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New homeowners in Hampstead Garden Suburb to be 'shield' against violent crime

PUBLISHED: 10:29 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:47 26 January 2017

Vision of the new homes in Bute Mews, from the planning application, which could be on the frontline of crime in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Vision of the new homes in Bute Mews, from the planning application, which could be on the frontline of crime in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Archant

The owners of six newly built homes facing onto a Hampstead Garden Suburb park will provide 'natural surveillance' against sexual and other violent crimes, developers claim

The Bute Mews garages which attract The Bute Mews garages which attract "nefarious activity", photo from planning application

Tenorpace Properties hope to demolish two garages on Bute Mews behind the Market Place and build six three-to-four bedroom homes, with basements, looking onto the scenic Northway Gardens.

In their Barnet Council planning application, the developers argue that Bute Mews and the park are currently attracting crime and “nefarious activity” – but an advent of new residents would stop this.

Bute Mews, hidden behind 14-56 Market Place, was historically used as a service area for shops.

It is now, however, largely deserted and attracts crime.

There were 15 crimes reported in and around Bute Mews, including theft, violent and sexual offences, burglary and one public order offence, from January 2016 to November 2016.

From January 2015 to January 2016, there were 20 reported offences, according to police data.

In their planning application, Tenorpace Properties argues that their new homes will introduce “natural surveillance of the park and mews to discourage nefarious activity such as dumping of rubbish, cars and criminal activity”.

They add: “There are constant problems with fly tipping, unauthorised parking, vehicle dumping and crime, including theft, burglary, vehicle crime and over five violent/sexual crimes in the 12 months to January 2016.”

The developers are confident that it would be no great loss for the garages to be demolished, as they are “utilitarian, low status buildings, in an altered and poor condition”.

Residents will be expected to enter their Bute Mews homes through the park, after a new landscaping design, including a hedge with integrated doorways, is put in place.

Architect Richard Maltese added: “The development will make a hugely positive contribution to this area”.

The plans for new homes has invited some cautious optimism.

Resident Deborah Gavzey wrote: “I support this proposal as it would clean up and improve what is currently a very unsightly road.

“I hope that bin stores will be provided the whole length of Bute Mews. I also hope that the whole length of the border with the park is cleaned up and a new hedge or fence erected, not just the end with the new houses.

“There is, however, some concern that the road will fall back into disrepair, even if there are new homes.”

Aaron Langberd added: “I am delighted to note that a proposal to redevelop this site has been put forward as I believe this will enhance this long derelict site at last, and all troubles going on in this area, for instance, fly tipping, criminal activity, will be minimised.”

The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust is also reviewing the application.

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