Anna Friel fights back in property planning drama

She may be best known for the first lesbian kiss on UK TV when she was an actress in Brookside but Anna Friel has shown her fighting side. In a bizarre planning application drama the award-winning actress has been ordered to demolish her single-storey extension despite the fact she received planning permission from the council. Confused? Perhaps it is no surprise to learn that Anna Friel is fighting back in this property planning drama!

Background to the story

The £1 million house is situated near Windsor Castle in what we now know to be a conservation area. When the actress decided she wanted to extend her property she made all of the correct planning applications to the local council and eventually these were passed. The changes in question included lowering the ground floor of the basement, adding new windows and doors on the ground floor and an ensuite shower room. On the surface this seems fairly standard and straightforward?

Once the planning permission had been granted the work began and not a seconds thought was given to any potential issues going forward. The new extension abided by the guidelines submitted to the council but what happened next will shock many people.

Council did not approve bricks, roof tiles, mortar and render of the extension

Yes you read it right, despite the fact that the council had granted permission for the new extension apparently they did not “approve bricks, roof tiles, mortar and render of the extension”. It seems as though the extension has fallen foul of local conservation laws which you would have thought would have been considered when planning permission was granted. Last November Anna Friel was ordered to do “remedial works” which in layman’s terms means knocking down the extension and rebuilding it within the new conservation guidelines.

Two months to comply

While sometimes it is easy to mock celebrities who try to use their name to push things through there is no suggestion whatsoever that Anna Friel has been throwing her weight around. She applied for planning permission, which was granted, she built the extension within her guidelines and then she was asked to carry out a rebuild. It is now known that an appeal has been lodged with the national Planning Inspectorate with an outcome expected in April.

It will be interesting to see how the appeal fairs because on the surface Anna Friel appears to have done no wrong and perhaps the local council planning procedures need to be reviewed. She applied for the relevant permission which was granted but apparently the council did not approve the bricks, roof tiles, mortar and render of the extension. We all appreciate that there is a need to conserve the look and feel of an area and no hideous extensions or developments should spoil this. However, why should Anna Friel be forced to demolish the extension and start again at great expense?


There is no doubt that the intricacies of local planning permission regulations are a minefield but quite how somebody can receive planning permission for an extension only to have this effectively rebuked because the materials were not permitted is a mystery. We wait with interest for the appeal result which will be available in April – at which point no doubt Anna Friel will make her views known. Will the appeals committee come out on the side of common sense or stick to the letter of the law?


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