Hampstead residents rally against 'Mediterranean' house plans

18A Frognal Gardens could be turned from red to green

18A Frognal Gardens could be turned from red to green - Credit: Polly Hancock

Hampstead residents opposed to the “Mediterranean” redevelopment of a home with an-all green façade say it is “insensitive” to the character of the conservation area.

A planning application has been lodged with Camden Council for 18A Frognal Gardens to be knocked down and replaced with a four-storey, four-bedroom home.  

The plans would include basement excavation, a music room and a plunge pool. The estimated value of the current property is £3.72 million, according to property website Zoopla.   

Alison Brooks Architects, acting on behalf of the landlord Roger Pilgrim, says the development is an “opportunity” for an “exemplary piece of architecture” with sustainability and energy efficiency “at the core” of the design. 

Among approximately 25 objectors are The Heath & Hampstead Society, and the Church Row Association.  

Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum (HNF) says the scale of the proposed home is “excessive”, its relationship to the street “incongruous”, and its design concept “fundamentally flawed”.  

HNF’s Glen Robinson said: “The swooping curves of the façade and numerous street-facing balconies are more reminiscent of buildings found in the Mediterranean than in chilly England and share no affinity with nearby houses, again failing to respect and enhance the character of the local area and the conservation area as a whole.  

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“This revised proposal remains insensitive to the context in which the applicant wishes to build and live. Support for this ill-conceived design would cause long lasting damage to a fragile conservation area which boasts of having real icons of modern architecture in the immediate vicinity.” 

Frognal Gardens resident Joanna Myers told the Ham&High her objections were focused on the basement in addition to the “sheer scale and bright colour” of the home.  

She added: “This proposed house build has upset an awful lot of local neighbours, local societies and neighbourhood forums that care passionately about the area.”   

The existing home is valued at £3.72m 

The existing home is valued at £3.72m - Credit: Polly Hancock

Alison Brooks Architects did not respond to this newspaper’s approach for comment.  

In its application documents it wrote: “It can be stated that compared with modern standards the building is not fit for purpose and there is now an opportunity to replace the building with an exemplary piece of architecture where sustainability and energy efficiency are at the core of the design, a building which is accessible for later life and contributes positively to the character of the street and the wider Conservation Area.” 

A previous planning application was submitted in November 2019 and later withdrawn. 

A decision on the revised plans is expected shortly, with the public consultation having ended in December. 

For more information use the reference number 2020/5214/P on Camden Council’s planning portal.  

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