Appeal to save the Heath Landscape
To save the Heath skyline for future generations we need your help.
In 2004, Athlone House - a historic mansion that directly overlooks the Heath - was sold. The property developers who bought it signed an agreement to restore the House in exchange for planning permission to build a low rise block of luxury flats in the grounds. However, after making huge profits from selling the flats, the developers reneged on the agreement and sold the house to an anonymous billionaire.
The super-rich new owner has been trying to get permission to demolish Athlone House ever since. So far we have successfully fought to stop him, but he has very deep pockets.
He continues to seek permission to replace the historic house with an ostentatious new house, designed perhaps to rival Kenwood House. The proposed new palace is far larger than the existing house; the elevation facing Kenwood is 70% larger! Described by its critics as “a mix of Stalinist palace and Victorian asylum” it will destroy the time-honoured skyline of the Heath and Kenwood, protected for over a century by the work of this Society. Furthermore, should the owner choose to cut down trees on his land to improve his view, the new house’s overwhelming presence in the landscape would be still greater.
We are grateful that Camden has held firm so far and refused permission. This matter has already been through one appeal that threw out the owner’s plans. But he persists.
As the February 2015 Newsletter goes to print there is yet another public enquiry into the latest proposed demolition. We continue to work closely with Highgate Society and other local groups, including the Athlone House Working Group, in organising opposition to plans for demolition.
Following our members extraordinarily generous response last year on the issue of the Heath Ponds it is with reluctance that we now ask you to consider contributing to the costs of another case, but we do so because the outcome of this case will shape the landscape of the Heath for generations. The Heath & Hampstead Society’s share of the cost of the legal and expert representation at this critical enquiry is expected to be not more than to £10,000. The Highgate Society is also launching a funding appeal since we are sharing the overall costs with them.
It cannot be right that one person be allowed to damage a historic landscape loved by millions of people.
Please give as generously as you can to our ‘Appeal to Save the Heath Landscape’. If each member of our Society gave £5, we would easily cover our share of the enquiry costs.
Please make your cheque payable to ‘The Heath & Hampstead Society’ and send it, with the Gift Aid form that can be downloaded from this website, to
The Heath & Hampstead Society
22 Maryon Mews,
London NW3 2PU.
If you have any queries, contact