Plans would ‘destroy key features’ of Georgian building and former home of artist and designer

Camden Council’s planning committee will tonight decide whether to grant permission to allow the former family home of artist and designer couple Adrian and Corinne Heath to be converted into flats.

Front of building.

28 Charlotte Street is an unlisted building in the Charlotte Street conservation area (built circa 1760).

Adrian Heath (1920-1992) was a major figure in the development of abstract art in England during the forties and a key proponent of Constructivism. Corinne Heath (died 2009) was a theatre designer. Their home at 28 Charlotte Street from 1957 was at the hub of an artistic community in Fitzrovia. At one time modernist artist Birgit Skiöld ran the highly successful Print Workshop in the basement of the building.

The application is to convert the existing house and artist studios to provide three self-contained flats, including the enlargement of existing basement, erection of first and second floor rear extensions, and alterations to the rear wall and roof.

The building is not listed but classed as a positive contributor to the Charlotte Street conservation area.

Objectors to the application say the conversion will destroy “key features of Georgian architecture” and also the artists’ studio purpose built for Adrian Heath in the 20th century at the rear of the house.

Local campaign group the Charlotte Street Association argue that redevelopment will in effect demolish the upper floors behind a retained facade and destroy the proportions of the building by altering the floor and ceiling heights. Their concerns are backed by the Bloomsbury Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

The Twentieth Century Society has objected to the loss of the purpose built artists’ studio which they say was designed by architect Charlotte Baden-Powell.

However applicant Damon Heath (son of Adrian and Corinne) states that “the existing house is not only dated, but inadequate by relative design standards that make it less than ideal for family occupation”.

The new build will provide three homes which “not only meet, but in most cases significantly exceed, the London Plan standards” and “provides the Council with an opportunity to move closer in reaching its housing target by utilising an underused space in a more efficient manner”, states the application.

Camden Council’s planning officers are recommending approval of the application subject to a s106 agreement.

28 Charlotte Street, London W1T 2NF. Planning Committee, Thursday, 6th April, 2017 7.00 pm.

Update 21:37, 6 April 2017: Camden’s planning committee has approved the application.

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