Quarrel over basement expansion at £19m Whitestone House
PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:35 21 October 2016
A row has broken out over plans to dig out a basement car park and swimmming pool next to Hampstead Heath.
Residents have complained the works will ruin the nearby road surface and bring even more HGVs charging through the area.
The owner of the seven-bedroom Whitestone House, Whitestone Lane, has put in a planning bid to rebuild a four storey ‘dwellinghouse’ and excavate space for nine parking bays, a swimming pool and sauna underneath. Graham Edwards, the CEO of property giant Telereal Trillium, also wants to add a car lift to move vehicles to and from the new basement at Whitestone House.
His neighbour, Dr Lincoln Chin, owns the private piece of road that runs from the main road, Heath Street, up to the Regency-era mansion. Dr Chin is concerned that the six HGVs due to travel to or from the site each day will devastate his road.
Dr Chin is seeking an assurance that the road surface “will be maintained on daily basis”.
He said: “It’s a sandy road, with bushes and trees on the side, in keeping with access to the heath in this area. The works are totally unsuited for the road unless it is well protected.”
Dr Chin is calling on the council, should it grant planning permission, to put a proviso on the approval that the owner must “preserve and protect” the road every day.
Camden’s planning committee is due this evening to consider the application for the works at Whitestone House, which was redesigned in the 1930s by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and already has one swimming pool.
A council planning officer has recommended the application be approved.
A spokesman for Camden Council said: “The proposed development accords with development plan policies and the impact of any construction works on neighbours can be minimised through an agreed construction management plan.”
Meanwhile campaigners a few streets away are worried the HGVs will worsen the congestion from lorries already set to visit a three-storey basement excavation on New End and a 24-storey tower on Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage.
Mother Jo Jacobson, who lives on New End Road, said: “So much for bucolic Hampstead. This is obviously going to compound the traffic problems that Hampstead will experience as a result of simultaneous large scale projects.”
Hampstead camapaigner Jessica Learmond-Criqui said the council had failed to consider the “cumulative impact” of these developments.
“Given the 6000 lorry movements which are necessitated by the New End development, Camden must slow down approval of traffic management plans which bring more HGVs to the area,” she said.
Jonathan Freegard, the architect working on Whitestone House, said on behalf of its owner: “The ‘six HGVs a day’ is a peak prediction for a very short period of the construction programme. They will stop for loading, only, and not park at the property.
“A crane will mean that skips are loaded away from the roadway and only lifted on to the HGVs when full.
“The protection and daily maintenance of the shared private road surface will be covered by a legal section 106 agreement with the council.”