Published: 17 March, 2016
• ONE Housing’s plans to build offices and 46 flats (only 13 affordable) on Bangor Wharf on the Regent’s Canal not only means the loss of this rare historic wharf for sustainable transport (New Journal, March 10) but also sounds the death knell for a weeping willow tree on the site next to Gray’s Inn Bridge and opposite Constitution pub.
This is despite appraisals, submitted in One Housing’s planning application, listing the willow as Category B (retention desirable) and Category 1 (the highest) for bat habitat. As at Camden Lock, willows next to bridge abutments contribute to the character of Regent’s Canal Conservation Area. For the developers, this specimen is simply in the way, as was the much loved bird nesting area in front of the wharf, a site prolific with coots, moorhens, mallards and Canada geese; this was stripped away.
The proposed blocks will reach five- and six-storeys high, the latter being twice the height of a neighbouring Victorian warehouse and double that of the locally listed terraced houses behind on Royal College Street.
They will dominate and sadly shade what is currently an open and sunny section of the canal (between Gray’s Inn and College Street bridges), likewise a nature reserve on the grassy bank beside the towpath. It is no wonder that, nearly two weeks after submitting the application to Camden Council, One Housing has left residents waiting for a “missing” sunlight and daylight report. This is a development that benefits a few to the detriment of tens of thousands of Londoners, visitors and boat-users who enjoy the canal every week.
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