Appeal hearing underway for Highgate Village ‘giant toilet’ modern house

A father appealing Camden Council’s decision to reject plans for his dream home – which critics have likened to “a giant public toilet” – has claimed he simply wants to “build something fantastic” for Highgate.

Iain Brewester, 45, has been locked in a fierce planning row for the last eight years over his proposals to build a three-storey modern home at the corner of Highgate High Street and Highgate West Hill.

At the appeal hearing last Thursday award-winning architects Birds Portchmouth Russum said they would consider using brick instead of smooth render materials if that would mean the scheme wins approval from the planning inspectorate.

Mr Brewester, whose family has owned the land for 38 years, said: “All I want is to build something fantastic for Highgate. [Approval] would mean I could continue living in Highgate.”

The Highgate Society is opposed to the size of the development and has likened it to a “grand version of a metal toilet”.

Michael Hammerson, who sits on the society’s environment committee, said: “We don’t oppose development just for the sake of it and not if it is in the right place.

“But our argument would be that it is not in the right place. It is a landmark site.”

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The planning inspector’s decision is expected in about eight weeks.