Search

Hampstead and Highgate facing ‘planning apocalypse’ amid biggest upheaval in history

06:00 03 July 2014

Highgate Society vice-president Michael Hammerson and Heath and Hampstead Society trustee Douglas Maxwell face a legal battle over the future of Athlone House (pictured). Picture: Polly Hancock

Highgate Society vice-president Michael Hammerson and Heath and Hampstead Society trustee Douglas Maxwell face a legal battle over the future of Athlone House (pictured). Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

An onslaught of development battles poses the greatest threat to the landscape of Hampstead and Highgate in history according to two prominent conservation societies – in what has been dubbed a “planning apocalypse”.

Major development proposals:

- Hampstead Heath dams project

- High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link

- Athlone House in Highgate

- Former Highgate Garden Centre on the Highgate Bowl

- South End Green Sainsbury’s supermarket, Hampstead

- Haringey Magistrates’ Court and Highgate Police Station

- Royal Free Hospital medical research centre, Hampstead

- Swain’s Lane shopping parade, Highgate

- 100 Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage

A flood of controversial planning proposals unveiled this week, on top of ongoing fights over Athlone House, the Hampstead Heath dams project and HS2, have prompted the bleak warning from the Heath and Hampstead Society and the Highgate Society.

Both are embroiled in fighting complex planning wars on multiple fronts and they have vowed to combine forces to protest against future developments.

It comes as Sainsbury’s faces a massive backlash over plans for a new store in a shopping parade on the edge of Hampstead Heath, sparking the anger of Bill Oddie, Dame Janet Suzman and hundreds of others.

The retail giant plans to convert four independent shops in South End Road into a Sainsbury’s Local, leading residents to label the company “Painsbury’s” and issue the demand “Don’t mess with Hampstead!”.

In Highgate, the fight to stop the demolition of historic Athlone House, on the edge of Hampstead Heath, moved up a notch as the Highgate Society began fundraising for a legal challenge.

Highgate Society vice-president Michael Hammerson said civic groups were facing a number of controversial planning bids.

“In terms of the scale and seriousness of the threat, it is as serious a situation for the local area as we have ever had,” he said. “It is a planning apocalypse.”

Both societies hope that working together will help to meet the threat head-on.

Heath and Hampstead Society chairman Marc Hutchinson, 59, said: “When two societies combine the opposition is going to be much more effective.”

Senior members of the Highgate Society say they will be forced to rely on public donations to fund a costly legal fight over Athlone House. The looming legal battle comes as the society plunges existing finances into a legal challenge over the Hampstead Heath dams project and an appeal against plans to build luxury homes on the Highgate Bowl.

“The outcomes are so serious and fundamental for the future of our area that we have to throw everything at them,” Mr Hammerson said. “The pressure is enormous at the moment and it’s not just these two appeals.”

Heath and Hampstead Society trustee Douglas Maxwell, an architect who lives in Hampstead Village, added his voice to fears that the unique village characters of Hampstead and Highgate are under immense threat.

“I think the situation is very serious,” he said. “We encourage those who think the same to support us both by joining the society and by helping us in this work.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Best-selling author Kathy Lette has slammed Royal Mail after private post for her and her barrister husband Geoffrey Robertson was found dumped in a street in West Hampstead.

12:57

Supporters of Burgh House gathered for an afternoon tea to raise funds for the upkeep of the Grade I-listed building.

The London Fire Brigade hosed down the car just outside a disabled parking bay in a residential street

Yesterday, 17:25

Anger over the proposed cycle-superhighway CS-11 has fuelled calls for Hampstead to become an independent parish council, granting the area planning powers separate from Camden.

Yesterday, 16:31

The breakfast supervisor, who worked for the chain since 1996, has also received a written apology after being ‘bullied and harassed’

Yesterday, 16:01

Change is afoot in Highgate as a consultation on a new Neighbourhood Plan opens

Yesterday, 15:03

Hampstead High Street and Muswell Hill Broadway could lose their Maison Blanc stores under a review that has been launched into the high-end patisserie chain.

Yesterday, 07:00

Crime campaigners fear gang warfare is spilling onto the leafy streets of Hampstead and Belsize Park after two shootings and a knife attack this month.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

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

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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