Planning Inspector dismisses appeal to build homes at 19th Century listed building

Highgrove House in Ruislip | Hillingdon Today
Highgrove House in Ruislip / Hillingdon Council

A planning inspector has thrown out an appeal contesting Hillingdon Council’s decision to refuse planning and listed building applications that would have had ‘unacceptable impact’ on a historic Grade II listed building in Ruislip.

Developers Westcombe Estates Ltd applied in April 2021 for planning permission to build a three-bedroom home at Highgrove House, on Lidgould Grove. The applications were refused by Hillingdon Council’s planning committee in November 2021, but the developers subsequently appealed.

Last Monday (7 March), a planning inspector dismissed both appeals, citing that the harm caused by the development would outweigh any gains to the local economy or housing supply.

That sentiment was echoed by many in the local community, with the original applications having received 21 letters of objection and two petitions with more than 150 signatures. One of the petitions stated the plans would ‘have a significantly negative impact on the beauty and characteristics of Highgrove House’.

Strong objections were also lodged by Eastcote Conservation Panel, Eastcote Residents’ Association, Ruislip Residents’ Association & The Ruislip, Northwood and Eastcote Local History Society.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said: “We’re delighted with this result that upholds the council’s position – that these proposals would cause undue harm to one of the borough’s heritage assets.

“In our modern, rapidly-growing world it’s increasingly important that this council acts to preserve the borough’s history for current and future generations. Buildings such as Highgrove House play a vital role in reminding us of and connecting us to, the borough’s past. “We’re duty bound to act in protecting such buildings, and in this case, also safe-guarding the residents and wildlife surrounding the site.”