New Grade II Listed Building In West Hampstead

20th September 2021 posted in

We all know West Hampstead is a great place to live, and many people see a bright future for themselves in the local area. However, one of the reasons so many people are positive about what the future holds for the area lies in what has happened in the past.

This is why many people will be pleased to learn that Lilian Baylis House in the local area is now classed as a Grade-II listed building.

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While it was previously the West Hampstead Town Hall, the buildings role as the home of Decca Studios is the factor that matters most for its Grade-II listed status.

The current owners of the property are the English National Opera, the ENO, who have owned the building since 1980. The ENO have predominantly used the building for office space and rehearsal rooms.

The ENO is looking to sell the building, which led a third-party to apply for the building to be listed. This was done to protect the recording studio infrastructure which can be traced back to the ownership by Decca Records.

Historic England have announced they have recommended Lilian Baylis House is added to the historic buildings register. In turn, the ENO have asked for a review of the listing, saying it should only apply to the recording studio space. If this is allowed, it will help the company to renovate and rent out rooms in the building.

The listing emphasises the buildings:

  • Architectural interest
  • Historic interest
  • Group value
  • The buildings’ role alongside other buildings in Broadhurst Gardens were also cited for its listing

The decision letter outlines the importance of “the earliest surviving commercial recording studio complex to be established in Britain”.

This is positive news for the local area

Barnet and Camden's London Assembly rep Anne Clarke supports the move, and according to Ham & High, she said; “The listing gives the building much needed protection as a local asset. The building's use by Decca as a recording studio and also by the English National Opera reflects the creative & cultural heritage of West Hampstead. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this historic space.”

A spokesperson for ENO said; “We are surprised Historic England decided to announce listing the whole of LBH without first contacting us, as the owners. While we warmly welcome listing the three studios where significant recordings happened, we have made clear we wish to develop rest of the site to comply with modern working conditions. Currently it is totally inaccessible for disabled audiences and performers. The ENO has a duty to generate its own revenue, something we wish to do by renting out LBH; however, this is only possible through a significant investment programme of the whole property. It is for that reason that we will be asking the DCMS to list only the studios and not the entire site.”

At Hunters, we are more than happy to talk you through any local property issue, and make sure you are prepared for moving and selling. The property market is moving quickly these days, and we are keen to help you make informed decisions.

If you need any help or guidance regarding property matters, please get in touch. As your local housing market specialists, we will do what we can to ensure you make your next house move in style. Contact Hunters West Hampstead today for all your housing and letting needs.