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Residents vow to continue battle to save historic Northwood property
BATTLE lines have been drawn over the future of a historic home in the heart of Northwood, which residents are desperately trying to save from demolition.
Plans to crush Oakhurst, a locally-listed Tudor-style house in Northgate, and replace it with a five-bedroom detached property, were dismissed at appeal, having been rejected by Hillingdon Council's north planning committee last September.
The developer, Banner Homes, also lodged a separate application to build a second five-bedroom home in the gardens of Oakhurst, which was also dismissed at the appeal, on February 3.
But planning inspector James Ellis conceded his decision was based on a technicality, to preserve a mature oak tree on the site, which is subject to a protection order.
Aside from that, both proposals submitted by Banner Homes were deemed acceptable, leaving Oakhurst - one of the first homes to be built on the Copsewood Estate of Special Character - vulnerable to being destroyed.
Almost 100 residents signed two petitions objecting to the 'wanton destruction of Oakhurst', which was built in the 1920s by local craftsman, Frederick Tibbenham, and is adjacent to partner property, Tudor House.
They have vowed to continue their battle to save the property.
Campaigner Pandora Melly said: "Whether on a technicality or not, I think Banner Homes should accept the decision with good grace and sell Oakhurst as soon as possible.
"The price which a buyer offered about 18 months ago - Â£650,000 - is a lot better than a piece of land on which development is not possible.
"Any further attempts by Banner Homes to destroy a very beautiful building in order to increase 'garden grab' will be met with robust action by supporters of this house."
Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner MP, Nick Hurd, added: "I know how strongly residents feel about Oakhurst and they have my full support. Banner Homes should show more respect to the community."
Group sales and marketing director for Banner Homes, Piers Banfield, expressed disappointment that the appeals were dismissed, but told the Gazette that further planning applications would be submitted to address the reasons for refusal.
What do you think? Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at email@example.com or post a comment below.
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