Athlone House under renewed threat
By LiseS | Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 16:31
Although Camden Council's planning committee unanimously threw out the
Athlone House: image courtesy of the Highgate Society
application for a new mansion that would have required the demolition
of local landmark Athlone House, the Highgate Society has let us know that the property's developers have lodged an appeal with the Council in a bid to overturn the planning decision.
"It’s critical that the Inspector, Sian Evans, is made aware how strongly local residents oppose the scheme," says Catherine Budgett-Meakin, Chair of the Highgate Society. "Our 500 emails helped persuade Camden reject the original application. Another 500 are needed to make Athlone House safe from the developers’ second attempt to destroy it."
High-profile local residents including actor Tim Piggott-Smith have reportedly thrown their weight behind the campaign, and Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone added on her blog,"Athlone House [is] one of the most amazing landmark buildings overlooking
Hampstead Heath. This beautiful building is still under threat –
despite proposals for its demolition being decisively rejected by
The application can be viewed at Camden Council's planning page here. The plan under dispute is for the "Erection of 8 bedroom single dwelling house (Class C3) together with
ancillary staff and guest accommodation and underground parking,
following the demolition of Athlone House."
The Highgate Society, supported by the Heath and Hampstead Society, the Victorian Society and planning officers from neighbouring Haringey Council, have been opposing plans for the demolition of the former family mansion, RAF base and NHS hospital since they were announced. The proposal under appeal is for a £20m stone mansion by architect Robert Adams, to replace the Victorian building, which has been allowed by its owners to fall into disrepair and decay. A leaflet about the campaign can be downloaded here.
The Highgate Society are asking local people to write directly to the Planning Inspector, Sian Evans, to voice their comments on the planning appeal on email Sian.Evans@pins.gsi.gov.uk, or by post to The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple
Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN, quoting reference APP/X5210/A/10/2135357. The appeal will be heard in February.
Plans for an indoor swimming pool at nearby Beechwood House will be considered by Camden Council shortly.