Hampstead planning row over ‘historic’ brutalist swimming pool relocation

Templewood Avenue Hampstead pool

Templewood Avenue Hampstead pool - Credit: Archant

Plans to demolish and relocate a Grade II-listed swimming pool in Hampstead have drawn the ire of residents of the adjacent Schreiber House – along with campaigners from the 20th Century Society.

The historic domed pool was built alongside the house in 1964 by architect James Gowans. Now, though, the pool and house are on separate properties and the owner of the Templewood Avenue house where the pool is wishes to move it.

Both pool and house were listed after architect James Gowans designed them for furniture maker Chaim Schreiber in 1964.

Virginia and Simon Kirsch live in the Schreiber House. In an objection lodged against the plans, they write: “If the pool is relocated, Gowan’’s geometric plan will be permanently altered and no longer legible.”

Virginia told the Ham&High: “We feel, living in the Schreiber House, we are guardians of Gowans’ legacy. This shouldn’t be allowed – if is relocated it will be further separated from the house and also without the protection of a listing in future.”

The family who built the property in Templewood Avenue were given planning permission to do so at the time on the proviso that the glass domed pool was retained.

Grace Etherington, a caseworker at the 20th Century Society, told this newspaper: “The developers have not proved what they need to in order to do this to a listed building – that there will be a substantial public benefit from the demolition and relocation.”

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The developer has previously had an application to excavate a basement and add a substantial extension approved. However, this application only involved refurbishing the pool, rather than razing and rebuilding it.

Historic England have authorised Camden Council to take the decision, but said it should be subject to a heritage investigation.

In planning documents the developer states it is “improving the setting of the listed building”.

Agent Design West Planning has not responded to the Ham&High’s request for comment at the time of writing.

Camden Council’s public consultation over the plans continues until September 2.