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West Hampstead residents react to ‘yet another estate agent’ opening

PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 August 2014

Foxtons wants to open a branch in West Hampstead. Picture: Dominic Lipinski

Foxtons wants to open a branch in West Hampstead. Picture: Dominic Lipinski

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Residents in West Hampstead have urged Camden Council to block a planning application that would see the arrival of “yet another estate agent” to the area, warning it would “add nothing” to the community and could further inflate house prices.

Estate agent Foxtons recently submitted an application that would see the former Post Office in West End Lane turned into the chain’s 50th London branch.

Describing the proposed office as a “modern, cafe-style, open environment where people can see activity within from outside”, Foxtons said 24 jobs would be created, adding: “[It] will provide increased variety, vibrancy and choice in this part of the town centre.”

But not everyone in West Hampstead agrees.

The prospect of seeing another estate agent in the area has led a number of residents to submit objections to the proposals.

One West Hampstead resident wrote: “There are currently, by my reckoning, 14 such businesses on the street and by any measure this is already too many.

“We risk turning the high street into a sea of offices that the vast majority of residents will barely use, reducing the entire thoroughfare to nothing but estate agents, charity shops, supermarkets and restaurants.

“There is precious little diversity left in the businesses on West End Lane, please don’t allow this soulless monotony to be extended with the addition of a fifteenth estate agency.”

Another added: “This office will add nothing to the mix of businesses on West Hampstead’s principal road.

“There is a risk that the entrance of yet another estate agent in the West Hampstead area will additionally inflate already high property prices.

“Foxtons will add nothing to the facilities available to local residents and their occupancy of the site would be a waste of a prime position on a busy stretch of road.”

Residents have until September 12 to submit their comments to the council.

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