Belsize glass homes are safe as houses as application is unanimously rejected
THE application to destroy two architecturally celebrated glass houses in Belsize Park was unanimously rejected last night by Camden Council.
Developer Papa Architects have been blocked from demolishing the two low-level one-storey houses, designed by influential architects Robin Spence and Robin Webster, and replace them with two more conventional four-storey family homes.
However 126 residents – including radio 5 live presenter Richard Bacon – objected to the plans, while only three people supported them.
Architect Richard Rogers the co-designer of the Pompidou Centre in Paris has described the building, which is divided into two homes, as “beautifully proportioned” and “elegant”.
Residents attended the meeting in force last night with around twenty turning up wearing specially made t-shirts with a quote from English heritage that celebrated the architectural value of the houses.
Ms Tinero who was leading the campaign to save the houses said: “We are completely delighted - it was a lot of work and we really wanted to make it a comprehensive fight case against the threat to the houses and it worked.
“One of the councillors even said that this dispute was proof that the house must go on the local list which is what we really wanted.
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“It was just obvious that what we were saying was right and what the planning officer was saying was preposterous.”
The group showed, through a 3D presentation, how the surrounding houses would be severely affected by the development – including how certain rooms that were to overlook the development would be deprived of light.
Ms Tinero continued: “I don’t know how the planning officer was keeping a straight face – she was defending the plans saying that as long as it didn’t create a sense of claustrophoia then they would have to passed – and after looking at the impact the houses would have everyone was practically laughing at how absurd she was.
“We won hands down on every aspect really – we scored points on everything!
“As one of the councillors said, 126 local people objected – and they know the area, they know what’s good for the area, you don’t get that sort of turn out unless it is a serious issue.”
The group are now looking into getting the building locally listed to safeguard it against future development.