Hampstead residents vow to fight planned demolition of ‘splendid’ home

The house, once known as 'Danehurst', in Redington Road Picture: RedFrog

The house, once known as 'Danehurst', in Redington Road Picture: RedFrog - Credit: Archant

Residents have pledged to fight against plans to demolish a “splendid” Edwardian building in Hampstead and replace it with a four-storey complex of eight flats and a double basement.

The house, built in Redington Road in 1906 and once known as “Danehurst”, has been vacant since September 2015 after Christian missionaries from the Columban Fathers left.

The application to develop the site, registered on January 3 by developers Linton Group, includes a one-bed flat, five two-bed flats, one three-bed flat and one four-bed flat, with roof accommodation and a double basement containing seven parking spaces.

But the plan has attracted many objections, including from the Hampstead and Heath Society, the Victorian Society and the Hampstead Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

Rupert Terry, the chairman of the Redington Frognal Association, said Hampstead is “constantly under attack from development companies” and the building should be preserved rather than knocked down and replaced “with a much larger property that will detract rather than enhance the street scene”.

He said: “It’s a splendid Arts and Crafts building, absolutely fascinating – it should be a museum.

“Most of the developers don’t care about damaging the character of our area, eliminating green spaces, or putting neighbours and streets at risk from digging out tonnes of earth.”

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He added that the Redington Frognal Conservation Area should be protected, stating: “We’re determined to fight this battle to protect our environment.”

The Victorian Society, meanwhile, said the demolition would cause “substantial harm”.

Conservation adviser Alex Bowring, who works for the charity, said: “The public benefits of replacing a building that has historic architectural interest, and therefore contributes to the enjoyment of a designated historic environment, with a new house which does not, are next to none.”

Frognal and Fitzjohns councillors Siobhan Baillie and Gio Spinella also said they will support residents in their challenges.

Cllr Spinella said: “We are looking at the development with concern – this is one of those occasions when a building giving something positive to the area of conservation could potentially be destroyed.”

He added that construction traffic and disruption in an area “already under pressure” would be unfair.

“Conservation areas don’t seem to mean much to the council,” he said. “But I want them to be protected at all times.”

In a statement to the Ham&High, a Camden Council spokesman said the application will be “robustly assessed”.

He added: “The council has policies which seek to ensure the protection of buildings which make a positive contribution to a conservation area.”

Linton Group chose not to comment.