Townscape and Conversation Area

The adopted conservation area strategy states; "The view up from the station into the conservation area has been blighted for a long time by the low grade shops and ad hoc buildings over the tracks and the 1970s office block on the east side. Its replacement will therefore positively enhance the area".

The development site does not contain any buildings, features or archaeology which is of special heritage value. The current building makes no positive contribution to the conservation area.

The site presents a long frontage towards the railway rather than to the conservation area. The buildings within the conservation area turn their back on the site and the railway line and the area to the north of the site creates a self-contained high quality enclave.

Our proposals will have negligible impact on the adjacent conservation area and by continuing the local tradition of residential development and mansion blocks can enhance the character of the area more generally. In particular the new development can improve the quality of the public realm of West End Lane and by developing a well-structured and well landscaped public realm can enhance the setting of the conservation area and West End Lane.

Our design approach has been to find a language for modern mansion blocks. The Conservation Area Strategy recognises the positive contribution that these buildings can make to the special character of the area.

  • Mansion blocks are a characteristic of the area. Examples are embedded throughout the area and are tall red brick.
  • The mansion blocks have a uniformity that is a positive contrast to the individuality of the individualistic character of the houses. Details are bold and repetitive, boundaries and hedges are neat, the roofline of the blocks makes simple skylines.
  • The mansion blocks have a scale and boldness of detail that gives them a solid and substantial presence.

Our design approach is consistent with the character of the conservation area. The massing replicates the mass and height of Canterbury Mansions, Buckingham Mansions and Marlborough Mansions. The bold but simple forms of the proposed massing and the predominant use of red brick with repetitive detailing create a series of buildings, that whilst being modern in style, sit comfortably alongside the buildings of the conservation area.

West End Green Conversation Area

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Existing view looking north along West End Lane

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Mansion blocks

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Alexandra Mansions. Stucco detail at high level

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Marlborough Mansions

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Marlborough Mansions aerial view

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Buckingham Mansions on West End Lane

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Buckingham Mansions aerial view

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Cumberland Mansions

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Mansion blocks, Honebourne Road

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Sandwell Mansions

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Canterbury Mansions. Strong horizontal banding with changes to window proportions and articulated corners/dormers. Stucco features decorate the facade.

Local Views

The Fortune Green and West Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan identifies a number of views across the area. Map 2 in the Plan identifies particular views. The Plan states; The height of new buildings shall have regard to and respect the proportion, scale, massing and rooflines of existing buildings in their vicinity and setting. In all development there shall be a clear presumption in favour of preserving the distinct character and appearance of the Area, as well as the views across it.

The Plan seeks development to have regard to local views across the area, towards the skyline of London and the openness of the railway corridor. The existing building is clearly seen in many of the approaches along West Lane End and adjacent to the railway. There are also some views across the site from the residential streets to the north, notably Crediton Hill but these do not impact on the ‘skyline of Central London’. The new development on Blackburn Road to the south of the railway lines is also clearly visible from many points to the north as the land rises towards Finchley Road and Hampstead. Long views to the east along the railway have been considered in the design development. The new building will obscure the view of the rear of the properties in Lymington Road, but not views further east or of the green edge of railway lines beyond the site. The railway is very wide here and the sense of openness will be preserved.

Key to local views

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Local views with wireline of proposed buildings superimposed

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View from NW corner of Crediton Hill and Fawley Road looking SSW toward the site. This view is from within the West End Green Conservation area is looking across the site to the newly completed student accommodation on Blackburn Road. The road is elevated at this point giving views down onto the eastern part of the site.

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View from the western side of the junction of Iverson Road and West End Lane looking along the site to get all of the development in the view.

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Location close to the bus top and greengrocers north of the site and the junction with Sandwell Crescent. View is looking SE towards the West End Lane frontage. This views shows the site in the context of West End Lane.

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View looking west from the corner of Crown Close and Dresden Close, beyond the play ground. This view is across the playground from the east looking west. The bulk of the existing building is apparent.

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