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£5.5m price tag for Heath ponds plot with house that hasn't been built yet

PUBLISHED: 11:48 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:00 17 March 2015

An image of how the New Garden House will look

An image of how the New Garden House will look

Archant

A controversial plot of land on Hampstead Heath with planning permission for a new house that hasn't been built yet has gone on sale for £5.5 million

Artists impression of the master bedroom with a view of the pondArtists impression of the master bedroom with a view of the pond

Conservationists say the site of the Garden House, on the Vale of Health, is “a lot of money for what is essentially a plot with an unbuildable house” due to its secluded location in a narrow, leafy enclave.

Chairman of the society’s planning sub-commitee David Castle said: “We have always opposed the plans for this new house as we feel it is too big with a basement and will ruin what is an important backdrop to the Heath. I cannot see how they can carry out any construction work as there is such limited access.”

In an earlier letter of objection to the latest stage of the plans, which were passed by Camden Council in March 2014, the society protested at “the totally unacceptable situation regarding the impact this construction work would have on the inhabitants of the Vale of Health.”

It said the proposed construction management plan was “completely unworkable and publicly dangerous.”

Artists impression of the sitting room of the proposed houseArtists impression of the sitting room of the proposed house

The Vale of Health Society also objected to the fact that the redevelopment had gone through with a series of small planning applications, rather than one large one and that access to the site would be through a “single narrow passageway” and cause severe disruption.

Twin brothers Alex and Thalis Vlachos, who own the plot, which already has a 1950s red brick house named The Garden House on it which they inherited from their godfather, have put in 14 applications over the past 10 years in their attempt to improve the building.

In 2006, their battle reached the High Court as a judicial review hearing blocked plans to build a completely new modern house.

Protesters claimed this should never have been considered as the garden slopes down to the banks of the Vale of Health pond and is designated as metropolitan open land – the urban equivalent of the green belt.

The plot is being sold with permission to build “The New Garden House”, designed by James Gorst Architects, through Hampstead Estate Agent Goldschmidt and Howland.

The agent’s website describes a detached house for sale at £5.5million as “a new development opportunity” with “a unique opportunity to build a modern, contemporary home in a private, idyllic environment with uninterrupted views and access onto one of Hampstead’s famous ponds.”

It comes with full planning permission and consent to build The ‘New Garden House’ extending to 4,000 sq ft, boasting: “impressive entertaining spaces” and a lower ground cinema room.

Philip Green, of Goldschmidt and Howland, said: “This is not an unbuildable site. It has got planning permission. There is restricted access to the site through an arch, but that is part of its appeal.”

“It may seem like a lot of money but you are buying an absolutely unique location and view. You cannot calculate this on a pound per foot basis. It is an absolute one off, It is location, location, location.”

Property website Zoopla lists the Vale of Health as having 79 houses and flats with an average current value of £2,328,032.

Should this house be built at all? Let us know your views by emailing letters@hamhigh.co.uk or tweeting us @hamhigh.

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