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Councillors block controversial Grid tower

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Grid Architects-designed plans for a 24-storey tower in north-west London’s Swiss Cottage neighbourhood have been rejected by councillors - against the advice of planning officers

Members of Camden Council’s development control committee spent almost three and a half hours deliberating the proposals to redevelop 100 Avenue Road with a scheme for 184 apartments and up to 1,041m2 of commercial and retail space.

The proposals, created for private-rental specialists Essential Living, had earlier prompted controversy among opponents when it was suggested that initial Greater London Authority consultation comments favoured high-rise development at the site, on the border between St John’s Wood and Hampstead.

The 0.61ha plot is currently occupied by a low-rise 1980s office building with restaurants at ground-floor level.

In a report to councillors, planning officers said that while the height of the proposed building would impact on the nearby Belsize Conservation Area, the site was considered to be ‘an acceptable location for a tall building’.

The officers added: ‘The high-quality architecture, public realm contributions and active frontage would bring benefits to the area and would help mark the town centre.’

However, committee members voted to reject the proposals on the grounds of its ‘height, bulk, massing, density, and impact on nearby conservation areas’.

The developers have not responded to a request for comment.

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