Linton House

posted 10 May 2014, 21:17 by dartmouth park   [ updated 10 May 2014, 21:17 ]
A drive by owners of office space to make a speculative killing by converting offices to residential use threatens to strangle a key element of local planning before it has a chance to get going.  Savills, acting for Norman Linton (holdings) Ltd, have made a ‘prior approval’ GPDO application (2014/2367/P) to convert the whole of Linton House (39-51 Highgate Road, NW5 1RT) above the ground floor.  Although the almost non-existent formal ‘consultation’ closed a few days ago no decision has yet been made.  Linton House falls just outside DPCAAC’s catchment but is very much within a large area zone for employment currently dominated by Murphys and the medium to long-term future of the site will undoubtedly be a key element of both the Dartmouth Park and Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum Local Plans and, indeed, of the revised LDF.  Striking the proper balance between our need for additional housing and employment opportunities is, like striking the balance between additional housing and open space and heritage protection needs, a key task for local planning.  We must not allow piecemeal speculative change under provisions intended to speed up the planning process in relation to obviously surplus to requirements isolated office space to undermine the planning process.  The Council should protect at least its major employment areas with appropriate ‘Article 4 Directions’, bringing them back under proper development control, certainly until the community has had a proper opportunity to plan their medium to long-term future.  Sadly, the Council having cut its ‘Article 4 Direction’ programme for Conservation Areas, now has to start this work from scratch.
For an idea of the scale and importance of the 'Murphy's site' go to:  http://www.dpnf.org.uk/murphy-site/