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

Yesterday, 22:38

In a deeply moving show of community around 200 Hampstead mums and dads with buggies, friends and family joined our march through central London today for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Yesterday, 17:00

A driver managed to flip a car on its back near the pavement just by Regent’s Park

Yesterday, 13:07

Read a Hampstead resident’s letter which will be delivered to Downing Street and the Foreign Office by Hampstead parents today to reach the Grand Ayatollah

Yesterday, 12:34

As Hampstead parents march on Downing Street today to call for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release from Iran, editor Emily Banks explains why the Ham&High stand behind them

Around 200 mothers, fathers and children, are calling for Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to take action

Yesterday, 11:24

Detectives have released CCTV footage and images after an elderly woman was injured in a robbery in East Finchley

Yesterday, 10:19

As parents set off to march on Downing Street for Nazanin, green-fingered residents have planted a Belsize Park garden for Nazanin

Friday, December 2, 2016

Police are appealing for witnesses after the death of a woman who was hit by a coach in Camden.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

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

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now