Former rail workers’ social club site on market for £8.5m after 10-year battle
Published: September 29, 2011
by DAN CARRIER
AN abandoned patch of land tucked down one of Kentish Town’s oldest streets has been put up for sale for £8.5million after a 10-year planning wrangle.
The land, which was once home to a British Rail workers’ social club, sits behind Highgate Road and is hemmed in by Georgian and Victorian homes.
It was bought in 2000 by three investors at auction and they won planning permission for luxury homes with an underground car park soon after.
But the developers were stopped in their tracks when they failed to put together a plausible way of shifting hundreds of tonnes of earth and debris off the site, and bringing in the required materials to build the houses.
As the argument rumbled on, people living nearby seeking to block the scheme won the support of film director Ken Loach and historian Gillian Tindall. Actors Roger Lloyd Pack and Tom Conti, and Dave Davies of the Kinks also joined the high-profile campaign.
An advert in this week’s Estates Gazette magazine shows the site with a computer image of how it could look (pictured).
It makes no mention of the planning issues surrounding the area. The marketing blurb calls it a “significant freehold development opportunity,” and also boasts of planning permission already gained for 20 houses, eight private apartments and two affordable homes.
Little Green Street resident Amanda Blinkhorn, who for nearly a decade has been involved in the battle to halt the current owners from building the luxury estate, said: “We all would like to see something done with the old Railway Social Club. It has been lying empty for too long.
“But any investor needs to be aware of the fact though this is basically landlocked and there issues over access.”