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Owner attacked for failing to repair wall

PUBLISHED: 15:59 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 September 2010

THE owner of a crumbling garden wall which has caused the closure of a public footpath has been criticised for avoiding essential repairs

Marc Mullen

THE owner of a crumbling garden wall which has caused the closure of a public footpath has been criticised for avoiding essential repairs.

Two months ago Camden Council was forced to shut the alleyway between Lyndhurst Gardens and Belsize Place, because of the danger posed to pedestrians.

Six weeks ago the council sent a letter to owner Greg Yeatman, demanding he repair the historic wall which is 12 feet high in some places.

Now Hampstead councillor Chris Knight has accused Mr Yeatman of leading people up the garden path.

He said: "The council is trying to get him to do the repairs. It is in a very dangerous condition. I think he is stalling because it could cost more than £10,000."

Dr Peter Woodford, who lives on nearby Akenside Road, said: "I am concerned because we use this alleyway a lot. I am concerned that if we do not assert our right of way up and down this passageway, that right may be lost.

"If the wall needs rebuilding, the council should make the owner use the existing bricks."

Mr Yeatman declined to his position this week, and would only say: "This is entirely the council's decision. I don't wish to comment."

The council believe the wall is part of the original Grade II-listing of 4 Lyndhurst Gardens, which is divided into four flats, although Mr Yeatman owns the garden adjacent to the wall.

Last year Mr Yeatman applied for planning permission to build a modern glass and concrete three-storey house with a courtyard and cinema in the garden. The entrance to the house was supposed to be through the listed wall.

In the face of opposition from neighbours, Mr Yeatman withdrew the proposals but they suspect he will be submitting amended proposals.

One neighbour, who lives in the same building but wished to remain anonymous, said: "The problems with the wall were highlighted in a report Mr Yeatman gave to Camden Council last year with his planning application. He has identified the problem, so now he needs to repair it.

"Instead, he has allowed it to fall further into disrepair."

Neighbours are also furious that two trees Mr Yeatman chopped down last February have not been replaced, as was agreed with the council.

Another neighbour, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said: "It is really painful. There was this beautiful garden and now it is a rubbish heap. There was a revolution in the village when he submitted the last plans. Everyone is very unhappy."

Cllr Knight added: "I am very anti-building in gardens - gardens are the lungs of London.

"His design for the house had all the charm of a sports centre in Cheshunt."

marc.mullen@hamhigh.co.uk

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