Developer seeks to turn Belsize Fire Station into luxury flats

Demonstrators outside Belsize Fire Station protesting against the station closure last year. Picture

Demonstrators outside Belsize Fire Station protesting against the station closure last year. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A fire station controversially closed by the Mayor of London is earmarked to become luxury flats, a developer has confirmed.

Belsize Fire Station, which has been lying vacant since January 2014, will find its interior transformed into 19 high-priced flats should new proposals get the go-ahead.

The Grade II-listed building’s distinctive fireman’s pole and existing internal tiling will be retained, agents acting on behalf of the developer’s said, with plans seeing one unique home spanning all four floors of the fire drill tower.

Last week, this newspaper reported how the former station, in Eton Avenue, had been sold by London Fire Brigade to an unnamed buyer with contracts exchanged in a secret deal believed to be worth more than £20million.

And in a letter from the developer’s agent, seen this week by the Ham&High, the new vision for the distinctive building has been outlined to residents.

Agent Nicholas Taylor and Associates wrote: “The owners propose to convert the building into a series of self contained flats. It is considered that residential use can be accommodated with minimal alterations to the building’s exterior.

“Moreover, the vast majority of the building already accommodates flatted accommodation which previously the firemen and women utilised. In many cases the conversion will be very straightforward.”

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Heritage group Historic England described the building as “one of the most distinctive and original of a remarkable series of fire stations built between 1896 and 1914”.

A planning application is expected to be submitted by developers to Camden Council at the end of the month.

In preliminary plans recently revealed to Belsize residents, the existing seven flats on the triangular site will be retained while 12 new ones will fill the rest of the 16,600 sq ft building.

The project is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete with a start date pencilled in for early next summer.

The station, built in 1915, ended 99 years of service on January 9, 2014 as part of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to sell off 10 stations to make £29m savings.

Its closure followed a protest march by hundreds of campaigners, who walked from Hampstead High Street to the station in May last year.

Serious questions have been asked of the Mayor’s decision in recent weeks, however, after a fire in Camden Town saw an elderly man jump to his death.

With crews dealing with another blaze in Finchley Road, it took more than 13 minutes for engines drafted in from as far as Stanmore to reach the blaze in Camden Road. The target response is six minutes.