A hard cell? Up-market homes plan for former Nazi interrogation prison

Surrey Comet: An easy cell? Up-market homes plan for former prison site An easy cell? Up-market homes plan for former prison site

A former prison and World War Two counter espionage base is set to become up-market homes.

Berkeley Homes has put forward two plans for HMP Latchmere on the edge of Ham and Richmond Park.

Surrey Comet:

Berkeley Homes plans of the site

One is for 73 homes, seven inside Latchmere House. The second more ambitious plan is for 89 homes.

The developer is also being asked to extend Tudor Library to house an exhibition on the fascinating past of Latchmere House.

The plans will be decided by Richmond Council, although Kingston Council will also have a say.

Surrey Comet:

The site from the air

Latchmere House was built in the 19th century, as a hospital to treating shell-shocked officers during World War I.

During World War Two it doubled as a shadowy interrogation base for prisoners of war, suspected Nazi double and even triple agents.

Several Nazi leaders were held there, and local historians count Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess and William Joyce, better known as wireless traitor Lord Haw-Haw, among their number.

Councillor David Cunningham said the history of the site should be remembered.

Surrey Comet:

Latchmere House pictured in about 1908

Friends of Latchmere House have asked Berkeley Homes to extend Tudor library to house an exhibition about the history of Latchmere House and the aeronautical history of north Kingston.

Coun Cunningham said: "It is fascinating because of the history going back to World War One.

"It is a history that needs to be remembered and lessons to be learned from and a tremendous history for the area."

Hopes it could help ease Kingston and Richmond's schools place crisis were ruled out in 2012 as it was "too expensive" to buy from the Ministry of Justice.

To see the plans click here.

The BBC's Ben Macintyre talks about Agent Zigzag, the story of the World War II spy, Eddie Chapman.

Comments (4)

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12:01pm Mon 10 Mar 14

bayswater says...

Um… World War I was in the 20th century, not the 19th….
Um… World War I was in the 20th century, not the 19th…. bayswater
  • Score: 4

12:19pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Jon Fray says...

It was built in the 19th century and became a hospital in the 20th and latterly a prison.

The site is half in Kingston and half in Richmond borough. There should be a road acces from Kingston borough as well as from Richmond. The plan to have two accesses - from Latchmere Lane and Church Road is out of order and should be rejected.
It was built in the 19th century and became a hospital in the 20th and latterly a prison. The site is half in Kingston and half in Richmond borough. There should be a road acces from Kingston borough as well as from Richmond. The plan to have two accesses - from Latchmere Lane and Church Road is out of order and should be rejected. Jon Fray
  • Score: 6

1:53pm Mon 10 Mar 14

reesmf says...

First thoughts are that both proposals cram the site and seem to be some distance from the planning brief that envisioned green pedestrian routes through the site and the retention of more of the green space along Latchmere Lane.
First thoughts are that both proposals cram the site and seem to be some distance from the planning brief that envisioned green pedestrian routes through the site and the retention of more of the green space along Latchmere Lane. reesmf
  • Score: 3

3:04pm Thu 13 Mar 14

helen59 says...

no doubt the price of houses in that area will deplete when all the new "council" tenants move in - what a horrid looking estate.
no doubt the price of houses in that area will deplete when all the new "council" tenants move in - what a horrid looking estate. helen59
  • Score: 2

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