Hampstead Garden Suburb housing extension rejected by Barnet Council planning committee

Flats in Britten Close. Blocks 1-6 were subject to development plans. Picture: Google Maps

Flats in Britten Close. Blocks 1-6 were subject to development plans. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A developer’s proposal to build an extra floor on top of existing flats in Hampstead Garden Suburb using new planning rights has been turned down.

The scheme, which would have seen 48 flats added to blocks at Chandos Way and Britten Close, was rejected by a majority of councillors at a meeting of the strategic planning committee on Tuesday (December 1).

It had been applied for under permitted development rights, which were expanded by the government this year to allow automatic permission for up to two extra storeys to be built on top of existing flats, providing certain conditions are met.

Planning chiefs at Barnet Council had deemed the development acceptable and recommended it for approval. But due to the “level of public interest” in the scheme and the history of the site – which had previously seen similar applications turned down – it was referred to the planning committee.

The council received 265 objections to the scheme, including one from MP for Finchley and Golders Green Mike Freer, and none in support.

Nick Jenkins, of Smith Jenkins planning consultants, said: “The impact upon residential amenity would be massive – quite simply building over existing homes. Over 200 skylights will be blocked up. This cannot be right.”

Cllr John Marshall (Conservative, Garden Suburb) claimed the development would have a detrimental impact on a conservation area and criticised the “inadequate” parking and the plan to build over the skylights.

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The applicant defended the plans and claimed the scheme met all the conditions needed to win approval

He said it was a “carefully planned and referenced design” that would “work with the existinghandos buildings, not only in the material choice but also in massing, details and uniformity”.

The applicant also pointed out that a planning inspector had judged a previous application “would not result in unacceptable harm to the living conditions of the occupants of the existing flats”.

Councillors went on to reject the scheme on four grounds.

They said the position of the balconies did not meet one of the conditions of the new planning legislation, the scheme would unbalance the building’s appearance, increase on-street parking stress, and the lift shafts would have an impact on the amenity of existing and neighbouring residents.