Angry residents slam plans for garage demolition in historic Hampstead

Local residents objecting plans to demolish a garage in The Mount. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Local residents objecting plans to demolish a garage in The Mount. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Residents, including actor/musician Dudley Moore’s ex-wife Suzy Kendall, have rallied together to fight “scandalous” plans to demolish a garage within a conservation area.

Plans to knock down a garage in Hampstead and have an open driveway with a timber gate have caused outrage in the community.

Protesters claim the design would not be in keeping with the historical character of the road, which was featured in the 1968 film, The Killing of Sister George.

At least 19 residents in the surrounding area have formally objected to the proposal to convert the garage, which belongs to a property in The Mount, just off Heath Street.

Actress Ms Kendall, 69, has added her voice to the protest.

Ms Kendall, who lives nearby, organised a meeting with a council planning officer and residents to discuss the issues on Wednesday, June 12.

Cllr Linda Chung, who represents Hampstead Town ward, said: “This is a historical and heritage-rich area and the garage would not fit in with the scenery.

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“There is a security issue with the garage being demolished, as it acts as a barrier between the gardens of the houses in The Mount.

“I am going to be supporting residents with their concerns.”

Both property owner Lynne Woolfson, who applied for planning permission, and the scheme’s architect James Grayley, of James Grayley Architects in Islington, did not wish to comment.

The plans state that the existing 1960s garage does not contribute to the character of the area and that demolition will benefit the community because the proposed driveway will be hidden from view on the Holly Bush steps, which lead up from Heath Street to Holly Mount.

But Golden Yard resident Wendy Stark believes that the driveway will spoil the view from the renowned drinking spot the Holly Bush pub in Holly Mount.

She is hoping to rally disgruntled objectors to hold a protest against the application.

Ms Stark said: “If the application does go through, it will be a scandal.

“This is a conservation area but the garage is not being conserved and it looks as though there is no reason that the application should not go through.”

The existing garage was built in 1963 as a stand alone structure built inside the historic boundary walls belonging to the house in The Mount.

The proposal is to demolish the garage, which is on top of a studio within the grounds of the home, to create an open driveway.

A sliding timber gate is designed to screen the driveway from the street.