Search

Athlone House campaigners: ‘Developers bidding for house’s demolition have led us a merry dance’

08:30 25 August 2014

Michael Hammerson, on behalf of Athlone House Working Group, has strongly criticised Camden Council for not ruling on the issue of demolition of Athlone House. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Michael Hammerson, on behalf of Athlone House Working Group, has strongly criticised Camden Council for not ruling on the issue of demolition of Athlone House. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

On July 31, Camden’s planning committee retrospectively refused the latest monstrosity but weakly conceded that they can no longer oppose demolition of Athlone House – a betrayal of the 458 objectors and 5,000-plus petitioners who opposed demolition.

The Athlone House Working Group, English Heritage, the City of London Corporation, Save Britain’s Heritage, the Ancient Monuments Society, the Victorian Society, even the Greater London Authority all sent letters opposing demolition.

Dismayingly, Camden’s legal adviser said that, since it was considered acceptable by the previous appeal inspector, the council can no longer resist demolition – leaving Camden looking like rabbits in the inspector’s headlights.

We emphasised that, while an inspector’s decision carries weight, it is not holy writ.

We were particularly angered by the case officer’s description of the house as “derelict”. It was not when we last saw it. If it has deteriorated, planning guidance stipulates that this cannot be taken into account.

We are dismayed at Camden’s lack of resolution to oppose demolition, which the law says they 
cannot permit without an acceptable alternative.

Also critical is enforcement of the section 106 agreement to restore the house, on which Camden have prevaricated for four years while the developer runs rings round them.

Camden cabinet member for planning, Cllr Phil Jones, has said it was grotesque how the developer has tried for years to evade their legal responsibility, led the council a merry dance and insulted the community.

Cllr Sue Vincent urged that the council oppose demolition, but Camden’s legal advisers warned against it, “because of the costs risk”.

We were assured that Camden will pursue enforcement of the section 106 agreement.

That all now depends on persuading the Planning Inspectorate that the previous decision was flawed – or the developers will simply come back repeatedly with a slightly smaller scheme, until Camden give in and the Heath is dominated by an eternal monument to greed, the unacceptable face of the development industry and a planning system which encourages both.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

08:41
Owner Saby Thukral at the opening party of her store in Heath Street

Struggling with the challenge of shopping for her fashion-conscious daughters in the area, a Hampstead Garden Suburb mother has opened up a new children’s shop in Hampstead.

Yesterday, 09:00
Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

Yesterday, 09:00
The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Fri, 17:03
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Fri, 15:37
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Fri, 13:34
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Fri, 13:33
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Fri, 12:39
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe