'Discussions' to resolve impact of Jack Straw's Castle homes on the Heath

Jack Straw's Castle in Hampstead will see two homes built in its car park

Jack Straw's Castle in Hampstead will see two homes built in its car park - Credit: Archant/Quinlan Terry Architects

The developer behind plans for housing next to Jack Straw's Castle in Hampstead is "in discussions" with the City of London Corporation and Camden Council in order to move forward with the scheme.

At a planning inquiry earlier this year, Albany Homes was given permission to build two homes on the car park next to the landmark former pub in North End Way. 

Inspector Hayley Butcher handed down a ruling backing the plan in May. It had initially been rejected by Camden Council.

But it has now been argued that the roof of the buildings will overhang Hampstead Heath, and a planned basement's span is also a potential issue. This is because the 1871 Hampstead Heath Act protects the Heath from construction.

But Barry Angell of Albany Homes told the Ham&High he is confident the issue is minor and will be resolved.

He said: "We are talking to the City and Camden, but it's very, very unlikely that we'll need another application."


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The situation was discussed at the Heath and Hampstead Society's AGM on July 21. 

At the meeting, the society's chair, Marc Hutchinson, said although it feels there were "flaws" in the May planning decision, "our counsel and Camden did not see the basis for an appeal to the court".

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Marc told the meeting: "There is one unfinished aspect to the outcome of his appeal, namely the revised roof plans, which the developer handed up to be inspected during the hearing showing that the roofs extend in a trespassing manner onto the Heath itself. 

"So the City are now in discussion with developers and Camden on this unanticipated problem the developers now face."

Discussing Ms Butcher's decision, he added: "[It] represents a terrible setback and precedent for us in our attempts to stop building on the very edge of the Heath. 

"Remember that no planning permissions have been given in recent decades for any new building on the edge of the Heath and that the society extended its objects, in 1933, specifically to include the prevention of inappropriate building on the Heath fringes."

The houses have been designed by Quinlan Terry, an architect who worked with Raymond Erith, the man who designed the restored Jack Straw's Castle in the 1960s. 

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