Went out for a walk in Kenwood yesterday. The sun was shining (for the first five minutes) and I love Kenwood and Hampstead Heath – nowhere better to see the seasons change. Kenwood was in beautiful autumnal colours and looking just wonderful.
The point of mentioning this is only to say that on walking out of Kenwood the way I exit you get the most wonderful view of Athlone House – 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 Camden Council.
The developers are taking it to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in an effort to get Camden’s decision overturned.
It is absolutely vital that local people let the Inspector, Sian Evans, know how strongly local residents oppose the scheme. The Highgate Society has been fighting together with local people all the way against these proposals. They are campaigning (and I was handed a leaflet as I left Kenwood to this effect) to get local people tell the Inspector directly. The e-address is: Sian.Evans@pins.gsi.gov.ukif you want to let the Inspector know how you feel about this or you can write to The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN. The reference to quote is: APP/X5210/A/10/2135357. There is more information on the Highgate Society website www.highgatesociety.com
How we arrived at this position is a matter of some interest itself. In 2005 planning permission to construct new flats in the grounds of Athlone House. In exchange – the developer agreed to maintain and restore Athlone House within three and a half years. Needless to say- the first part of the deal – ie the developer built the flats and made the gain by the sale of the completed flats but Athlone House has not been maintained and restored. A new owner is instead seeking to replace one of London’s finest Victorian Houses houses with a new one.