Camden Highline plans, for 1.2km raised walkway, approved by council

How Camden Highline might look under plans (Hayes Davidson)
How Camden Highline might look under plans (Hayes Davidson)

Plans to turn disused railway tracks into London’s answer to New York’s famous Highline have been approved.

The Camden Highline project will transform 1.2km of old track running from Camden Gardens to York Way into a walking attraction.

Planners hope it could attract up to 2.5 million visitors a year once fully complete and that the first section could open as soon as 2025.

Councillors voted Thursday night to approve the first section of the Highline which will run from Camden Gardens to Royal College Street.

Mayor Sadiq Khan praised the project as “innovative, environmentally sustainable, and community-driven”.

“This vision will also bring huge enterprise opportunities to local small business, helping to build a better, greener, and more prosperous London for everyone,” he said.

“I look forward to following the Camden Highline on its journey and to walking in London’s own park in the sky.”

The site now (Camden Highline)
The site now (Camden Highline)

It is not the first London infrastructure project to be inspired by New York’s Highline. A scheme for a raised walkway, dubbed The Tide, on the Greenwich Peninsula near the O2 has been constructed but is widely thought to have failed to replicate its inspiration.

The Camden Highline charity said it was now looking for major donors to come on board to support the £14m cost of the first section of the project, and get construction work underway.

The whole route is to be built in three stages, with the second part of the route running from Royal College Street to Camley Street and the final section onwards to York Way, close to St Pancras station.

Part of ‘The Tide’ at Greenwich (PA)
Part of ‘The Tide’ at Greenwich (PA)

The Camden Highline charity said each of the sections would “differ in character” to “give a true reflection of Camden’s unique identity”.

Among the planned features are a children’s play zone, volunteer-run allotments, and an outdoor classroom.

There were some 57 letters of objection sent by residents, and 346 letters of support.

The New York High Line opened in phases during 2009, 2011, and 2014. As of 2019, it welcomes around 5 million visitors annually.