While the world is still mourning the loss of talented singer George Michael it is been revealed that the former Wham member was in a “huge row” over a property development next door to his London home. As we wait for further information regarding the planning application it is believed that George Michael, who bought his Weeping Ash North London home almost 30 years ago, was just one of many people in dispute over the application.
Details of the row
Such is the scarcity of building space in London that at the bottom of George Michael’s London home is a 16 bedroom mansion which was bought in 2015 by property developer The Linton Group. It was rumoured at the time that the company planned to redevelop the property which would require demolition of the existing house. Indeed planning proposals were recently submitted to Camden Council which brought the situation to a head.
The idea is to demolish the existing property and replace this with eight flats together with an underground car park. When you bear in mind the character of the property there at the moment and the proposed development, could they be any different?
Objections from many parties
It is unclear at this moment in time exactly how many third parties objected to the planning application but we know there were a number of neighbours, a member of the House of Lords and conservationists had also taken up the plight. Indeed it is now public knowledge that George Michael’s solicitors had already been in touch with the local council suggesting that the new development would have a “negative impact on the character of the local community”.
The correspondence from law firm Russells went on to suggest the loss of trees and green space will also set a precedent for other developers across London. At a time when London property is much sought-after it is not difficult to see why The Linton Group was so keen to redevelop the land.
At this moment in time the planning application has been submitted to the council but no ruling has been made as yet. It would be ironic if George Michael’s last act was to bring to the forefront the proposed redevelopment and its impact on the local community. Even though the singer was very active behind-the-scenes his objection to the proposed changes are now headline news.
As you might have guessed, The Linton Group has been fairly quiet on the issue despite repeated requests by national newspapers for a comment. Indeed, Camden County Council has also been reluctant to discuss the application in any detail and has effectively “kicked the issue into the long grass”. However, the council will find that this is an issue which will not go away, is even more high-profile than it was before and the councillors in charge of planning permission will be under extreme pressure.
Is this a sign of the times?
It will be interesting to see how Camden County Council eventually rules on the planning application because The Linton Group seems fairly confident of a positive outcome. The publicity surrounding George Michael’s objections to the redevelopment can only help the case against the project. However, behind-the-scenes there are real concerns that this could set a precedent for the area and potentially rip the heart out of the local community.