Dame Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter join Hampstead campaign to stop crypto couple’s plan to build four-bed home likened to ‘three-storey industrial shed’ which is ‘out of keeping’ with the local aesthetic
- Daniel and Sendi Young proposed their design for a modern home in Hampstead
- The four-bed home would be built next to a cricket club and feature a sun terrace
British stars Dame Emma Thompson, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter have banded together to stop a ‘three-storey industrial shed’ being built in their leafy London neighbourhood.
Crypto currency chiefs Daniel and Sendi Young, aged 45 and 39, proposed plans to demolish a 1960s one-story property in Hampstead, north London, and replace it with an ultra-modern aluminum and glass house, which the actors claim would be better suited to Malibu.
The campaigning celebrities have claimed it is ‘the wrong design in the wrong place’, citing conservation concerns about the affluent suburb’s ‘arts and crafts-style’ architecture.
The proposed four-bedroom home, which would be built next to Hampstead cricket Club pitch, would feature a sun terrace, an open-plan ground floor kitchen, living and dining area, a green-roof system and ground-source heat pumps, according to The Times.
The proposed four-bedroom home would feature a sun terrace, an open-plan ground floor kitchen, living and dining area, a green-roof system and ground-source heat pumps
Dame Emma Thompson, 64, signed a letter to the Camden council’s planning committee objecting to the modern home
Actor Greg Wise, who is a trained architect, played John Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility, which also starred his wife Emma Thompson
Actor Greg Wise, who is a trained architect, played John Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility, which also starred his wife Dame Emma, wrote to Camden council’s planning committee in a letter signed by the couple.
Mr Wise, a trained architect who lives nearby the plot with Dame Emma, said: ‘I have no inherent issues with modern design, but, like planting trees: the right design in the right place.
‘This is the wrong design in the wrong place,’ wrote Wise.
‘It would fit in perfectly in Malibu, but not in our conservation area.’
Nanny McPhee star Dame Emma, 64, has form in objecting to planning proposals after joining another star-studded campaign group, which included Dame Janet Suzman, James Corden, Damian Lewis, Mark Rylance and Tom Conti protested against a new Tesco in nearby Belsize Park.
A six-month campaign led to the supermarket’s proposal being shut down.
Downton Abbey star Jim Carter and his wife, Imelda Staunton, who has starred in Harry Potter and The Crown, also sent a stern letter to Camden council with their concerns about the crypto-couple’s proposals.
The three-storey design would be built next to Hampstead cricket Club pitch
The celebrity couple, who have lived in the area for 30 years wrote: ‘The view from the cricket pitch will be a large, looming three-storey aluminum and glass industrial shed, which is totally out of keeping.’
They couple’s primary concern was the threat to environmental conservation of the area, and their ability to enjoy a garden which maintains a ‘provision of habitat’.
In the letter they wrote: ‘We garden organically and sustainably with wildlife at the front of our minds in terms of planting and provision of habitat,’
The couple added: ‘The proposed building represents a serious threat to our ability to enjoy our garden and a serious threat to the plants and creatures who share it with us.’
Veteran actor Jim Broadbent, 74, who has starred in scores of films including Hot Fuzz and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, voiced the concern that the development would ‘set a dangerous precedent for future applications which would radically alter the unique character of the area’.
Imelda Staunton, who has played the late Queen in The Crown, also sent a stern letter to Camden council with her concerns
Downton Abbey star Jim Carter has lived in the area with his wife, Imelda Staunton, for 30 years
Actor Richard Clifford, known for Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and and Frankenstein (1994), lives with his partner Derek Jacobi in the area, and said the house ‘would [be] more appropriate in a very modern industrial estate’.
Designs for the home have been tweaked by Savills, the agents for the application, following a consultation meeting in March.
Scenario Architecture attempted to assure critics by describing the proposal as a sustainable family home and stated that it would not be visible from the conservation area.
A spokesman from the design company told The Times: ‘Conscious of the arts and crafts-style which is a prominent feature of the local area, the new dwelling does not try and compete with this but rather offers a modern building that is lightweight yet durable, and clearly of its time.’
They said that seeking to copy or pastiche the pre-established buildings would be the wrong approach.
Veteran actor Jim Broadbent, 74 who has starred in Hot Fuzz and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, voiced the concern that the development would ‘set a dangerous precedent’
In a pointed statement, they also said the company would be ‘disappointed’ if the council were pressured under the influence of the ‘celebrity angle’ behind the objections.
‘A high level of objections to a contemporary design in a highly urban setting in London is very common and not surprising. We always design respectful to the neighbours, but ultimately the driver is planning policy, not personal subjective opinion,’ added the spokesman.
Mrs Young, who is the Europe managing director of US crypto-currency firm Ripple, and her husband, who is a consulting director at AI specialist Future WorkForce, were approached for comment.
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