More about Beecholme

Beecholme is also the first postwar "mixed development" housing scheme in Hackney, with a mixture of houses and flats with the taller block having five storeys and containing one-bedroom and bedsit accommodation. It is featured in Volume 15 of Hackney History and was the site of Beecholme House, the family home of Maj. John André (d. 1780), who was executed as a British spy in the American War of Independence.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Help retain Victorian heritage at Lea crossing

...with just one email, or two online comments.

Help moderate yet another planning application wishing to change a named "building of townscape merit" in a "conservation area" - the "Ship Aground" pub at 144 Lea Bridge Road in Clapton - to such an extent as to make it valueless in heritage terms.

In this case it's much more just that..

It's in a very important enclave within in the conservation area that includes several early, English Heritage and council grade II listed Victorian buildings at the river crossing at Lea bridge, which together illustrate the nation's industrial beginnings.

Slide above: from a presentation about the grade II listed Schoolhouse.

Please help stop further historic & visual dilution of the enclave and demand that planning law and rules for heritage buildings are adhered to.

The planning application does propose the facade will be saved, as required, but in contravention of heritage rules, the roof line and chimneys would go and in their place would be a modern structure.

Above: Ship Aground with the Schoolhouse on the left and cobbled lane between.
Once restored, the Schoolhouse will be surrounded by the original 3'6" low wall, so views from and across the schoolhouse yard would take in the side and front of the pub.
Imagine the view if instead of people sitting at benches, there was a full car park at the front, a modern roof line and external stairs - the view would have no heritage value at all.

Above: the proposed additions with changes to roof and side wall. This model cleverly doesn't show the parking at the front.

In addition, though the facade will be saved, the application proposes the frontage becomes a car park! That is, adjacent the early cobbled lane and instead of benches.
 I haven't checked but seem to remember the application saying they expect up to 100 people for weddings - does that mean they expect 20+ cars parked at the front?
So many cars would affect the vista from the main road as well as the vista from the river and schoolhouse in such a way as to make the buildings heritage value zero. 

The grade II listed schoolhouse across the cobbled lane, once restored, will have daily visits from schools and colleges attending the "living" Victorian classroom. A car park would create noise and have possible safety implications. The last thing needed is speed bumps or modern 15mph signs!

This east side of the pub, adjacent to the cobbled lane and the early Victorian Schoolhouse (hoped to restored soon with HLF help) would have an external stairwell as well, destroying the view of what is currently a Victorian brick wall.

The historic and visual integrity of the group of buildings, from the waterworks on the Waltham Forest side of the river to the Prince of Wales riverside pub and the Old Schoolhouse, the cobbled lane and the Ship Aground would be completely lost.

 In the same way, the attractiveness for film location work for both the schoolhouse and pub would be greatly reduced as the range and direction shots could be taken from would be greatly reduced.

To summarise:

Please object to/comment on
1. the loss of the Victorian roof line and chimneys
2. the loss of the integrity of the Victorian east wall with the stairs addition
3. the use of the frontage as a car park, which would so detract from the frontage and affect the integrity of the cobbled lane and schoolhouse to make it valueless as a heritage site, creating noise and with safety implications.

The planning application is in two parts
• The first is 2012/0380
which is for the partial demolition of the building.

• The second part: 2012/0325
is for the erection of a part single storey and part two storey rear extensions and roof extension in connection with the use of the building as a place of worship and community centre.

This "two part" process is very worrying.
It means there is a possibility of the applicants getting consent for
the partial demolition but not the new scheme,
so it is critical you "comment" on both:

partial demolition

erection of new extensions

Deadline for comments is 26 April 2012. 


email your objection to planning officer Caroline Ozor at:

Make sure you include your name and contact details.

Ph Caroline Ozor: 020 8356 8093 

• • • 

Recent (illegal) damage - enforcement notice served

Above: Damage that the enforcement notice covers

Council officers have confirmed (irrespective of the new planning application), the owners of the building will be served a Section 215 enforcement notice for the unauthorised and without prior approval partial demolition of this Building of Townscape Merit within Lea Bridge Conservation Area.

The notice seems as if if will be extensive and will set a time limit for the owners of the building to rectify the damage.

However, if the new planning application is successful, it will be no longer relevant.

• • •

From issue 28 of "Spaces" in 2010
The Hackney Society magazine

The Ship Aground

By Julia Lafferty

Following the surrender of the licence
of the Ship Aground Public House at
144 Lea Bridge Road, Punch Taverns
have sold the building to a Sikh
organisation. At a meeting with local
residents in February 2010, the new
owners indicated that they proposed
to demolish the historic pub to build a
cultural and religious centre on the site.

Although The Ship Aground is not
statutorily or locally listed, it lies at the heart
of the Lea Bridge Conservation Area on
the south side of Lea Bridge Road, west of
the River Lee Navigation, and is designated
a Building of Townscape Merit.

It has been described by English Heritage as ‘a
handsome building that contributes to the
Conservation Area’ and it provides the
setting for the early 19th-century mission
school which is listed Grade II and is
located beside it.

The Ship Aground has been an integral
part of the history of the riverside
community at Lea Bridge for centuries. The
present building, which dates from the late
19th century, was built on the site of an
earlier pub of the same name that served
as a meeting place for river dwellers and

Of all the buildings in the Lea
Bridge Conservation Area this public
house has had the closest relationship with
the river and the people whose livelihoods
have depended on it for centuries.

The pub took its name from its location
between the River Lea and Paradise Dock
(formerly known as Ashpitel’s Dock), which
was constructed by landowner William
Hurst Ashpitel (1776-1852), an architect and
surveyor who was involved in the building
of the London Docks and the Kennett and
Avon Canal. The Dock was still in use in the
first half of the 20th century but was filled in
by the 1960s. The course of the Dock is still
visible in the form of a water feature which
has been integrated into the recent residential
development by Vision Homes at Lea Bridge.

The surviving cluster of Victorian and
Edwardian buildings within the Lea Bridge
Conservation Area and its riverside setting
are a unique and distinctive remnant of
the historic uses of the River Lea and
the industrial heritage of the area.

The Ship Aground is an important element
in retaining the cohesiveness of the
Conservation Area, and the commitment
by the Council to resist proposals to
demolish the building is welcomed.

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