Conservationists fear terrace faces ‘heritage erosion’
But homeowner says extension would be built with Georgian brick
10 March, 2017 — By Koos Couvée
Objector Jane Wheatley at the rear of the terrace where the extension is planned. ‘This is a pretty terrace and it’s intact,’ she said
A COUPLE in Tufnell Park who oppose neighbours’ plans to extend their grade II-listed Georgian terraced house have been backed by conservationists.
Jos and Jane Wheatley, of Tufnell Park Road, are concerned that, if the 3×5 metre kitchen extension is given planning permission by Islington Council, more extensions and alterations will follow at the 1830s terrace that remains largely intact.
The civil servant and GP, who are in their 50s, have been backed by Islington Archaeology and History Society (IAHS), which says the plans, if given permission, would represent a “creeping erosion of heritage”.
Ms Wheatley said: “This is a pretty terrace and it’s intact. These are grade II-listed buildings and this development will set a precedent.
“When we made internal alterations to our house, council officers worked out exactly where partition walls needed to be. It now seems there’s a much more permissive environment.”
The planned extension was not in keeping with the style of the building, she added. The terrace, at the east end of the road, was grade-II listed in 1994.
Mr Wheatley attended a meeting of IAHS to discuss the issue, where members agreed to object to the development.
Christy Lawrance, of the society, said: “While this [development] may seem insignificant, it will not only permanently damage the heritage value of the terrace but also set a worrying precedent, which could lead to further erosion of local heritage.”
However, the applicant, who did not wish to be named, pointed out that other properties at the terrace have got rear extensions, one larger than the proposed extension and built after listing in 1994.
He added that the rear part of the house, where the extension will be built, does not consist of original materials. The new kitchen would be constructed with used brick dating from Georgian times and would therefore appear in character with the terrace, he said.
“Everything we are hoping to improve at the back focuses on parts of the house that are not original and constructed with recent materials that do not reflect the character of the terrace,” he said. “We are doing our utmost to replace them with something closer to original materials.
“We are being cognisant of the need to keep back from the party wall and have ensured that the proposed structure is not higher than the long existing hedge line.
“We are working within precedents as there are a number of other extensions at the back of the terrace, including a deeper and larger one constructed after the  listing.” The application will be heard by a planning committee on March 21.
An Islington Council spokesman said: “Our planning officers recommend that planning permission and listed building consent for this application are approved. We think the size – around 16sq m in area – and design of the extension proposed would not have a significant impact on the terrace or conservation area.
“We understand that the materials proposed will help to preserve the special character of the historic building.”