Harry Hallowes: Former squatter’s plot of land sold to private bidder at auction

PUBLISHED: 16:40 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:41 18 June 2018

The plot that Harry Hallowes owned on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Savills

The plot that Harry Hallowes owned on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Savills


A half-acre plot of Hampstead Heath was sold to a private buyer for £154,000 in an auction today, adding fuel to conservationists’ fears that it could be developed

Harry Hallowes lived in a shack on the Heath for 20 years before gaining the land under squatter's rightsHarry Hallowes lived in a shack on the Heath for 20 years before gaining the land under squatter's rights

The plot, which is below the private gardens for Athlone House, was auctioned by homelessness charities, Shelter and Centrepoint to raise money. It was bequeathed to them in 2016 on the death of Harry Hallowes, a homeless man awarded squatter’s rights to the land after living there for 20 years.

The charities elected for a public auction, rejecting a private offer from City of London Corporation (CoL) and the 121-year-old Heath and Hampstead Society, who wanted to acquire the land to incorporate it back into the surrounding Heath.

CoL’s Hampstead Heath management committee chairman Karina Dostalova said: “We are very disappointed that the land has been put up for public auction.

“This land is entirely surrounded by Hampstead Heath which must be protected from the threat of development to safeguard the ecology and unique character of the Heath.

“We will vigorously enforce all legal restrictions possible which are in place to protect Hampstead Heath. Any requests for vehicle access to the land via the Heath, and any applications for underground supplies for power, water and gas will be refused.”

Planning laws prevent any development on the plot, meaning it can only legally be used as a garden.

Heath and Hampstead Society chairman Marc Hutchinson said: “There is always a risk that, if the land remains in private hands, it will become subjected to attempted development, contrary to Harry’s known wishes and to the detriment of the surrounding Heath.”

However, Ms Dostalova added that even legal alterations to the land, such as chopping down the trees, could do ecological damage to wildlife species.

The charity, which spends more than £5m a year to maintain the Heath, said it made its original offer based on independent evaluations.

In a joint statement, the charities said they would put funds raised by the sale directly into the vital work that Harry wanted to be his legacy.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 15:35

Wage cuts for nurses covering sick leave and other increases in demand at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital have been postponed after workers threatened to cancel shifts en masse.

Yesterday, 15:00

Brexit uncertainty is one reason for a slowdown in Camden house prices, said a leading estate agent after new data showed that property values in the borough fell 0.8 per cent in August and 2.1pc in the last 12 months.

Yesterday, 14:05

Tickets for a public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema have sold out within days of it being announced.

Yesterday, 13:57

Mitzvah Day volunteers from Hampstead were among those taking part in Sewa Day – a Hindu day of community action – in Kingsbury, Brent this weekend.

Yesterday, 10:29

As part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Haringey Police have been engaging with the community to raise awareness of the importance of reporting abuse and discrimination.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Community groups are celebrating after the owners of the “landmark” Alliance pub in West Hampstead had planning permission for extensive remodelling and redevelopment refused.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Twenty-five people, including eleven in Camden, have been charged with drugs offences after two-days of dawn raids in Camden, Islington, Brent and Lambeth.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sardonic, sarcastic and funny are three of the words that have been used to describe the late-SOAS lecturer and King’s Cross local Prof Lawrence Saez, who died at the beginning of September.


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