‘Billionaire’s Row’ has not become a heritage risk, insists Barnet Council

The Bishops Avenue was temporarily put on a heritage risk register. Picture: Polly Hancock

The Bishops Avenue was temporarily put on a heritage risk register. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Council officers have denied a road that has become one of the world’s most expensive places to live is damaging the heritage of the surrounding conservation area because of over-development.

The Bishops Avenue was, before a very quick U-turn, put on a “risk register” by Historic England for the first time.

The government body, which this week published its annual snapshot of the country’s historic environment, categorised the road as “deteriorating” and gave its condition as “poor”.

Home to a wealthy elite that includes Saudi royalty, it has been dubbed “Billionaire’s Row” and recent years have seen existing houses replaced with ever more palatial homes.

Lying within the borders of the Hampstead Garden Suburb (HGS) conservation area, the risk register listing suggested development may have got out of control. Historic England said Barnet Council had expressed “concerns” over the road.

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But after alarmed council officials contacted Historic England, it was removed from the list.

The council claimed the road was not a “designated asset” and insisted, when contacted by the Ham&High, that conservation officers had “no concerns”.

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But the HGS Trust, which controls a very small part of The Bishops Avenue, suggested it could be cause for concern.

Nick Packard, of the Trust, said: “The eight or so houses our Trust covers are quite different to the rest of the road. It’s fair to say some of the developments would not have been granted permission were they under our protection.”

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