Holly Lodge objectors are misguided

Last week s headline (Hammer blow for Highgate conservation, Ham&High July 16) is over-sensational; a sense of balance and reality needs to be restored. The misguided and orchestrated views of Holly Lodge residents have caused Camden to withdraw their pro

Last week's headline (Hammer blow for Highgate conservation, Ham&High July 16) is over-sensational; a sense of balance and reality needs to be restored.

The misguided and orchestrated views of Holly Lodge residents have caused Camden to withdraw their proposals for Article 4 Directions in that conservation area.

The people of the Holly Lodge estate will have to live with that decision, and the progressive deterioration of their area's character; we think they will regret it. Those in the much larger Hampstead, Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage Conservation Areas have, we believe, more sense, and will not oppose Camden's sensible, measured proposals, when they come up for consultation later this year.

For the record, once again, Article 4 Directions do not forbid householder additions or alterations - they merely require them to receive planning permission, as has always been the case for flat owners. (see our letter to H &H of May 28).

Supporters of these proposals are described as 'nimbies' by Holly Lodge lobbyists. This is unjustified; we are interested in the character of our conservation areas for everyone's benefit; no-one would benefit individually.

It has been clear for years that the cumulative effect of a multiplicity of uncontrolled work, such as the destruction of front gardens for car parking, is very damaging, and we want to see this curbed. The cause of conservation generally has received no hammer-blow!

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Gordon Maclean

Heath and Hampstead Society and Belsize Reidents Association

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