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Architect plans to tackle ‘ugliest’ building in Dartmouth Park

Objectors to proposal say new home will be 'represents overdevelopment'

04 September, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

The building in Laurier Road which Richard Keep wants to upgrade

IT has long been described as the “ugliest” building in a leafy conservation area, regarded by many as an eyesore on the end of a sought-after Victorian terrace.

But an architect has set his sights on the 1920s property in Laurier Road, Dartmouth Park, with plans for a modern home and a refit involving new bronze cladding.

Richard Keep aims to create a new family home at the site which, in his application to Camden Council, he says is at “arguably the most prominent location on the street yet is the least attractive house”. He said: “We want to make it a beautiful building to live in. “The area has a tradition of extremely high- quality modern architecture within a conservation area and that is what we want to achieve.”

How the new property would look

While the idea of refurbishing the site has been largely welcomed, conservationists and some neighbours believe the new home will be too “intrusive”.

Nick Bradfield, from Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee, has told planners: “The extension looks awkward and unrelated to the rest of the building. “The proposal as submitted represents overdevelopment of the site and does not contribute positively… It is overbearing and will provide a ‘cliff’ appearance.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Rose, manager of a nursery school in St Mary Brookfield Hall, said building work could block sunlight from its garden. “I am concerned how overlooked our garden will be from the new windows,” she said. Mr Keep, however, says he tried to discuss plans with neighbours before sending them for review at the Town Hall.

His application adds: “This building will always be the anomaly in the street, which otherwise epitomises the conservation area. This proposal attempts to embrace that difference and offer something which can be a positive influence on the conservation area.”

Built in the late 1920s as an extension to the house next door, it included a room and separate entrance for a maid as well as a new kitchen and living room. It was converted into two homes in 1985. Council planners must now decide whether to approve the scheme or pass it to councillors for a final decision

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