Lord of Hampstead leaves... Hampstead as hills get too much for ageing legs
15:00 18 July 2014
He is a life peer who holds the distinguished title of Lord of Hampstead.
But despite his grand link to the area, Lord Parry Mitchell of Hampstead is upping sticks – saying he can no longer manage the gruelling cycle ride up the hill.
The Labour peer and former businessman has put his Georgian home up for sale with a £6.5million price tag.
While he admits he will be “broken hearted” to leave, he will not miss the chronic traffic or the energy-sapping climb up the unforgiving slopes of NW3.
“I have lived in Hampstead for 41 exceptionally happy years. It’s in my soul,” he told the Ham&High.
“But I’m 71, my wife is 60, and we want to be in a position where we can walk to all the places we go to.
“There are some days when we go into town two or three times – it gets very wearing on the soul, dealing with the traffic.
“And although it pains me to admit it, I’m on my bike quite a lot and I’m just finding the hill incredibly tough.”
The keen cyclist is selling his six-bedroom house in Elm Row – the former home of Victoria and Albert Museum founder Sir Henry Cole – and relocating to Portland Place near Regent’s Park.
Lord Mitchell, who is Labour’s enterprise adviser, became a life peer in 2000 after a successful business career in IT services.
He has been a vocal campaigner against payday lenders and the High Speed 2 rail link, which he believes could be rendered redundant by future advancements in remote communications – including hologram technology.
Last year he became embroiled in a high profile basement excavation row, when he sued his neighbour for damages of up to £200,000 for digging under his land.
He insisted the matter was “all settled” and played no part in his plans to leave.
With three adult children who have left home, Lord Mitchell and his wife, Lady Hannah Lowy Mitchell, are “going through a process of downsizing”.
However, he has no intention of relinquishing his Hampstead title.
“They don’t let you change your title even if I wanted to,” he said.
“We will have many happy memories of Hampstead.
“We’re moving with huge regret, but we feel a new phase of life is coming up.”