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Two tennis courts now available for Suburb residents

Posted on 22 Dec 2015

It may be a grey, mild December, but we are happy to announce that the second of our Central Square tennis courts is now available for use by Suburb residents.

The first court was refurbished opened up to users in spring 2015, and has proved very popular for most of summer and autumn. Suburb residents need to book their slots ahead of time via the Trust website. The single court has now received a thousand bookings since it opened in May. 

The second court has been refurbished and painted, and is now ready for play. After the first court was so highly subscribed, it is hoped that the second court will allow even more tennis fans to have a match when the warmer weather returns.

To read more, and make a booking, head to http://www.hgstrust.org/trust-property/tenniscourts.shtml

Winter Members' Lecture - Henrietta Barnett: A Philanthropic Hero

Posted on 21 Dec 2015

This year's winter Members' lecture, on Monday 21 December at 6pm, will be delivered by Charlotte Hopkins (MA) from the London Metropolitan Archives.

Miss Hopkins will explain how Henrietta Barnett's philanthropic work made her a 'hero' - not just to the Suburb, but to the various organisations and movements she was also involved with.

In documents held at the London Metropolitan Archives, which is the main repository for archives relating to Henrietta Barnett, we can trace her work through her involvement in the Settlement movement at Toynbee Hall, as the first female Poor Law Guardian and to the foundation of Hampstead Garden Suburb, “where all classes could live in neighbourliness together”.

Following a discussion of Henrietta, this talk will advise on how to search for and obtain copies of the architectural drawings of properties within Hampstead Garden Suburb which are held at LMA.

This is a Members' event. Invitations will be going out by post shortly. Membership is free, and open to all residents. If you are not already a Member and would like to become one, please see here for details and a Membership form.

St Jude's - a cultural hub for the Suburb?

Posted on 15 Oct 2015

See below for information on a new vision for St Jude on the Hill:

The proposed Hampstead Garden Suburb Cultural Hub

Please let us know your views!

The magnificent Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill lies at the heart of Hampstead Garden Suburb. This Grade 1 Listed Building may be one of Luytens’s masterpieces, but its poor condition means the church is on Historic England’s “At Risk” Register. 

The church intends to apply for Heritage Lottery Funding to help fund essential restoration work, but also to create a heritage and visitors’ centre for the Suburb itself. This will be located in a large chapel with its own access from Central Square, and will celebrate the diverse heritage of the Suburb, its architectural gems, its place in the garden suburb movement, the role of Dame Henrietta Barnett and much more. The plans also include the creation of additional community and studio space. For more information about the proposals, click here.

It is important that the church consults about these proposals as widely as possible. Please let us know what you think, by taking just five minutes to complete a short online survey.

The link to the survey is here. Do please tell us your thoughts – tell us what you like about the proposals and tell us what you think should change.  

The survey will remain open until 17 November.

Thank you,

Reverend Alan Walker

David White
Vicar, St Jude’s Church Warden, St Jude’s

 

You can find the presentation slides here (PDF), and read more about St Jude's at the website.

Proposed Supplementary Basement Guidance Consultation Update

Posted on 12 Oct 2015

We have now finished the consultation process and will take all comments into account when the Trustees, with the help of staff consider the final document.  We will also be taking legal advice to ensure that the detailed guidelines contained in the document are sustainable within the terms of the Scheme of Management.

There has been some debate over the breadth of the Trust’s consultation.  The exercise was outside the scope of the Trust’s standing consultation process which relates to individual applications.  The Trustees thought it right, nevertheless, to seek comments from residents but did not believe it was helpful or necessary to invite every resident to comment which is why the publicity was aimed at Trust members who provide a cross section of residents as a whole, and of course membership of the Trust is free.  We also wrote to all freeholders on the Suburb and invited comments from other organisations. Coverage in the Ham & High, Evening Standard and LBC radio will have reached a wider audience.  The contents of the Supplemental Guidance, like the Design Guidance itself, cannot be a simple reflection of the views of residents (even if there were consensus - which there is not).  The exercise is aimed at a balance between preserving the character and amenities of the Suburb and the recognition that it would be unreasonable to deny consent for basements in some cases.

It may take us a while to finalise the document and publish on the website a synopsis of the comments we have received.

Meanwhile we thank those who have commented.  If you live on the Suburb and are not already a Trust member, you are encouraged to join.  You can find out how to join by going to: http://www.hgstrust.org/the-trust/membership.shtml

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2015 Trust Council election results

Posted on 25 Sep 2015

The votes for this year's Trust Council election have been counted and verified by our auditors, haysmacintyre. 

586 valid ballot papers were received. There were 20 rejected papers. 

One resident Trustee position was up for election, with two candidates standing. 

Claire Calman received 340 votes. Varda Aaron received 226 votes. Therefore Claire Calman has been re-elected as a Trustee. 

Trust Reaches Settlement on Basement Extension

Posted on 02 Sep 2015

The Trust is pleased to confirm that it has reached an accommodation with a resident who constructed a basement whose extent grossly exceeded that which the Trust had authorised.

The Trust’s normal response to unauthorised development is to threaten an injunction and to proceed to obtain one either to prevent work taking place or to reverse it if it has already started; this strategy has been carried out with a very high success rate and continues to be the Trust’s policy.  However, in this case the Trust received legal advice that for technical reasons, while it might obtain an injunction, it might be more difficult than usual.  It was advised that if an out-of-court-settlement could be reached, the possibility should be pursued. 

The Trust can now announce that the matter has been settled by agreement for £180,000.  This figure is based on the Trust’s estimate of the enhanced value of the house, making appropriate allowance for the cost of construction and litigation risk.  Included within the figure the Resident has also made a contribution towards the Trust’s legal fees.

While the Trust condemns completely the action of the resident in carrying out the what it considers to be unauthorised work, it acknowledges the spirit of co-operation with which he has dealt with the matter once the seriousness of the alleged breach and the Trust’s determination to seek a remedy were understood.

The Trust would like to make it clear that, while it welcomes the settlement in this case, its policy will continue to threaten and/or obtain injunctions to restrain or reverse unauthorised work.

Note: The net benefit to residents of the Suburb from the settlement will exceed £150,000 (after legal fees have been deducted).  How this money will be spent will be the subject of further discussions by the Trustees, based on advice from the Trust's lawyers and accountants.

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Trust Gazette and Annual Report and Accounts now available to download as PDF

Posted on 19 Aug 2015

The Trust's two main annual publications, the Gazette and the Annual Report, are now available to download from their respective pages on this website:

Copies of the Annual Report have gone out in the post to Trust Members. Residents aged 18 and older who have lived on the Suburb for three years or more are invited to become members of the Trust company. Other adult residents can become Associate Members in the meantime. See Trust Membership for further details.

Copies of the Gazette will be sent out to all Suburb freeholders along with this year's Management Charge statement at the end of August.

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2015 AGM

Posted on 14 Aug 2015

Chairman Richard Wiseman addresses 2014 AGM

Chairman Richard Wiseman addresses 2014 AGM

The Trust has announced its Annual General Meeting to be held on Wednesday 9 September 2015 in the Henrietta Barnett School Hall, Central Square NW11.

There will be a period for informal conversation over light refreshment at the beginning of the evening, and doors will open at 7.30pm for that purpose.

The business will commence at 8.00pm; details are set out in the formal Notice on the second page of the attached letter:

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Trust welcomes Japanese community design agency Studio-L to the Suburb

Posted on 08 May 2015

The Trust yesterday welcomed representatives from Japanese community design agency Studio-L, who have an interest in community planning and urban design, as well as the history of garden suburbs.

Studio-L was founded in August 2005 by architect and landscape designer Ryo Yamazaki. Having worked on the management of a local park - and in particular, managing communities rather than facilities - Ryo saw how empowering this could be to local people. Over the past ten years, Studio-L has been involved in many projects around Japan, enabling dedicated communities to manage local facilities and activities.

Trust staff gave the seven visitors a brief history of the Suburb, from Henrietta Barnett's dream of a model community, to how the Trust works today to preserve the character and amenity of this special area.

The group then headed out on a walking tour of the Suburb led by Trust manager Nick Packard, taking in sights such as the recently re-opened Fellowship House, buildings and facilities at Central Square (including the Trust's new tennis court), and the ongoing conservation work on the Great Wall.

There was particular interest from the group in the work of Henrietta Barnett, as well as that of Suburb architects Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, and Sir Edwin Lutyens.

These walks and talks form an important part of the Trust's educational work, highlighting the significance and uniqueness of the Suburb. There is interest, both nationally and internationally, in the formation of the Suburb, and how its character is being maintained in the 21st century.

New Trust Council Member Appointed

Posted on 09 Apr 2015

The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust has a new Trustee.  Simon Hurst, nominated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), is stepping down having been a Trustee for 12 years. He is replaced by Elspeth Clements, who has been nominated by RIBA.

Elspeth is a member of RIBA Council and is an accredited RIBA Conservation Architect. She works in partnership with David Porter as Clements & Porter Architects, founded in 1979. She is also Chairman of the Highgate Society Planning Group and wrote part of the Highgate Conservation Area Appraisal.

Elspeth joins the three other nominated (non – resident) members of the Trust Council, the other nominating bodies being the Victorian Society, the Law Society, and the Royal Town Planning Institute.  There are also four resident members of the Trust Council, elected by members of the Trust.

The Trust is a charity and holds its assets on behalf of all residents of Hampstead Garden Suburb.  Any operating surplus is devoted to the maintenance of the Trust’s financial position, to the preservation of the character and amenity of the Suburb and supporting other charitable organisations.  All Trustees are unpaid volunteers.

Broadband north of Lyttelton Way/Market Place

Posted on 23 Feb 2015

Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, has contacted Suburb residents with an update regarding access to superfast broadband in two areas that are currently not able to have it installed. His letter is copied below:

Further to my previous letter, I have again met with BT to discuss superfast broadband provision in the Garden Suburb. BT have informed me that two areas do not meet their commercial viability criteria for superfast rollout. They have stated that in order for the superfast service to be installed at your address, residents themselves would have to meet the funding shortfall.

There are two telephone 'cabinets' which serve the properties. They are:

  • Cabinet 5 (Streets around Midholm)
  • Cabinet 19 (Streets around Maurice Walk)

Each serves around 300 households and rough estimates suggest a funding shortfall of around £21,000 per cabinet. That would mean each household would be required to contribute £67, if every household were to make an equal contribution. The cost would vary depending on the number of households that sign up to the scheme.

BT added that speeds would vary between 50mb per second and 20mb per second, depending on the distance between your home and the cabinet.

As I stated previously, I appreciate this is not an ideal solution and I have pressured BT to cover the costs themselves. However, they have remained firm that as a commercial organisation they would be unable to do so.

At this stage, it would be very useful if residents could indicate if this would be something they would potentially be interested in doing. I would be grateful if you could email me on mike@mikefreer.com to discuss further.

I will also be speaking with the Residents' Association and the HGS Trust to seek their involvement in the project. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Freer MP

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London Borough of Barnet press release regarding damage to a Listed building on Wildwood Road

Posted on 16 Jan 2015

Originally published by LBB on Friday 16 January 2015

The owner of a Grade II listed building in historic Hampstead Garden Suburb who repeatedly ignored council officers’ advice while carrying out building work has been fined £45,000 by magistrates.

Maurice Lawee, of Wildwood Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, pleaded guilty to four offences of carrying out unauthorised work to a listed building at Willesden Magistrates' Court on 13 January in a prosecution brought by Barnet Council.

The court heard that Mr Lawee bought his house near the Hampstead Heath Extension in 2008 for £3.7m within the historic Hampstead Garden Suburb Conservation area. The house was built in 1912 by Arts and Crafts architect George Lister Sutcliffe and listed in November 1996.

In 2010 Mr Lawee was granted listed building consent for an extension to his basement with the installation of a lift and conversion of a garage.

However, complaints were received by the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust that Mr Lawee was carrying out unauthorised work beyond that granted consent on his property.

Conservation officers from Re visited the site and ordered work to stop. But despite repeated assurances by Mr Lawee and his architect that work would stop, further site visits showed they had carried on regardless.

Due to the extent of the unconsented works carried out to the listed building, Barnet Council decided to prosecute Mr Lawee in one of the first cases of its kind undertaken by the authority.

Among the unapproved works carried out by Mr Lawee were; building two large conservatories at the back of the house; completely altering the house’s internal layout, including removing internal walls, knocking out chimney breasts, alcoves, the original staircase, doors and architraves; incorporating outside utility buildings into the main structure of the house; and causing significant harm to the distinctive ‘Flemish bond’ brickwork.

Mr Lawee was fined a total of £45,000 for the four offences and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £14,000. It is the third highest fine to be issued in a Magistrates court for this particular type of offence.

The solicitor from Barnet Council's shared legal practice, HB Public Law, who presented case, said: “Despite officers giving repeated warnings that work must stop and on occasions, promises being made for this to happen, works continued regardless stripping out much of the interior of the house, changing the proportions and the spaces, partially demolishing the outhouses and building.

“Irreversible damage has been caused to the brickwork and outhouse and original features appear to have been destroyed or removed from the building.”

Mr Lawee has since applied for retrospective consent for the works, some of which have been granted and others refused.

Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “Mr Lawee showed a blatant disregard for the fact he was living in a conservation area in a Grade II listed building when he decided to alter his house in the way he chose fit. Planning laws are there for a reason and the high level of fine reflects the seriousness of this breach.”

David Davidson, Architectural Adviser for the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust, said: “The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust is very pleased that the Court has taken these offences seriously and imposed such a substantial fine on the building owner.  

“The Suburb is an area of international significance in the history of town planning and architecture, and alterations to its buildings need to be carefully considered in order to retain its special characteristics. Mr Lawee chose to ignore the planning regulations which exist to protect Listed Buildings from damaging alterations.

 “The London Borough of Barnet has rightly pursued this offence with due persistence. The result will hopefully deter other owners of Listed Buildings from similar actions and ensure that they get the necessary approvals before carrying out works of alteration.”

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New Trust Manager

Posted on 16 Dec 2014

The Trust Council is pleased to announce that Nick Packard MRICS has been appointed to succeed Jane Blackburn RIBA as the Trust Manager from 2nd February 2015.

Nick has been the Trust's Estate Manager since June 2009.

Jane is retiring on 30th January 2015 after ten years as the Trust Manager.

A note to Residents from the Trust Chairman

Posted on 05 Dec 2014

Those of you who have read the Jewish Chronicle this week or have looked at its website, may have been surprised to see an article about the Suburb and the innuendo that it is wrong to acknowledge the connection between the Suburb and Rothenburg without publicising Rothenburg’s Nazi past.

The Suburb's connections with Rothenburg (beyond its considerable influence on Raymond Unwin's town planning ideas in the early years of the Twentieth Century) have been the trip earlier this year organised jointly by the RA and the Trust (paid for entirely by those on the trip) and a small photographic display at the time of the Proms of photographs taken on the trip. In addition, Rothenburg will be the subject of the Trust's annual lecture which takes place next Wednesday.

On the 26th November I was contacted by Dr Saul Zadka (who was a trustee at the time the trip was organised) asking me to call off the lecture, stating that many residents were uncomfortable, if not outraged, by what he called an obsession with Rothenburg. I replied suggesting that uncomfortable residents should contact me direct by email or phone, but that the lecture would go ahead as his was the only complaint I had received. Only one resident, other than Dr Zadka, has contacted me and he rightly identified the issue as a storm in a teacup.

Anyone interested in Rothenburg's tarnished past so far as its Jewish population is concerned should look at its own website:

http://www.tourismus.rothenburg.de/index.php?id=577

I hope you agree with me (and the others on the trip - Jewish and otherwise), that we are not talking about a place trying to hide its dark side.

I also made it clear to the JC reporter that Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the Suburb are not an issue and that innuendo to the contrary would be irresponsible. Anyone who would like more information should email me direct; richardmwiseman@yahoo.co.uk.

Richard Wiseman
Trust Chairman

*****


The Great Wall, Hampstead Garden Suburb


Rothenburg

Conservation and repair work continues on The Great Wall

Posted on 28 Nov 2014

Trust staff were on site today to inspect the conservation and repair work currently taking place on the Great Wall near Sunshine Corner, which is looking very good indeed.

 

The Institute Open Event - New Venue Preview

Posted on 04 Nov 2014

Two open events are being held for The Institute's new venue preview, to be held at:

Bishop Douglass School, Hamilton Road, East Finchley, N2 0SQ

on Thursday 6 November 12pm - 3pm & Monday 10 November 6pm - 9pm

There will be the oportunity to meet the teachers and discover more about the move to Kingsbury. Copies of the new brochure will be available along with light refreshments.

A flyer for the event is here

More information on The Institute is here

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Completion of works at Turner Close

Posted on 24 Oct 2014

The Trust has recently undertaken a project to repair the road and pavements at Turner Close.

The Trust-owned private road, off Meadway, had suffered from broken paving slabs due to inadequate foundations for the pavements and poor drainage from rainwater running off the road and central green. In winter, this poor drainage had led to the formation of dangerous ice patches.

Following 5 years of consultation with the residents of Turner Close (who contribute towards the cost of any works), this project has resulted in a beautiful new road surface, smooth block work pavements, and an improved surface-water drainage system, all built to last for many years to come.

See below for some before and after shots:


 

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Surveying the Great Wall

Posted on 03 Oct 2014

Trust staff recently surveyed the Great Wall, as part of the ongoing conservation and repair project with the support of the City of London.

 

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The Great Wall - Conservation and repair project

Posted on 02 Oct 2014

On behalf of the property owners, and with the support of the City of London, the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust is supervising conservation and repair of parts of the Great Wall.

This Grade II Listed structure was originally designed as a divide between the rural Heath and the built-up Suburb.

In recent years the wall has become overwhelmed by the vigorous growth of ivy and other vegetation. This is invasive into the brickwork and its weight is adding a significant strain on its structural stability.

The work will be to remove ivy, repair the wall and re-establish controlled vegetation. It is a similar scheme to that which the Trust successfully carried out at Sunshine Corner.

Once the work has been completed the re-growth of vegetation in front of the wall will be allowed, but maintenance will prevent it from becoming too vigorous and therefore posing a future treat to the wall.

Work is likely to last until July 2015.

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Appointment of new Trustee

Posted on 08 Sep 2014

David White is to succeed Saul Zadka as one of four elected Trustees on the eight-person Trust Council (the Trust’s board of directors)

Saul Zadka is retiring after a three year term of office.

David White, of Hampstead Way, was nominated by Pia Duran and David Littaur. As there was only one nomination there will be no ballot.

David will succeed Saul after the Trust’s Annual General Meeting on 10 September.

Click here to find out more about David White (PDF).

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Basement Policy Review

Posted on 22 Aug 2014

The Trust has reviewed its policy and procedure with respect to applications for consent to
construct basements in the light of the High Court judgement in the Green Close case.
Click here to read the basement policy review (pdf)

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Everything clicks in to place...

Posted on 21 Aug 2014

Throughout August and September, the Trust’s website content will be switching over to a fresh new design. The new look site features improved accessibility and functionality, with essential information and advice for residents and visitors presented in a crisp, modern and easy-to-use format.

On the initiative of Trust Chairman Richard Wiseman, Education and Publications Assistant Lauren Geisler has worked closely with the Trustees and staff to produce a new site meeting the Trust Council’s objective to improve communications.

A series of downloadable Technical Guidance fact sheets will assist homeowners and architects when considering alterations to properties, and detailed staff contact information will enable the Trust to handle enquiries more efficiently.

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Notable Residents And Where They Lived - Publication Announcement

Posted on 13 Aug 2014

Since its foundation in 1907, many people of note have made their home in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Eva Jacobs, Suburb resident and honorary lifetime member of the Residents Association, approached the Trust in 2010 with her research and proposal for publishing findings on Suburb residents who are known to "have made a considerable contribution to society".

Working with the Trust's Education and Publications Assistant Lauren Geisler, Eva has compiled 'Notable Residents and Where They Lived', a 50-page book presented as both a collection of short biographies and self-guided walks through the streets of the Suburb, with map references accompanying each entry, and special mention given to existing Blue Plaques.

Notable Residents and Where They Lived coverThe inspiration for this project stemmed from the Suburb Centenary Celebrations during 2007-8, for which Eva prepared an exhibition at the Church Farm Museum.

The exhibition made use of Kitty Slack's vast collection of newspaper cuttings, magazine articles, obituaries and personal notes kept by the Hampstead Garden Suburb Archives, collated in a file entitled 'The Hampstead Garden Suburb Book of Repute and Renown'. Eva presented her findings as a list of notable residents and their addresses, plotted on to a map of the Suburb.

The people included in the completed book are not necessarily 'celebrities' in the modern sense, but all have made a considerable contribution to society, with the author choosing to give less information about those residents who are in the usual sense 'famous', and more about those to whom the reader's attention may need to be drawn.

Working closely with Eva to produce a usable and attractive book, the Trust has self-published 'Notable Residents' and plans to follow the successful distribution scheme used in recent years to promote the series of 'London's Northern Heights' walking tours, produced in collaboration with The Highgate Society.

The Trust launched Eva's completed publication by presenting a selection of entries from 'Notable Residents and Where They Lived' who have contributed to the worlds of literature and music, at this year's Proms at St Jude's and the Suburb Literary Festival. The exhibition featured a series of maps with addresses plotted on, alongside biographical information, similar to Eva's initial display for the Suburb Centenary, bringing the project full circle in a rather pleasing way.

Copies of 'Notable Residents and Where They Lived' are available for £4 from the Trust office, Suburb Library, and online from the Trust via Amazon.

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Elections for the HGS Trust Council September 2013

Posted on 01 Aug 2013

Result of the postal ballot for two Elected Trustees, as notified by the Auditors in accordance with the Articles of Association for the Trust.

Background

There are eight Trustees who together form the Trust Council. Four of the eight are elected by residents. Each of the other four is appointed by a relevant national body: the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Victorian Society and the Law Society.

The constitution of the Trust requires all Trustees to work together for the good of all residents and the Suburb. Trustees must accept collective responsibility for the Council's decisions. They cannot represent any particular group of residents.

Every year in late September one or two of the four places for elected Trustees is vacated. Elected Trustees must stand for re-election every three years and may not serve more than two three-year terms without a break. In September 2013 two places were available; Angus Walker and Geoffrey Marriott were retiring after six years as Trustees.

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