Jim Gowans, WHCA’s rep on the Conservation Advisory Group, assesses local developments…
BUCKINGHAM LODGE TREES AT RISK
When permission was granted to construct an additional storey on the roof of Buckingham Lodge a condition was imposed that required trees to be planted around the building. The developers now say this condition should be removed as it is un-enforceable. The developers claim that as the freeholder they do not own the grassed area around the ground floor flats which is for the use of these flats only. If this is the case, the solution is surely for the lessees on the ground floor to agree to the landscaping (it seems unlikely they will object to a scheme intended to enhance the environment) and for the developer to pay for it.
31-33 BATH STREET
Demolition of the old garage is now underway some ten months after planning permission was granted. Meanwhile modern re-designs have been offered for the Juliette balconies and main gate which have been welcomed by the conservation officer as being innovative and providing more architectural interest.
26A WEST HILL ROAD (Pickett Garage Site)
Yet another application to develop this plot has been lodged. It is possibly more harmful to the conservation area than any of the previous four applications; all of which, mercifully, have been refused. The West Hill Community Association has objected, as have most of the residents nearby. The family trust which is pushing for a five bedroomed house (disguised as four bedrooms plus a “study”) with car parking, stands to make loads of money if successful, even if this means loads of misery for those living in adjacent basement flats especially.