A north London council has declared war on builders who bulldoze unlisted period houses to make way for multimillion-pound super-homes.
Haringey borough says fine Arts & Crafts houses have been replaced by mega-mansions in The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead, known as a “billionaires’ row”, while other period homes have been lost in Courtenay Avenue nearby, named this summer as London’s most expensive suburban street.
The council wants strict new controls to protect the best period properties. But in any case, buyers planning a “tear down” project won’t find it cheap. An eight-bedroom house in The Bishops Avenue is on sale for £38 million (pictured above).
And on the market in Courtenay Avenue at the moment is a six-bedroom modern house, measuring 14,253 sq ft for £25 million.
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A spokesperson for Haringey council says it has now lost patience with the developers of these “luxury residences of high specification with potentially inappropriate scale and design” and is about to issue some protest proposals.
Michael Hammerson, vice president of the Highgate Society, is welcoming the council’s proposals. “Some of these streets are really beyond redemption now, and by creating massive gated developments which are generally purchased by overseas investors they are not contributing visually or to the local community,” he said.
Under the new policy demolition of period houses would be strictly controlled and “consent will not be granted for the demolition of buildings which make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of a conservation area”. Should a demolition be allowed then its replacement would have to be of a “scale and design” which enhances the area.
Although the council stops short of imposing a size limit, it is worth pointing out that according to the Royal Institute of British Architects, an average new three-bedroom home measures 947 sq ft. Replacement properties regularly measure 40 times that. Extending properties will also be limited and wraparound side and rear extensions will “not normally be considered acceptable.”