This page explains in simple terms how Camden make great amounts of profit from development.
In Central London, all land is under enormous pressure for development. Regardless of Camden and their policies, sites would come under threat of development essentially due to the high price of land, and therefore the good investment that it makes.
There are a number of safeguards in place to protect communities from harm from development and also to protect heritage from destruction. However Camden overrule all these in favour of simply maximising the amount of money they can make out of a developer.
Camden, like all local authorities, can raise funds through development. The way that this works is essentially like a tax. Money raised in this way is legally ring-fenced so that it can only be spent on offsetting the harm caused to a local community by a development. The money should also only be spent on addressing problems caused by the development, and in a proportionate way. There is a greater explanation of all this here.
However Camden turn a blind eye to these safeguards and have employed a policy of simply trying to maximise the amount of money they can raise through a development.
Similar to how tax works, a larger development will carry a larger payout for Camden. They therefore encourage huge buildings no matter how inappropriate they may be. Doing this can earn Camden upwards of a million pounds from approving a single planning application. Camden have plans to grow this scheme even further in coming years.
This means that despite even a developer’s initial application being too large for the site, Camden encourage even further growth. This is why we see buildings slowly growing throughout the pre-application stage, to everyone’s dismay.
After huge opposition from community groups and heritage advisories the application will be approved, and Camden will be paid their sum of money. The demolition of the old building will be mourned by all and years of construction work will follow. Eventually a huge building is completed which completely overshadows your home and community, devaluing your property significantly.
Camden store the money made in a savings account, and then after some time has passed spend it on some project miles away from your home, leaving you with no compensation.