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Developer must replace Hampstead house brick by brick

PUBLISHED: 13:57 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:58 07 September 2010

Campaigners in Netherhall Gardens

Campaigners in Netherhall Gardens

Tan Parsons FURIOUS residents are calling for developers to replace every brick of a Hampstead house they renovated before applying for retrospective planning permission. Schneider Designers began working on 42 Netherhall Gardens in 2007, which lies in Ha

Tan Parsons

FURIOUS residents are calling for developers to replace every brick of a Hampstead house they renovated before applying for retrospective planning permission.

Schneider Designers began working on 42 Netherhall Gardens in 2007, which lies in Hampstead's conservation area.

But only last month was an application made for retrospective permission to demolish the existing house and replace it with something new.

Tarpaulin and scaffolding shrouded the building site until Christmas 2008.

When it came down, neighbours were horrified to see the dark facade of the original home had been replaced by lighter bricks and bright white pointing.

Neighbour Monika Caro said: "This was a beautiful 1930s house but there is nothing left of it. The entire neighbourhood is in absolute uproar.

"The original building was made of dark brick but what we have been left with is bright orange bricks and white mortar. It's absolutely horrendous."

She fears that if Camden Council grants retrospective permission for the changes it will open up a "Pandora's Box" by setting a precedent for developers to build before receiving the green light.

She added: "We are going to lose what is precious about Hampstead if this is allowed to continue. We want them to replace the old building exactly as it was."

Netherhall Gardens resident Bill Richardson said it was the most mysterious building development he has ever seen. He said: "The front is entirely different. They seem to have changed one wall at a time and there doesn't appear to be one original window in the entire house.

"Personally I don't object to it. I don't like it but then I didn't like what was there before. But it sticks out now - the pointing between the bricks is so white it looks like toothpaste. I would call this kind of architecture Golders Green baroque and it is very badly out of place."

Conservative councillor Chris Knight, a member of Camden Council's development control committee, backed the residents' views.

He said: "I take a very strong view on this. It's this sort of thing that irritates me beyond belief. They go on and do something totally different and it totally destroys the area.

"It opens the door for people to try to do this sort of thing in the future. It's taking liberties with the system. It's time the system bit back and taught them a lesson."

Schneider Designers' architects were not available to comment.

Camden Council is currently assessing the retrospective planning applications.


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