Phil Spencer talks to design expert about planning permission
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The celebrity power couple want to add the dry wood building to already approved additions to their property in the Oxfordshire countryside to seemingly enjoy cosy nights in front of a roaring fire. This would increase the floor space of the outbuilding by up to 28 square metres. The duo have also applied to secure “minor alterations to the layout” of their proposed extension.
However, the duo has been accused of “flying in the face” of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy for not relying on more eco-friendly methods of heating such as an electric heat pump.
The proposed changes are in addition to the recently granted planning permission to build an outhouse at the Grade-II listed country house in the Cotswolds.
In documents attached to the application, the agent acting for the Beckham family said the changes were to “allow minor material alterations to the approved drawings”.
They added: “The proposed amendment is the addition of a lean to bay to the west gable end and covered log store to the east and minor alterations to the layout.”
The proposed plans were described as being of a “modest scale relative to the approved scheme”.
It was also described as “keeping with the character and style of the approved outbuilding”.
The Beckhams’ quest for planning permission certainly hasn’t been smooth sailing and there have been reports of protests from neighbours in the past.
In 2020, four years after they bought the property, West Oxfordshire District Council granted the Beckhams permission to create a kidney-shaped lake on the grounds, on the condition they plant hedgerows and trees to protect native birds, and also use special lights to help bats.
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David and Victoria were also reportedly required to submit a five-year maintenance plan to the council to show they will support the area’s biodiversity with the newest addition to their property.
But recently a formal objection to the scheme has now been submitted as part of the application for their home near Chipping Norton.
One neighbour stated: “I object to this application as it is a log store to keep wood to be burned dry.
“This flies in the face of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy.”
This member of the public signed off by saying “save the planet”.
Planning permission for the previous plans was granted on the condition the building, which will be used as an office and high-tech vehicle storage space, was designed to provide an “attractive environment for nesting birds and bats”.
The recent application was made in April this year to vary a condition on the existing permission and is still under consideration by the council.
The original planning application was given the green light as long as the celebrity couple would look after the existing wildlife there.
The planners explained: “Before the erection of any external walls, details of the provision of at least one integrated bat box and at least one integrated bird box within the walls of the new building shall be submitted to the local planning authority for approval.”
Former England footballer David and fashion designer wife Victoria must also “ensure that bats, birds, badgers, hedgehogs, reptiles and amphibians are protected in accordance with The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981”.
They are also prohibited from installing any outdoor fixtures which “would directly illuminate the bat box or the hedge-row without prior approval to protect roosting, foraging or community bats”.
The Cotswolds mansion, which is estimated to be worth around £6.15million, has been renovated a number of times over the past few years.
Features of the countryside estate, located close to the private member’s club, Soho Farmhouse, include a huge football pitch, decked out with a spectator stand, an outdoor pool, and a sauna.
It is also said to contain a wine cellar, a plunge pool, and an enormous garage, fitted with flashy cars and a motorbike.
The Beckham family are said to bounce between their Oxfordshire home, a £31million mansion in London, and a £19million penthouse in Miami, Florida.
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