HS2 has finally settled payment for the compulsory purchase of the old petrol station and warehouse building along Hampstead Road opposite Cartmel. The amount was £130 millions in full and final settlement. This was far below what the owners had intended to acheive for this site.

As far back as 2010 the owners Central London Estates (a wholly owned subsidiary of Derwent London Ltd) drew up proposals for new offices and flats along the east side of Hampstead Road between Cardington Street and the rail lines. The planning application was approved by Camden in 2011. The proposals included the demolition of the existing petrol filling station at the north end of the site, the construction of a new 11-storey building containing 38 flats and a ground floor shop, and a large brand new office development.

Eight of the flats were to be social housing at Council rents.

The new flats that might have replaced the old petrol station at the north of the site..

Half a million pounds was given over to Camden council as part of the planning application approval process. This S.106 money went primarily towards  the promotion of education and employment in Camden. About £80,000 of it went towards the maintenance and improvement of nearby community facilities. £50,000 was meant for a local public art installation.



The owners of the site Central London Commercial Estates petitoned the government in 2014  against HS2’s poor compensation offer. The petition included a complaint against the blight on the site that had been going on since the High Speed 2 project was announced in 2012.  Duting those proceedings the then Transport Secretary Mr Patrick McLoughlin responded by saying  “more can be made of Euston station. It is a significant opportunity to maximise the economic potential of the line and regenerate a site that has been neglected”.

Clearly Euston and the surrounding areas including 132-142 Hampstead Road was not being negleted at all but was up for smart apartments and cutting edge office space. It is perhaps no coincidence that these original proposals as shown in the drawing and photo above bear a striking resemblence to the recent British Land project in Regent’s Place to the south pf Longford St and Drummond St. The estate has seen more than its share of new developments over the last ten years including the Netley school quarter. AT about the same time new flats went up at Park Village East by Granby Terrace, to the north of the estate. On the east side along Hampstead Road it seems this natural progress was stopped by the blight of HS2. Some buildings like the National Temperance Hospital fell into disuse and disrepair. The warehouse however did manage to find some temporary life, as a UCL Architecture School, during the blight years.

What Hampstead Road could have looked like today. View from Cartmel looking out across Hampstead Road. The rail bridge is on the left and Cardington Street is on the right.

The sale of the land and buildings will spell the end for this warehouse come unversity building. Originally completed in 1970 by the Taylor Woodrow Property Company and Mobile Oil,  the site has been leased over the years by many household names including Dunlop and BHS . The latter having taken it over from Richard Shops – remember them?. The petrol station was closed and taken down a few years ago.

At todays prices the private flats alone would be worth £30m. It is difficult to assess what the offices would be worth but the proposal was for 290,000ft2 of space. Much of this would have been leased or rented out at about £60 per square foot. The site should have commanded at the very least double what HS2 have offered.

HS2 are fast becoming the largest landowners in the area. They will have to wait a few years before they can realise the value of all this prime land.

No doubt HS2 and Camden Council have archived the original proposals and in a few years time will present them as their own. The local community will no doubt be impressed with the designs and thankful for the investment but here at the Forum we know that this investment was supposed to have already happened -Euston was renewing itself just fine.  We will now have a delay of about 10 years to see it – and a building site as far as the eye can see while we wait.