I’ve lodged a formal objection with Camden Council to the development at Grove Lodge. The following is the rationale that I gave:

Hampstead Conservation Area is cherished by residents and visitors as much for its heritage as its superlative aesthetics. The area of Admiral’s Walk is a prime example of this, having 15 listed buildings on the (short) street or nearby. It was immortalised by John Constable: a view that is essential to Hampstead’s image and one that would be threatened by this development.

The extension is excessive in size. The basement, at 250 square metres and containing thirteen rooms is being far larger than the average Hampstead home by itself. The above-ground extension of the building completely removes the ‘farmhouse’ character of the building. As Grove Lodge was once the only farmhouse on Hampstead Heath, this undermines the original character of Hampstead – forever lost if this development goes ahead.

The extent of the development, especially below-ground, will mean a large amount of rock and soil being removed through very narrow streets. Hampstead’s tranquility is an asset to the entire Borough, but is punctuated too often by lorries removing large amounts of debris. A further 1,500 lorries working on this development will be a large imposition on the Applicants’ neighbours as well as the wider community.

The development also flies in the face of the Council’s rejection of the similar application to expand 10 Lower Terrace in 2013 (2013/0480/P). Both applications involved excessively-sized mega-basements and would impact upon a Grade II listed building: in that case, 10 Netley Cottage and its wall. The impact of this redevelopment would be greater and more egregious.

That application was rejected on the basis of its impact on the listed building and its impact on the Hampstead Conservation Area contrary to the Camden Local Development Framework Core Strategy 14 and Development Policies 24 and 25. I implore the Borough to reject this application on the same basis.

For more about my campaign to oppose over-development, click here.