TfL's plans for a new site in Buck Street
Published: 19 January, 2017
By RICHARD OSLEY
A MAJOR facelift for Camden Town, this is how City Hall hopes to finally solve the Underground station’s chronic overcrowding problems.
Transport for London will today (Thursday) begin a three-day public exhibition on its proposals to open up a new entrance to the tube in Buck Street on the site of the old Hawley Junior School, which has moved to a new site on the Hawley Wharf regeneration site.
It follows years of disputes about how the tube station – notorious for congestion at the bottom of the escalators as tourists try to decipher the Northern line maps – should be upgraded. More than 10 years have passed since a plan to land-grab the area around the station to build a tower of shops and offices was spiked when it failed to win approval, first by a planning inspector and then by deputy prime minister, John Prescott.
Widely condemned, the axed scheme would have seen the loss of the Buck Street Market and the famous Electric Ballroom if it had won consent.
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone once said, after the failure of that plan, that he doubted whether Camden Town Underground station would ever be fixed in his lifetime but TfL are now actively working on designs to upgrade and open the extra entrance in Buck Street, without threatening the nightclub and the market.
Planning permission has not been sought so far and work would not start before 2019, but TfL are looking at a development up to seven storeys high which includes some new retail units and up to 70 new homes, around 35 per cent of which would be defined as “affordable”. A new forecourt in front of Buck Street would be created.
The public exhibition is at the Arlington Conference in Arlington Road today (Thursday) between 4pm and 8pm, tomorrow (Friday) between 10am and 2pm and on Saturday between 11am and 3pm.