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Proposed conservation area will increase pressure from developers, say Brownswood residents

PUBLISHED: 08:31 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:36 10 January 2020

Houses in Gloucester Street, which is not in the proposed conservation area. Picture: Google Maps.

Houses in Gloucester Street, which is not in the proposed conservation area. Picture: Google Maps.

Google Maps.

A group of Brownswood residents have raised concerns about a proposed conservation area saying it will increase pressure from developers on the rest of the ward.

Houses in Wilberforce Road, which is in the proposed conservation area. Picture: Google Maps.Houses in Wilberforce Road, which is in the proposed conservation area. Picture: Google Maps.

A draft conservation area proposal by Hackney Council identified "a high-quality Victorian suburb with a clear hierarchy of housing types" enclosed by the established routes of Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park and Green Lanes.

"The area has also been subject to minor small scale alterations that if continued cumulatively will have an impact on the special architectural and historic interest."

However, some residents have raised concerns that these boundaries exclude areas of the ward that should qualify under the same conditions.

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"All of the arguments to support the CA apply equally to Gloucester Drive, Adolphus Road, Alexandra Grove, Portland Rise, Henry Road and Princess Crescent yet these streets are not even mentioned in the consultation documents, nor have we been included in the consultation process" said John Grant, 64, an architect and resident of Gloucester drive.

"I agree that Brownswood, all of it, is more than worthy of the designation Conservation Area. But the proposed CA is wrong because the excluded part will be subject to increased pressure from over-developers - who are rampant in the area - to the detriment of the whole ward. Also it will be much more difficult for these streets to get this proper designation if they are excluded now."

A spokesperson from the council said, "A potential conservation area in the Brownswood Area has been under consideration by the council for some time. The proposed boundary was determined following careful research of the area's history, character and appearance. The merits of including surrounding streets such as Gloucester Drive, Adolphus Road, Alexandra Grove, Portland Rise, Henry Road and Princess Crescent have also been assessed."

"Conservation areas require special architectural and historic interest to warrant designation. Whilst the areas in question are similar in some ways they are considered to be less ornate with a simpler design than that of neighbouring streets. Moreover, there has been a higher level of unsympathetic alterations which considerably impact the uniformity and group value of the buildings and spaces."

The consultation for the proposed Conservation Area closes on January 29.


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