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Conservationists oppose mansion plans for Jack Straw’s Castle car park

The City of London say new homes will be 'visually intrusive'

04 May, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

The former Jack Straw’s Castle pub in Hampstead

THE peace and serenity of Hampstead Heath is under threat from a plan to build two mansions, say influential conservation groups and Heath managers the City of London.

Architect Quinlan Terry – known for his links to Prince Charles and traditional designs – has drawn up a scheme for developers Albany Homes that would see a car park next to the former Jack Straw’s Castle pub, by Whitestone Pond, used to build the four-bedroom homes. The project has been criticised by the City, who say the designs are too high, would ruin views from Golders Hill Park, and would cause traffic jams.

In a letter to the Town Hall, the City called the plans “visually intrusive”, adding: “It is considered that the proposed development is substantial in terms of its size, scale and massing, and will adversely impact on the character, appearance and setting of the area when viewed from Golders Hill Park.”

The Heath and Hampstead Society said: “The Heath and Planning Sub-Committees of the Society have both concluded that the proposed houses are not compatible with the noteworthy listed building, and that we will campaign vigorously against the application.” In 2003 and 2004 its owners were denied permission for new homes – but this time developers say the houses would not damage the Castle, a Grade II-listed building designed in the 1960s.

In a planning application, agents Montagu Evans said: “Unlike the earlier schemes, which attempted a pastiche extension to the listed building, the current scheme uses a distinctively different architectural style that is still in keeping with the style of the main building.” They added that it respected the former pub, with its distinctive wooden, clapboard style facade, and would improve the area by including new landscaping.

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