‘Industrial age chimney will send conservation district up in smoke’

A pensioner has accused planners of trampling over Hampstead conservation considerations with a “memorial” to the industrial revolution.

A pensioner is accusing planners of trampling over the Hampstead conservation area with a “memorial” to the industrial age.

John Manuel and fellow residents, who live in a Grade II-listed building in Netherhall Gardens, have lodged an appeal against the chimney construction, which is part of a new house. Camden Council approved the plans last month.

Mr Manuel, 76, said: “From my basic understanding, chimneys go on roofs. Have you ever seen one on the side of a house? The whole building is of an industrial style – it looks like a factory. I have toured Hampstead and Camden and I’ve never seen anything like it in the world. Chimneys are like factories and it looks like a memorial to the 19th century.”

Original designs proposed to leave the chimney’s metal pipes exposed and conservation watchdog the Heath and Hampstead Society branded the house’s appearance as “excessively industrial”.

But revised plans will see a brick stack encase the structure and Gordon Maclean, the society’s planning sub-committee chairman, said he could not see anything untoward with the building’s appearance from the drawings.

A spokesman from design agency Brinkworth said that it had compromised its original design so it would be more in keeping with other buildings.

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The chimney will funnel smoke from a fireplace in the property’s basement, which the spokesman admitted could give it the appearance of a factory pumping out fumes.

He said: “The brick casing will actually conceal the plastic drains you normally get on the side of buildings whereas our original design was far more contentious and modern.”

The whole development will see two neighbouring houses torn down and replaced with three-storey family homes with basement extensions.


Mr Manuel said that, if building work went ahead, it would amount to four years of chaos for residents. They have already suffered the inconvenience of a major development in the road.

He added: “The developers, with the full approval of the council, have driven a coach and horse through the Netherhall Gardens conservation area. They have ridden roughshod over us.”