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Pond House, Clapton, East London

Pond House: front elevation facing Clapton Pond The proposed block of flats along Mildenhall Road
Pond House: front elevation facing Clapton Pond The proposed block of flats along Mildenhall Road

Issue
The Grade II* listed Pond House, located next to Clapton Pond in East London, is a simple stucco villa of about 1800. Although formally at risk, vacant, sporting an unorthodox livery and subject to the recent attentions of thieves and minor arsonists, it remains imposing, retaining its flanking quadrant walls, stables and a large back garden. An impressive stone staircase and balcony dominates the interior and the original layout is substantially intact. There are now plans to convert it to apartments and to build a block of flats along one side of the garden.

Our view
The proposed housing scheme is over-intensive, wholly alien in scale and form and would block any public view of the attractively-bowed rear elevation of Pond House.

Result
We have objected. 

Old Market, Brunswick Town, Hove

Issue
In the heart of Brunswick Town in Hove, behind the Regency extravaganza of Brunswick Square, is the Grade II listed Old Market, now the subject of proposals for a penthouse extension in a contemporary idiom.

Our view
The photomontage, pictured here, renders the extension so gossamer-light as to be almost invisible, but of course internal lighting, the messy realities of human habitation and the general tendency of glass to read as a dark material will make it all too evident an excrescence on top of a well-conceived Georgian building that is carefully designed to terminate the view down Upper Market Street.

Result
We objected and the scheme was refused permission in April 2009. A revised scheme has since been put forward.

744-766 High Road, Tottenham

White Hart Lane as existing, with the line of threatened buildings running vertically down the left. The proposed new stadium, projecting forward onto the High Road.
White Hart Lane as existing, with the line of threatened buildings running vertically down the left. The proposed new stadium, projecting forward onto the High Road.

Issue
Proposed demolition of several buildings on the High Road, including two listed Georgian buildings, to accommodate a new and expanded stadium for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Our view
Along with SAVE Britain's Heritage, we believe it would be feasible to rebuild the stadium to a larger capacity while retaining the row of historic buildings on the High Road; the desire to demolish them arises, as far as we can see, from a wish to create a visually dominant statement building rather than from genuine functional requirements. Tottenham Hotspur FC, having dedicated itself to gradual land assembly over the years, now owns all the threatened buildings and wishes to replace them with a piazza. Whether this would, in reality, be an attractive place, on matchdays or at any other time, is highly doubtful; much more likely is that it would be windswept, flyblown and litter-strewn. Historic urban centres - and Tottenham High Road is certainly one of those, with a rich mix of historic buildings including a pair of Georgian townhouses dating from 1715 - need density and a tight grain to keep their definition. A scorched earth policy is neither desirable nor necessary here, as the threatened buildings offer enough scope for permeability to allow them to coexist easily with a major public venue such as a football stadium. We are pleased that Spurs propose to remain on their traditional site, but one of the thrills of urban stadiums lies in the dramatic changes of scale they offer, the juxtaposition of gargantuan structures and modest, domestic-scaled buildings. There is a fine opportunity here to continue that exciting relationship and treat the threatened buildings as a positive contributor to an imaginative solution rather than as an inconvenience.

Result
SUCCESS! Spurs revised their plans in May 2010 to allow fo the retention and restoration of key historic buildings on the High Road, including Georgian Warmington House. Further information http://bit.ly/bmMNFZ.


 
 
   
   
     

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