Christian Candy has conquered the first hurdle in getting permission to turn half a road into his own private garden - which will become a magnificent entrance to his mega mansion near Regent's Park. Many of his neighbours are alarmed by the proposals, but he persuaded planners that it was the right thing for the area.
Candy owns a £200 million mansion on the end of a John Nash terrace. The property purchase itself caused a fair amount of controversy, as he bought seven Grade I John Nash Regency houses, and knocked them all into one mega-mansion.
He then leased the land where the road runs beside the house, for 150 years, in the hope that he could turn it into a new garden. It was quite a gamble, as the Daily Telegraph says the lease alone has cost him £26.5 million.
The Daily Mail reported that some of his neighbours objected to the plans, on the grounds that building over one half of the road would cause traffic problems, and create safety issues for cyclists and joggers. They also highlighted that all the negative effects of building the garden would be experienced by the general public, while all the benefits would be enjoyed by Candy. In total, of the 43 people who responded to the plans, 35 of them were objections.
However, Candy argued that he was planning to build a 'historic' garden, based on a John Nash design, and this appealed to the planners, who have given him the green light. It's not all over just yet though. Before it is rubber-stamped, it will have to go to a public meeting in September - which could get heated.
If Candy is already on the road to getting permission to annex part of the street as part of his garden, then it begs the question of why more people don't try it. The answer is that it's incredibly difficult: Candy has incredibly deep pockets, or he couldn't even consider trying to do this.
You can't just get stuck in and hope for the best. We reported back in June on a Pensioner from Preston who had spend £6,000 creating a dream communal garden on his housing estate - only to be ordered to demolish it because he hadn't got permission.
But what do you think? Would you mind if a neighbour commandeered part of your road for a beautiful garden? Let us know in the comments.