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55 Fitzroy Park: Developer defends Heath-side home plans as petition with almost 6,000 signatures submitted

PUBLISHED: 15:48 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:14 04 August 2020

Campaigners from regular Heath users including swimmers, runners, dog walkers, residents and allotment holders petition to prevent exessive development of nearby plots in Fitzroy Park.

Campaigners from regular Heath users including swimmers, runners, dog walkers, residents and allotment holders petition to prevent exessive development of nearby plots in Fitzroy Park.

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Campaigners who oppose plans to build five family homes on a plot bordering the Heath this week submitted a petition with more than five and a half thousand signatures to Camden Council.

An artist's impression of one of the homes planned for 55 Fitzroy Park. Picture; Adam ClemensAn artist's impression of one of the homes planned for 55 Fitzroy Park. Picture; Adam Clemens

This comes more than a year after Geoff Springer’s scheme to build three homes on the site of 55 Fitzroy Park for his neighbour Professor Lynne Turner-Stokes and her family was first mooted.

The two further homes, planned for the rear of the site close to Millfield Lane, would be for Mr Springer and his son.

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Groups including the Heath and Hampstead Society, the City of London Corporation (CoLC) and the Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) have voiced disapproval of the scheme.

But Mr Springer has always defended the scheme’s design. On behalf of the Turner-Stokes family, he said: “We acknowledge the importance of the site and we are conscious of the strength of feeling this petition demonstrates.”

Gates at the rear of 55 Fitzroy Park that exit along Millfield LaneGates at the rear of 55 Fitzroy Park that exit along Millfield Lane

He said he was keen to reassure local people that the scheme would not have an impact on drainage, as the plot was downstream of the Heath, and added “there is no plan to use Millfield Lane for construction traffic”.

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Mr Springer continued: “The plans remain consistent with the scale of development for properties on neighbouring plots in Fitzroy Park, and do not therefore represent an ‘overdevelopment’ but a considerate response to the existing local context.”

Meanwhile the Fitzroy Park Residents’ Association has called the impact of the plan a “grave concern”, and the Highgate Society called it “ill-conceived, poorly designed and selfishly over-developed”.

An artist's impression of plans for 55 Fitzroy Park. Picture: Adam Clemens / Fathom ArchitectsAn artist's impression of plans for 55 Fitzroy Park. Picture: Adam Clemens / Fathom Architects

Susan Rose, who chairs Highgate CAAC added her group was “aghast” at the plans which could “destroy the peaceful enclave of Millfield Lane forever”. She added: “These houses will do nothing to relieve the housing situation, being aimed at the billionaire’s market.”

Heath swimmers have been concerned by the impact on the nearby Kenwood Ladies’ Pond.

Ruth Hallgarten, who chairs the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association said she was concerned about the impact of the development on Millfield Lane. She worried the scheme would threaten “the peaceful natural approach to the pond”.

The Ham&High understands the scheme is likely to come before Camden’s planning committee in the near future.


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