in.
Its proposed arrival is described as a “missing piece” with architects Sheppard Robson telling the council that this end of Camden has a “surprisingly low” number of hotels.
It said the fact its design offices were based in Parkway meant it had an “innate and intimate understanding of the culture of Camden” and knew the importance of getting a “high profile pivotal site” right.
The original designs had been revised, partly, because the affordable housing was tucked away in a back street, the application said.
A final decision on planning consent is likely to be sent to a panel of elected councillors due to the objections.
The Eton Conservation Area Advisory Committee warned that “hotel use of the site is unacceptable and will harm the amenity of neighbouring residential areas”. It also raised the loss of “local community shops” next to the station, adding: “This is a missed opportunity.”
Labour ward councillors have warned the designs are “too big” and that they were concerned about the loss of housing provision.
Guy Morris, chairman of the nearby New Etons Residents’ Association, said the new scheme was “more favourable” but there were concerns.
He asked for no noisy demolition work while people were being forced to stay at home and that Camden kept controls on noise disturbance from a proposed roof garden.
Is oxblood the colour of Camden?
ARCHITECTS working on the new hotel plan for Chalk Farm think they have found the perfect colour for the buildings.
“The tones and shades of glazed oxblood red and earth-toned, hand-made bricks have been the backdrop colour of Camden from the Victorian florescence of industrial and transportation development through the mod, ska, new wave and rock ‘n’ roll scenes of the 80s and 90s – epitomised in the classic Doc Martin boot,” the application said.
The architects’ documents submitted to the Town Hall includes photographs of a pair of the boots and a wine-coloured guitar.
The choice of colour, however, has not clicked with everybody and has been described as “salmon pink” in more than one objection.
One resident living nearby told planners that the colour was a “novelty in the area and unhelpful and unattractive in blending in with existing architecture”.