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

16:31
Christopher Atkins                Picture: HMRC

A film producer from Gospel Oak who was jailed for five years after spinning a “web of lies” to get taxpayer funding for a Bafta-nominated film has been ordered to repay more than £100,000.

14:07
The crash in Swiss Cottage happened this morning         Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

A driver has been freed from a car after it crashed into a parked lorry in Swiss Cottage.

12:55
Mandarin workshop at Highgate Primary School

A Highgate school which prides itself on being a pioneer in teaching Mandarin is pulling out all the stops to embrace Chinese culture.

Yesterday, 15:00
Lord Dubs      Picture: Katie Collins/PA

Dozens of politicians, religious leaders, charity heads and cultural groups in Camden have signed a letter pleading with Home Secretary Amber Rudd to change her mind on settling child refugees in Britain.

Yesterday, 10:48
Lara Casalotti

A year ago, Belsize Park student Lara Casalotti was in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Yesterday, 09:57
The crash in England's Lane                Picture: Francoise Lamouche

A car crashed and flipped over in Belsize Park last night – with the occupants mysteriously fleeing.

Mon, 17:49
Nazanin with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella

West Hampstead mum Nazanin has finally seen a specialist for her back and neck, who said that without urgent treatment she could run the risk of permanent impairment

Mon, 13:14
Gakleen Shahata

Police are increasingly concerned for the wellbeing of a deaf woman with learning difficulties after she went missing from a church in Golders Green.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

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