Robbie Williams has had plans to revamp his multi-million pound home objected to for a third time by Led Zeppelin rocker and next door neighbour, Jimmy Page.
Williams, 41, has submitted plans three times to modernise and extend his £17.5million West London townhouse, which was formerly owned by the late film director Sir Michael Winner. He wants to lower some of the floors in his 46-room mansion and knock down a number of the walls to create bigger rooms and doorways.
However, Page, 71, has strongly opposed all of his proposals, claiming work will put his beloved Grade I listed Tower House next door at risk.
The planning row appeared to subside in March when Williams withdrew an application – his second – for a two-storey basement extension under the garden and glass studio at the top of his house.
Page was said to be ‘reassured’ by the move but has now expressed concerns once again after Williams submitted a fresh set of plans to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council in April.
Williams has earmarked the wall between his lounge and home cinema for demolition as part of plans to revamp the inside of the property, which includes a swimming pool, as well as rebuild the garage.
The application reads: ‘The proposed alterations have been considered in regard to a holistic programme of contemporary family living that will ensure the long term occupation and appropriate use of the place into the future.’
However, Page has stepped in once again to oppose the plans in what is becoming one of the biggest celebrity planning disputes of recent years.
He claims the work could damage his property, which was built in the 1870s by Victorian architect William Bruges, and has hired a team of experts to help him rebuff Williams’ original plans.
Robbie Williams earlier ditched a proposal for a two-storey super basement extension under the garden and glass studio at the top of his house and instead submitted a fresh application
Williams now wants to focus instead on the inside of the property and has submitted revised plans.
The Led Zeppelin guitarist’s home is regarded as one of the borough’s most important properties and was once saved from demolition by Sir John Betjeman.
In a strongly worded letter, he said he had spoken to the council previously about the Tower House’s ‘special characteristics’ but wanted to repeat his comments for the ‘sake of clarity’.
The Tower House is richly decorated with a variety of finishes designed in a highly original manner.
Photos which emerged of the property show staggeringly intricate frescoes and tiling, impressive fireplaces and stunning ornate details.
Page said many of the finishings are ‘extremely delicate and, of course, irreplaceable’.
He is concerned vibrations from any work carried out at the neighbouring property could cause damage to his home, and has supported his claims with letters from conservation architects and engineers.
On top of fears for his own property, Page is also unhappy about the elevation of Williams’ proposed garage, which he believes is ‘extremely unfortunate in architectural terms’.
He added: ‘For the reasons given above, I strongly oppose the proposals and urge the council to refuse the application for the works to Woodland House.’
He also raised fears that the Williams family would be able to peer into his house, where he has lived since 1972.
Williams isn’t the first person to feel the wrath of Page when it comes to proposed work. The guitarist is also embroiled in a planning war with his other next-door neighbour.
Just like Williams, the owners of the other neighbouring property want to renovate their home and build a subterranean ‘iceberg’ extension.
However, Page stepped in and objected with support from Cardiff Castle, Leighton House Museum and The Victorian Society which also raised concerns that The Tower House was at risk from the work.
The other neighbours are currently appealing a decision of ‘non-determination’ from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council. Such decision is given when a council cannot make a ruling within the statutory period.
The public consultation for Williams’ latest proposals has now ended and a decision was expected by the end of May, however this has all the makings of the celebrity planning dispute of the “Millennium” so far.
Lead photo courtesy of Andrew Hurley