The Independent London Newspaper
20th April 2014

Letters

Former Polytechnic of North London saved from demolition

The Pizza Express in Kentish Town Road

Published: 30th December, 2010
by DAN CARRIER

A LANDMARK building in Kentish Town has been saved from demolition after the Town Hall’s planning committee told developers that they were no longer allowed to knock it down. 

Redview, the owners of the former Polytechnic of North London on the corner of Kentish Town Road and Prince of Wales Road, were given the go-ahead three years ago to replace it with flats. But when they went before the committee to renew their permission, they were told they had missed their chance.

The brick building, currently a Pizza Express, was built in 1926 as part of the then North West London Polytechnic. 

The plans, which were first passed in 2007, would have seen the developers build 14 properties – one below the number that would force them to include social housing.

But they faced serious opposition from civic groups who said that while the building is not yet listed, it has genuine historical merit.

The Prince of Wales Road Residents Association (PWRRA) said it is “high quality and a landmark” and insisted the original decision needed to be re-thought. Kentish Town Road Action, Kelly Street and Inkerman Area Residents Association were backed by 44 individual letters objecting to the scheme.

PWRRA chairman Alan Morris said: “It is a much-loved building and it is crazy to think it could be considered for demolition and replaced with something so inferior.” Mr Morris added that he hoped it would now be incorporated into the Kentish Town Conser­vation Area – or even given listed status to protect it into the future.

Councillors, who voted unanimously to save the building, heard that some of the proposed flats were smaller than was recommended under guidelines.

A spokesman for Redview was unavailable for comment.

Comments

North West London Polytechnic

I was so pleased to read the article about saving the building that was once home to part of the former North West London Polytechnic.
I attended there as an apprentice from 1962-66 on day release and, during my first year as I was only 15, also attended Working Men’s College in Crowndale Road. So, it was NWP in the morning, then a walk to WMC for the afternoon and then back to NWP for the evening sessions. Quite a long day, but remembered with the passage of time as pretty enjoyable.
I still pass through Kentish Town regularly and often look at the building while waiting for the lights to change.
Well done to those folks who had the good sense to object to the building’s demolition.
Mick Finn

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