Revive Dead Dogs Basin!

(August 2015) Camden Council has received a planning application that aims to open up and brighten up the Dead Dogs Basin next to Camden Lock Market. This would allow visitors to view it and understand its heritage. However, most of the benefits would be cancelled out by a proposed restaurant overhang that would encroach on the waterspace and undermine the basin's potential.


The basin is NOT derelict. It could have a great future if it is used constructively as a functioning canal asset. If you would like to help to revive this asset instead of surrendering it to a restaurant extension then please send an e-mail (with subject "Planning Ref 2015/4774") to Feel free to copy your e-mails to

Click here to see a template e-mail that you can adapt.

Note - despite our efforts, planning permission was granted on 4th February 2016 and none of the councillors questioned the loss of water space. See officer's report.

Comments sent to the development team on 11th August 2015

Dear Duncan and colleagues,

Following our conversation at the public exhibition on Saturday 11th July I am writing on behalf of the Friends of Regent's Canal to comment on the refurbishment proposals.

Our main area of interest is the future of the Dead Dogs Basin. This is a unique, covered basin in the heart of central London that has great potential for supporting transfer of waste and other materials between the market and the inland waterways network. It has the major advantage of being located above the uppermost lock of the Regent's Canal and it serves a 26-mile, lock-free stretch of waterway. This stretch includes interchanges with the road network at Greenford (A40) and Bulls Bridge (M4, junction 3) and it also serves the Powerday recycling facility at Old Oak Sidings.

We appreciate that this basin has been neglected for a number of years but this does not mean that it cannot be revived in the future. There is growing pressure from government departments, backed up by public opinion, to make better use of rail and waterways for transfer of bulky materials and to take the strain off the roads. This is a particularly sensitive issue in Camden and a revival of a purpose-built facility such as Dead Dogs Basin will win a lot of public support.

Many of us feel that if this basin can be put back into practical use then it will attract tourist attention and will boost public relations for any developers involved. By contrast, if this basin's capacity were to be reduced through the introduction of an overhanging restaurant extension, then this would represent yet another wasted opportunity on our waterway network.

Please pass these comments on to your clients and please note that I have merely supplied a couple of examples of how the basin could be put to use. There are various other options, such as using the basin as an all-weather facility for painting and maintaining narrowboats, and these uses might very well supplement the major function of this basin as a valuable interchange.

Best wishes,
Ian Shacklock.
Chair, Friends of Regent's Canal

Existing Configuration



Proposed Configuration



Which option is better for the canal and its heritage?


Related web pages

Revive Dead Dogs Basin

Planning App 2015/4774

Water Freight Options

How to object

Examples of Objections

Planning Report

(The first edition of this page was created in August 2015)