First images of fresh plans for Athlone House
Fresh plans to demolish a historic home on the edge of Hampstead Heath have been unveiled for the first time.
Although designs for Athlone House have been scaled back from earlier proposals with a smaller basement and no courtyard wings, campaigners insist it would still be a blot on the landscape.
The images – released for the first time – are the latest development in a planning row which has been raging between a foreign billionaire and neighbours for the more than a decade.
The 1870 pile, which served as a residence for several captains of industry and an RAF intelligence base and hospital, was snapped up a mystery owner in 2005 who plans to bulldoze the historic home and replace it with a larger house, featuring a ballroom, cinema, swimming pool and at least eight bedrooms.
Jeremy Wright from the Athlone House working group said: “The house has been there for 140 years and it has been designed to nestle into the landscape. These latest designs appear to have been made as a statement about the wealth and ambitions of the owner and is, in our view, highly intrusive into the land adjoining Kenwood House.”
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Mr Wright claimed the plans still contravene planning guidelines because they ballooned beyond the footprint of the current house. Camden Council and a planning inspector rejected the last plans on this basis in 2009.
A spokesman from developers Athlone House Ltd claims the new designs have addressed the planning inspector’s concerns.
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Gordon Maclean, of the Heath and Hampstead Society, said residents will “oppose this development” with their last breath and expected the society to make a “robust” response to the planning application once it has been lodged with the council for consideration.