Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page loses battle to stop ex-Prudential chairman neighbour building air conditioning units at his £13m Kensington home… just weeks after ending five-year basement row with Robbie Williams
- Rock star objected to plans by wealthy insurance tycoon Sir Harvey McGrath
- Feared new units will infringe on the quiet of his music studio in Holland Park
- Jimmy Page, 75, has lived in Grade I listed west London home since 1972
- Also lost battle with Robbie Williams over plans to build a pool in his basement
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page has lost another planning battle over some air conditioning units just weeks after ending a gruelling five-year mega basement row with Robbie Williams.
The rock star formally objected to plans submitted by his wealthy insurance tycoon neighbour Sir Harvey McGrath over building four air conditioning units at his mansion in Holland Park, west London.
The 75-year-old legend fears that the new units will infringe on his music studio and that his Grade I listed home will be affected by vibrations caused by the renovations.
The former Prudential Chairman bought his Kensington mansion for £12.8million and recently angered Page in 2016 by winning permission for extensive renovations, including a lift.
In planning documents submitted to Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington Council, Mr McGrath’s planning consultants TJR planning said: ‘Four air condensing units are proposed within two acoustic enclosures.
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, pictured earlier this week, has lost another planning battle over some air conditioning units
The 75-year-old legend fears that the new units at his neighbour’s home will infringe on his music studio and that his Grade I listed Tower House (pictured) will be affected by vibrations caused by the renovations
‘The proposed development would meet the needs of the present without compromising future generations to meet their own needs.’
In his letter objecting to Sir Harvey’s plans via Town Legal LLP, Mr Page said: ‘I urge the council to refuse the application as having the potential for harmful impact on living conditions in The Tower House.
‘I use the area to listen to and scrutinise recordings, requiring my full concentration with no distracting noise and/or vibration from other sources, for meetings away from the main house and for recorded interviews where naturally there cannot be any constant background noise.’
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Sir Harvey formerly served as chairman of Prudential and the hedge fund Man Group and had stakes in both FTSE giants worth a combined 184million euros.
He was also knighted in 2016 for services to economic growth and public life and chairs the Heart of the City charity, encouraging social responsibility in the Square Mile.
Graham Stallwood, the director of planning at the council, said the plans would not affect Page’s property or his ability to listen to and scrutinise recordings.
Former Prudential Chairman Sir Harvey McGrath, pictured, bought his Kensington mansion for £12.8million and recently angered Page in 2016 by winning permission for extensive renovations, including a lift
Pictured: the location of the air conditioning units near Page’s home in Holland Park, west London
He said: ‘The submitted noise report confirms that the condensers would also include local vibration isolators which would effectively limit any adverse vibration transmission.
‘The proposed scheme of vibration isolation would also mitigate the transfer of vibration to the supporting and connecting structures and ensure that the airborne sound mitigation design is not compromised.
‘There is no reason, with the recommended conditions attached, to conclude that there would be a likelihood of vibration being transmitted to any part of the structure of the Grade I listed Tower House.
‘Given the nature of the proposals, whereby the proposed a/c units would be positioned internally with no effect upon the external appearance of the building, there would be no impact on the setting, of the adjoining Grade I listed building.’
Mr Stallwood said that the development was approved but stressed the air conditioning units shall not operate ‘unless they are supported on adequate proprietary anti-vibration mounts to prevent the structural transmission of vibration and regenerated noise within adjacent or adjoining premises.
It comes after Page was involved in a five-year battle with Angel singer Robbie Williams since he moved next door in 2013 over plans to build a mega basement.
Page has sought to thwart Williams’ renovation attempts as he is fiercely protective over his home Tower House.
It comes after Page was involved in a five-year battle with Angel singer Robbie Williams since he moved next door in 2013 over plans to build a mega basement
The property has been described as one of Britain’s finest examples of the French Gothic revival and Page fears vibrations from construction work could damage the plaster-work inside his home.
Williams was granted permission for his extension plans on December 19 on the agreement a ‘special meeting’ was held to discuss the planning condition.
However, work cannot commence until councillors receive assurances about independent monitoring of vibration levels and ground movement as well as the consideration of extra conditions, such as the possibility of workers using only hand tools.
They will also discuss whether to ask Williams for a bond, which could be forfeited if the conditions were breached or if any damage occurs.
Committee chairman councillor Quentin Marshall suggested the celebrities should meet and try and put their differences aside.
Mr Marshall said: ‘It seems they are not that far apart. It’s slightly frustrating – I know the two principles are very busy, but surely they can find a way to talk, which might lock many of the problems.’
After the meeting, a spokesman for Page said the rock legend is happy to meet pop star Williams.
After the meeting, a spokesman for Page, who bought the turreted redbrick property in 1972, said the rock legend is happy to meet pop star Williams.
‘From Jimmy’s point of view he will be reassured that the committee of councillors are taking the protection of the house seriously,’ he said.
He added: ‘He wants Robbie to come back with proposals that eliminate all risk to the Tower House.’
The Stairway To Heaven guitarist said vibrations and ground movement in particular could cause irreversible damage, with the homes around 13 metres apart.
Representatives for Williams previously said any construction work would fall within stringent regulations and any effects on surrounding properties would be ‘negligible’.
A ‘special meeting’ will see councillors vote on additions to draft ‘section 106’ planning conditions.
These included giving consultation for Page on arrangements to monitor vibration levels and ground movements in real-time during the works.
Page could even get live alerts on his mobile phone should any breach of the ‘trigger levels’ happen as a result, his solicitor Simon Ricketts said.
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