Search

New owners set to restore Athlone House pledge: ‘We won’t dig basement’

PUBLISHED: 14:28 27 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:31 27 January 2016

Members of the Athlone House Working Group attend a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour on 19.01.16. Pictured with Cllr Sue Vincent and Mayor of Camden Cllr Larraine Revah, the group pictured include Michael Hammerson, Catherine Budgett-Meakin, Gail Waldman, Marc Hutchinson, barrister David Altaras, Harley Atkinson and Douglas Maxwell.

Members of the Athlone House Working Group attend a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour on 19.01.16. Pictured with Cllr Sue Vincent and Mayor of Camden Cllr Larraine Revah, the group pictured include Michael Hammerson, Catherine Budgett-Meakin, Gail Waldman, Marc Hutchinson, barrister David Altaras, Harley Atkinson and Douglas Maxwell.

Archant

The new owners of Athlone House have pledged to restore the mansion and say they will not dig a basement underneath, the Highgate Society has been told.

It was revealed last week, as the Ham&High went to press, that the neglected pile on the edge of Hampstead Heath, in Highgate, is in the process of being sold for about £16million.

In October, previous owner, Athlone House Limited, lost a High Court battle to demolish the mock-Elizabethan building and replace it with a £80million eight-bedroom palace, with basement car park.

Campaigners branded it a “David versus Goliath” victory – and they say the underdog has won again this week, now that the former owner has abandoned the controversial plans for good.

Not much is yet known about the new owners, but Highgate Society vice-president, Michael Hammerson was told they want to restore the mansion to its former glory and only make minor amendments to the building.

“We were very relieved to hear of this latest development, and it shows that David can still slay Goliath when it comes to the planning system,” said Mr Hammerson, who has led the campaign to save the house from demolition.

“The new owners have shown us some preliminary details, which they were looking into before they bought it, for work to restore the house. They want to build a conservatory where an old conservatory was, which shouldn’t be hard at all.

“The most important thing is that they do not want a basement, apparently.”

Mr Hammerson said he knows the identity of the new owners, but is reluctant to divulge the name until he hears that the deal has definitely gone through.

The news comes after what Mr Hammerson described as a “long and hard-fought battle” to save the 19th-century building.

The battle started in earnest in 2004, when a former owner, under the same name of Athlone House Limited, was granted permission to build flats, known as Caenwood Court, in the grounds of the mansion – on the condition that the developer restored the former RAF intelligence base.

But the house was sold the following year to the most recent owners, who first bid to demolish the house in 2009.

That application was rejected on appeal in 2011, but just a year later, the fight began again when new demolition plans were unveiled.

More than 5,000 people, including Monty Python legend Terry Gilliam, backed the campaign to save it. The fight only came to an end in October with the High Court ruling.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:08

Barnet Council’s finances came under scrutiny last week as the fallout continued from the fraud that saw a Capita employee swindle £2m from council coffers.

Yesterday, 16:06

Haringey is “prostituting” Finsbury Park out for Wireless Festival and should scrap the event, neighbours argued at a licensing sub-committee meeting last night.

Yesterday, 11:41

A former council candidate and a management consultant have been chosen to stand for the Green Party at the next general election.

Mon, 16:23

Up to 100 children looted cheap sweets from a supermarket off Stroud Green Road and threw missiles at cars in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mon, 14:31

A third-floor room was badly damaged in a fire in Golders Green on Saturday night.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A “cowardly career criminal” who held vulnerable women at knifepoint during a six-week spree robbing shops has been jailed.

Friday, October 12, 2018

“It stank. It smelt like the goat pen at London Zoo.”

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Hampstead school has scrapped a pilot project that saw commercial helicopters landing on its playing fields after neighbours complained it was causing “quite a riot”.

PROMOTED CONTENT

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

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now