Esther Rantzen and Tom Conti join protest to save wildlife haven

PUBLISHED: 14:29 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:29 19 January 2016

Tom Conti and Esther Rantzen oppose plans to build an underground car park on a nature site

Tom Conti and Esther Rantzen oppose plans to build an underground car park on a nature site

© Nigel Sutton email

Television presenter Esther Rantzen and actor Tom Conti joined a protest against plans to turn a Grade II-listed Hampstead wildlife oasis into an underground car park and housing development.

Esther Rantzen and Tom Conti with protesters in Kidderpore GardensEsther Rantzen and Tom Conti with protesters in Kidderpore Gardens

More than 200 people have signed a petition to halt the scheme on the former King’s College site in Kidderpore Avenue.

Protesters gathered last Friday at the site which currently houses five Grade II-listed buildings standing in two acres of green space with mature trees and shrubs. The land has been listed by Camden as a site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC).

Developer Mount Anvil has put in an application to Camden Council for 156 residential units plus a two-storey 97-space underground carpark. on the northern part of the former student residence. This will involve felling mature trees from the site which contains a diverse natural habitat which attracts bats, birds and insects.

Ms Rantzen said: “Basically trees are more important than car parks. Trees are endangered and we need to do everything we can to protect and value them. We need to preserve every patch of green that still exists in London. This should be kept as a little bower of trees and shrubs.”

She added: “In front of the college building there is a little patch of bluebells and grass which is an absolute joy in Spring. When builders move in I fear they will destroy this.”

Chairman of the Redington Frognal Association Rob Hagemans said: “The proposed destruction of this green oasis is tragic. This corner of Redington Frognal has been a haven of biodiversity for centuries; for example, it’s on one of the last remaining flight paths of protected bats.”

A Mount Anvil spokesperson said: “The biodiversity of the site will be much improved. A new pond will be introduced, a biodiverse green roof will be installed, and more than 25 new trees will be planted on-site as well as additional trees within the Redington and Frognal Conservation Area. The currently dilapidated Grade II listed Summer House will also be restored, to be used as an arts and wildlife education resource for local schools and the community.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 19:01

This year’s Remembrance Day will see a remarkable multi-faith ceremony bring together the Highgate community to remember the horrors of the First World War on the centenary of its conclusion.

Yesterday, 16:43

Christmas came early for activists in West Hampstead last night after Camden Council refused to grant christmas tree sellers Pines and Needles a licence to trade from Fortune Green.

Yesterday, 15:00

“Zero-hours” critical care nurses at the Royal Free Trust are facing a pay cut that could set them back thousands of pounds a year, the Ham&High can reveal.

Yesterday, 14:30

Ten Lib Dem councillors have called for the Royal Mail to ask customers their thoughts about the planned closure of the Muswell Hill delivery office.

Yesterday, 13:43

Transport for London is set to attempt to take its case to the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s decision to halt the CS11 cycle superhighway in September.

Yesterday, 13:00

“With Universal Credit on one hand and Brexit causing uncertainty over immigration on the other, we’ll probably have queues out of the door.” That’s the warning from Sean Canning, director of the Camden Community Law Centre, as it celebrates its 45th birthday.

Yesterday, 12:00

Sky Mobile has been accused of “social cleansing in an advert” after the Chalcots Estate, which was evacuated due to flammable cladding last year, was airbrushed out of a new advert for the Apple IPhone Xs.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now