Calls for conservation area in Fortune Green to protect ‘village’ atmosphere from overdevelopment

Committee members of West Hampstead and Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Forum (from left) Su

Committee members of West Hampstead and Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Forum (from left) Sue Measures, Nick Jackson, chair James Earl, Stephen Nathan, Mark Stonebank and Cllr Keith Moffitt. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Residents in West Hampstead are calling for Fortune Green to be made into a conservation area to safeguard against overdevelopment.

Locals are concerned that the large number of homes being built in the area as part of the London Plan will harm its village-like feel.

In the West Hampstead and Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Forum (NDF)’s plan for the area, which will set out recommendations for development that reflects the views of residents, one group said Camden Council should establish a Fortune Green conservation area.

This would cover the green itself and Hampstead Cemetery, as well as Ajax, Agamemnon, Ulysses and Achilles Roads.

Secretary of the Fordwych Road Residents’ Association, Jane Evans, who lives in Fortune Green, has even suggested that the whole of West Hampstead should be made a conservation area, though admits the idea is “unrealistic”.

She said: “The bottom line is that West Hampstead and Fortune Green have a definite heritage flavour loved by the people who live here.

“I think Fortune Green should be included in a conservation area but I don’t know if it would be possible for the council on financial grounds.

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“I know there is a plan for development the council has to follow, but they need to be more mindful about the character of the area.”

Chairman of the NDF, James Earl, who lives in Fordwych Road, Fortune Green, said not everyone was in favour of making the ward a conservation area.

He said: “Some people don’t want it to be protected because they want more housing. But others are concerned about the design of new buildings that are not in keeping with the character of the area.”

There is a designated “growth” area around the West End Lane area in West Hampstead as drawn up by the London Plan, the capital’s development strategy, which will mean a minimum of 800 homes are built and 100 jobs are created before 2031.

Cllr Valerie Leach, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “Establishing new conservation areas is guided by English Heritage. If there is support from the community and evidence that Fortune Green would meet this guidance, we would welcome taking these discussions forward.”