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 News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Michael Michaeledes

Tributes have been paid to a successful Hampstead painter who passed away aged 91.

Yesterday, 10:00
Jane Blackburn. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

The former manager of a trust set up to preserve the character of Hampstead Garden Suburb has been heralded for her professionalism, having stepped down after 10 years in the job.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
Jose Dent. Picture: Charlie Hopkinson/Gardens Illustrated.

A popular Hampstead horticulturalist has been remembered for her generosity and kindness.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
A mock section of the proposed anti-suicide fence at Archway Bridge is erected. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A mock-up section of controversial “prison-like” anti-suicide measures proposed for historic Archway Bridge has shown for the first time how they will look in real life.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

CCTV pictures capture the youngster’s early morning outing to satisfy her craving.

People are not happy with Hopkins’ comments, yet again.

There’s going to be more than 4,000 people standing for election – and other fun facts.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder