Although some adventurous individuals had already begun to buy and restore run-down, and usually multi-occupied, houses before the 1967 listing, the process was much encouraged by it. The restrictions imposed by listing, together with advice and guidance by the Bedford Park Society, which produced a number of booklets about building details, resulted, over a long period which is still not completed, in many houses being restored, possibly in some cases to a better condition, particularly as regards foundations, than when they had been built.
Apart from repairs and replacements of main structural elements, especially roofs, in many cases details which had been altered were restored to their original designs. Missing door hoods were replaced, and fences restored. Indeed, the Shaw-designed Bedford Park Fence, with its swan-neck ends, became very popular, and there are probably more of them now than when the suburb was first built.
Major extensions to existing buildings
Two controversial extensions to existing buildings with extensive grounds took place after planning applications which went to appeal. In the late 1990s Orchard House School at 16 Newton Grove was eventually allowed to replace an unsightly collection of ancillary huts by an extension designed to harmonise with the existing building, which itself had been extensively altered during its lifetime.
The owner of 1 Woodstock Road (The Yews), which had become derelict, applied in 1983 to restore it and to build a second house in the corner of the site bounded by Queen Anne’s Gardens and Bedford Road. This application was fiercely resisted on the grounds that the space had originally been left open as part of the design of Bedford Park, and more generally on grounds of over-development. After refusal of the application, the house was extensively damaged by a fire in 1987, and very little of the original structure was salvageable. The decision eventually reached was to allow rebuilding as near as possible to the original design, but with a single-storey extension. Some time later, it was discovered that the original lease of the house had envisaged the possibility of building a second, smaller, house in its grounds.