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, 45, and Sendi Young, 39, proposed their design for a home in Hampsead
- The four-bed home would be built next to a cricket club and feature a sun terrace
British A-listers Dame Emma Thompson, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter have banded together to stop the construction of a ‘three-storey industrial shed’ which that they say would ‘fit in perfectly in Malibu’.
Daniel and Sendi Young, aged 45 and 39, proposed plans to demolish a 1960s one-story property in Hampstead, North London to replace it with an ultra-modern, aluminum and glass house.
The campaigning celebs have objected to the modern design for being ‘the wrong design in the wrong place’, citing conservation concerns about the leafy 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.
Actor Greg Wise, who played John Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility, which also starred Emma Thompson, whom he later married, wrote to Camden council’s planning committee.
Mr Wise, a trained architect who lives nearby with Ms Thompson to the plot for the proposed design, also sent a letter to the council’s planning committee.
The letter, which was signed by Ms Thompson, 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 Ms Thompson, 64, has form for 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.
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 aluminium 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’.
Actor Richard Clifford, known for known for the Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and and Frankenstein (1994) lives with his partner Derek Jacobi, 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 ad sustainable family home and stated that it would not be visible from the conservation area.
A spokesperson 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, adding that seeking to copy or pastiche the Arts and Craft buildings would be a wrong approach.
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 spokesperson.
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.