The Independent London Newspaper
10th December 2018

Bangor Wharf on the canal should be ‘future proofed’ and not lost to housing

    Published: 17 March, 2016

    • DAN Carrier’s report (Vision for wharf site not ‘future proof’, Property News, March 10)  is timely and should be read in a national context, certainly a London context. 

    The site in question is Camden Town’s historic Bangor Wharf (not Butler’s as in the caption).

    Lord Adonis, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, has made abundantly clear the need for improved transport infrastructure, particularly in the light of the rapidly increasing population. 

    Our old canals have a part to play in the future movement of freight, relieving roads and railways like coastal shipping.

    The last chief executive of British Waterways was a property man and there were widely-held fears he was undertaking large-scale development of land each side of the Regent’s Canal and a beautiful national resource would be lost.

    The new chief executive of the Canal & River Trust is a railway man, so one would hope he understands the need for better movement of freight by all modes of transport. 

    It is clear Ian Shacklock, chair of the Friends of Regent’s Canal, understands the wider context and one trusts C&RT does too. One Housing and Camden Council should take heed of Mr Shacklock’s counsel.

    The canals can help relieve the capital’s congestion and it is short-sighted to lose another of the few remaining wharfage sites. In the 1960s, one plan saw the then little-used Regent’s Canal as an urban motorway! Let’s learn from that short-sightedness.

    Housing should only be built on canal-side industrial sites with careful thought and sites with good road access like Bangor Wharf should afford future use for freight. Nearby Lawford’s Wharf changed use from industrial to housing 15 years ago. Bangor Wharf should not have the same fate.

    One Housing’s current designs are also out of scale in relation to the size of other buildings in the area. 

    Immediately alongside part of the site, London Wildlife Trust has nurtured a breeding area for wildlife.

    While housing should be part of a mixed use development at Bangor Wharf, the intelligent approach is a completely new design, one that “future proofs” the wharf site. One Housing’s planning application, in its current form, must be refused.

    LESTER MAY, Reachview Close, NW1


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