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Frognal Gardens: Planners told new ‘green house’ will be too big

'The design concept is fundamentally flawed', says objector

07 January, 2021 — By Dan Carrier

How the new home will look

A STRIKING, green-coloured home proposed for a historic Hampstead street has drawn fierce criticism from civic groups and neighbours.

Plans lodged at the Town Hall by architect Alison Brooks for a family home in Frognal Gardens show a four storey facade decked out in green tiles and incorporating a lattice-like design snaking upwards.

But a number of objections say the plans for the four-bedroom home – boasting an open-plan living area, office and a basement swimming pool – would damage the conservation area, affect views and sunlight for neighbouring homes. They also fear digging out a new basement would be a flood risk.

On behalf of the owner, Hampstead-based ac­countant and investor Roger Pilgrim, the architects say it would improve the street’s look. They added the current home on the site, built in the 1960s, had little architectural value.

Frognal Gardens was built largely during the Victorian era – and the house under threat was later carved out of a neighbouring garden. Objections include a statement from the Church Row Association.

Chairman David Milne said: “The height and bulk of the proposed building is out of proportion to the surrounding buildings and the extensive and prominent green cladding is out of keeping and has no respect for its surroundings.”

The association’s views have been echoed by civic group the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum.

Member Glen Robinson said: “The design concept is fundamentally flawed, being nothing more than two-dimensional street­scape facadism. Being covered in contrasting green glazed tiles neither resolves nor justifies such a proposal.”

Another objection filed at the Town Hall from a group of near neighbours said: “It is a storey too high and dominates the natural tree character of the street. It paves the way for a replica replacement building next door, which when considered together would be wholly unacceptable and overpowering on the character of this part of the conservation area.”

But the applicant stated in their proposals the current house lacks “composure, richness and quality,” adding Hampstead has a long and celebrated history of streets boasting both traditional Georgian and Victorian houses alongside modernist designs.

The application said: “Compared with modern standards, the building is not fit for purpose and there is now an opportunity to replace it with an exemplary piece of architecture where sustainability and energy efficiency are at the core of the design.”

No date has yet been set for the plans to be considered by the Town Hall’s planning committee.

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