Top banker’s plan to ‘ruin’ famous Constable view rejected

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:14 24 January 2013

Artist's impression of view down Admirals Walk

Artist's impression of view down Admirals Walk


Plans for an “ultra modern” home in Hampstead which some say threatens the landscape of the village – as depicted by artist John Constable – have been rejected.

The Grove, or Admiral's House, Hampstead

John Constable, 1821

Oil painting on paper, laid on canvas

© Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonThe Grove, or Admiral's House, Hampstead John Constable, 1821 Oil painting on paper, laid on canvas © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Banker Peter Rading wanted to demolish his 1950s home next to historic Fenton House and replace it with a four-bedroom house with a 15ft basement.

The plans sparked a wave of objections and the National Trust raised concerns over the effect the work in Admiral’s Walk would have on 17th century Fenton House, though they stopped short of submitting a formal objection.

In a deputation to officials last Thursday, local historian Christine Pullen said the plans would ruin the picturesque appearance of the area, which had been largely preserved for almost 200 years.

She said: “The architect says in short ‘this proposal has been very well thought out and would become an enduring and beneficial addition to the conservation area’.

“I prefer Prince Charles’ words ‘what’s proposed is a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend’.”

Mrs Pullen said tourists regulalry gather on a small patch of green outside her home in Lower Terrace, where artist Constable spent two summers, to drink in the view of Admiral’s Walk which Constable painted during his time in Hampstead.

The scene is currently on display at Burgh House museum.

She warned the historic view would be ‘overwhelmed’.

The council’s planning committee threw out the plans, saying the house would be too big, too close to the pavement and detrimental to the conservation area. Residents expect the decision to be challenged by Mr Rading, a senior executive at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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