Planning report

The officer's full report (25MB PDF file) can be found here and some relevant extracts are provided below.

Extracts from officer's report

2. Site description

2.3 Camden Lock Place forms the boundary of Camden Lock Market and Stables Market to the north and is occupied by retail market stalls. The Market Hall and East Yard are predominantly retail market with offices above. The Middle Yard has retail and food stalls. The West Yard and Building A comprise a food market with some retail/café space around the perimeter. The East Vaults are currently used for general storage and waste storage. Dead Dog Basin is located under the Interchange Building and is currently unused.

3. The Proposal

3.1 The application is for...ˇ Erection of deck area over Dead Dog Basin; east and double pitched roof structure over East Yard.

5. Consultation Summary

5.8 Regent's Canal CAAC

Officer's response: 'Impact on usability of canal'.

5.9 Friends of Regent's Canal

Officer's response: 'Impact on usability of canal'.

5.10 The Regent's Network

Officer's response: 'Design and conservation'

5.11 Councillor Sian Berry (Camden Green Party)

Officer's response: 'Impact on usability of canal'

5.13 Representation Summary

Impact on canal/use of canal (including comments from Commercial Boat Operators Association - CBOA, Inland Waterways Association and the Regent's Network)

Officer's response: addressed in 'Impact on usability of canal'.

5.14 comments in support...

8 Land use principles

Restaurant use

8.16 As well as the food markets on the site, predominantly in the West Yard, 2 new restaurants are proposed overlooking the West Yard and a new restaurant is proposed in the East Vaults, built out on to Dead Dog Basin.

8.17 Officers consider that restaurant uses support the vitality, viability and character of the market and the town centre and are therefore acceptable. The amenity implications of the restaurant uses (as well as entertainment uses) are considered in the Amenity section below.

10. Design and conservation

Proposed alterations to basement of Interchange Building and adjacent properties

10.20 The grade II listed Interchange Building, lying immediately to the west of the site, is central to the history of the railway and canal operations in Camden Town. The eastern section of the basement, which has the characteristics of a bonded warehouse, has for many years been used for storage. The central section of the basement contains Dead Dog Basin, a significant offshoot of the canal in historic terms, albeit currently little known to the public and scarcely visible from the main stretch of the canal.

10.21 It is proposed to insert a large restaurant space at its northern end, which will take advantage of existing and proposed openings in the west wall which borders the basin, to give access to a new platform suspended over the basin which would be implemented in conjunction with a lighting scheme and other measures to sensitively enhance this unique space, which currently is out of bounds to the public. Access to the restaurant space will be through the enlargement of an existing opening from Camden Lock Place and will involve minimum intervention in historic building terms. The southern section of the basement will be converted to a flexible space for various functions associated with the market, including exhibitions. Further apertures will be punctured into the western wall, offering visual permeability with Dead Dog Basin. These new openings will work within the existing loadbearing structure of the building. Access to the space will be gained through a new opening in the eastern wall of the listed building, which abuts the rear wall of the western range of West Yard. The opening will be formed within the existing structure and will involve a minor loss of historic fabric. However, the benefits of reusing the space are considered to outweigh this harm, in accordance with paragraph 134 of the NPPF. The works will involve minimal intervention to this positive contributor, namely the loss of one bay and a retail unit to create a new and permeable entrance from West Yard. Sensitive upgrade works are also proposed for this range, in the form of a first-floor gallery access, which will relieve the yard at ground level whilst providing better access at upper level. The walkway will be constructed from steel and timber using traditional construction techniques and detailing which will be in keeping with the 19th century architectural treatment of the range.

10.22 The reuse of the basement of the grade II listed Interchange Building and Dead Dog Basin is welcomed, subject to detailed design (see conditions). The space has a robust industrial feel, with structural columns spaced at regular intervals. The insertion of partitioning, a new floor level and limited new openings, designed to respect the listed building, is acceptable in principle. The proposal to enhance Dead Dog Basin through lighting and other measures is welcomed subject to detailed design (see conditions) and agreement from those responsible for the maintenance of the waterway. The proposed restaurant platform, suspended from the existing iron beam structure, is considered to be an exciting but reversible concept; with minimal impact on the canal's heritage and the setting of the grade II listed building.

12. Impact on usability of canal

12.1 A number of objections have been received to the use of Dead Dog Basin for nonfreight purposes, including from the Regent's Canal CAAC, Friends of Regent's Canal, Commercial Boat Operators Association - CBOA, Inland Waterways Association and the Regent's Network. These objections state that the use of the basin for restaurant/exhibition space would prejudice the future use of the basin for commercial/freight purposes. The Canal and River Trust (the statutory consultee for works affecting canals) support the principle of breaking through into Dead Dog Basin, subject to more information.

12.2 Dead Dog Basin is currently unused and is generally in a poor state with rubbish collecting in it. Under the proposals, the basin would be dredged and cleaned up and brought into use. Given that the basin is not in freight use and has not been for decades, officers consider that it would be unreasonable to require the applicant to bring the basin back into freight use. Officers therefore support the opening up of the basin and its use, rather than continuing as a derelict and unused space. The proposal would utilise a redundant space of a listed building and the redundant canal basin.

23 Freight by water

Prior to the commencement of any demolition works on site, a feasibility study shall be carried out to assess the potential for moving freight by water during the construction cycle (waste and bulk materials) and following occupation of the development (waste and recyclables). The use of waterborne transport shall be maximised during the construction of the development unless the above assessment demonstrates that such use of the waterways is not physically or economically feasible.

Reason: To encourage the use of the waterways for transporting waste and bulk materials in accordance with the London Plan.

Related web pages

Revive Dead Dogs Basin

Planning App 2015/4774

Water Freight Options

How to object

Examples of Objections

Planning Report