Heath managers fear shadows over Kentish Town regeneration plan

City of London raise concerns for Lido and Parliament Hill Fields

Monday, 14th March — By Dan Carrier

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The proposed development at Murphy’s Yard

THE natural feel of Hampstead Heath could be damaged forever if a plan for a complex of 825 new homes is approved, open space’s managers have warned.

The City of London has raised concerns over the proposals for the former Murphy’s Yard site in Kentish Town.

Camden’s planners have yet to decide whether to approve the £1bn scheme or not but hundreds of residents have sent in objections.

Now the City has added its voice and said that three skyscrapers on the southern edge of the Heath were “a significant cause for concern” with fears that Parliament Hill fields and the Lido would be left in their shadows.

“The enjoyment of the facilities provided is largely contingent upon the direct sunlight received during opening hours throughout the year, particularly for morning swimming,” it said.

The City said the proposed blocks would ruin the reason the Lido was built on Parliament Hill Fields, whose sun trap terraces were a key part of the LCC architects’ designs for the pool.

Developers Folgate say they have followed guidelines from the GLA and Camden Council about density and land use.

They add they have modelled the effects on views according to these guidelines, and believe the new blocks would help enhance the cityscape.

They add the scheme includes open spaces, is car-free, will provide new homes and employment, and create a green corridor from the Heath to Kentish Town.

But the City claims a proposed pedestrian link to Kentish Town could turn the fields into an “urban park, contrary to the re-wilding objectives . . . and create a high-density urban edge”.

It added: “The presence of additional built development and associated light spill from the development would further exaggerate this new ‘hard edge’ to the Heath.”

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