Arkwright Road: Council approves plan to build two new homes in Frognal back garden

Two homes will be built in these back gardens in Arkwright Road. Picture: Hampstead Village Voice.

Two homes will be built in these back gardens in Arkwright Road. Picture: Hampstead Village Voice. - Credit: Hampstead Village Voice rather than Sebastian Wocker

A plan to build two houses in a leafy garden behind homes in Frognal has been approved by Camden Council’s planning committee, despite concerns about overdevelopment and a conveyor belt that will carry rubble away from the site.

The pair of two-storey properties will be built behind 29-33 Arkwright Road and has sparked more than 60 objections. Applicant Neil Fletcher said the conveyor belt would be used to get "excavated spoil out quickly" to try and minimise large vehicles having to use the road to take it away. Neighbours are unhappy about the noise it will create and its placement, running in the narrow passage between two houses. There are also concerns about the houses overlooking the site and encroaching on existing homes.

Nine trees will also be felled during the construction process, however lobbying by Cllr Flick Rea during the committee meeting on Thursday December 19 means they will be replaced.

Objectors included the Redlington Frognal Association, but committee members approved the plans with five votes against three.

Speaking against the proposal at the meeting, Barbara Dohmann QC said: "This was always, and still is, and should remain truly green space that is meant [in the plans] to be removed."

Ms Dohmann, who has lived in the area for 51 years added that neighbours she was representing were "seriously and materially affected."

Yet at Camden Council's planning meeting on Thursday night, applicant Neil Fletcher said: it was an "appropriate scheme" and had "positive comment" from review panels. He added that plans had taken care to try and minimise overlooking and the height of the building.

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Frognal and Fitzjohns councillor Andrew Parkinson was one of those who voted against it. He asked the meeting whether building on the patch of garden would damage the conservation area.

He said: "The conservation area statement says development within gardens is likely to be unacceptable. We need a good reason to depart from the normal position."

He added that he believed recent developments in the area didn't provide justification for it.

Cllr Rea lamented a change from the council's previous position was that there was no backland development, allowing owners to "hive off" parts of their gardens to make money.

She added: "It preserved a lot of back lanes, mews developments, from being overdeveloped."

Cllr Adam Harrison said that any development should not increase traffic in Arkwright Road, there should be crossing points and that the community have a part in the finalising of the construction management plan for the site.