TV presenter denied the right to an extension - despite secluded location

Royal Wedding - Bucklebury

It seems that being rich and famous can't get you everything you want in life. One TV presenter, wanted to add an extension to his seven-bedroom mansion - adding another couple of bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms and a utility room - and making more space for his children and grandchildren. However, after neighbours objected, the council refused permission.

There were a number of reasons why Chris Tarrant had quite a job on his hands if he was to convince the planning authorities to let him build. First and foremost this would not have been the first extension to the property, and would have meant that over time the building would have gone over the limit that says no building can be extended by more than 50% of the size it was in 1948.

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The £2 million property is also a lovely historic home in the beautiful village of Bucklebury, Berkshire (village pictured above). And the neighbours are the kinds of people who know how to make their opinions count.

We reported at the time that Tarrant did his best to persuade the planners. His spokesperson argued that you couldn't see the property from anywhere in the village - and the only way to have seen the extension would have been in a helicopter. They also added that the architect-designed extension was not only sympathetic to the character of the property, but also brought together elements of the home to improve the look overall.

However, the arguments didn't wash. The Parish Council submitted a formal objection to West Berkshire Council, and they have now rejected the application.

Not alone

Tarrant may be able to take comfort from the fact he is the latest in a long line of celebrities to discover that planning committees show no favouritism.

Last year Boy George was told he couldn't build a glazed extension at his home in Hampstead, because it was 'incongruous'. He said at the time he would be lodging an appeal.

Last summer George Clooney had to take down a fence bordering the Thames river bank at his £10 million Berkshire mansion, as it was too close to the water. The fence was replaced by trees.

A year earlier, Titanic star Kate Winslet was reported to have sold her 15th century home in Sussex after the council refused permission for a six-foot fence and gates around the property.

And a couple of years before that. Colin Firth was refused permission to install a solar panel on his house in Chiswick, London, because the council thought it would be a bit of an eyesore.



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Nightmare neighbours
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Nightmare neighbours

Gerard and Christina White from Moseley in Birmingham hit the headlines in September last year, when their neighbour ignored his planning permission, and built so close to their house that they said it effectively turned their detached property into a semi-detached one.

Despite the fact it left them unable to maintain the side of their property, the council washed their hands of the case, and said the couple would have to take private legal action if they wanted the extension to be pulled down.

Helen Coughlan, a 52-year-old carer from Woodford Bridge in north east London, was stunned when her neighbours built an extension just 24 inches from her window - completely obscuring her view.

Despite the fact she says it took £100,000 off the value of the home, and rendered it unsellable, the council said it could do nothing to force the demolition of the new extension.

In 2013, a row that had been rumbling for 17 years finally came to court. One of the neighbours had planted eight conifer trees in his front garden, and ignored repeated requests to cut them back to allow natural light into his neighbour’s home.

He was eventually forced to by a court - after the trees had caused a crack to appear in his neighbour’s wall.

Wendy and Paul Collins from Brownhills in the West Midlands watched in horror as their neighbours erected a six foot fence at the bottom of their front garden, blocking their front gate and leaving their car stranded on their front lawn.

Their home faces onto a car park serving a block of flats, and the owners of the flats erected the fence to stop the couple driving through the car park in order to park on their front lawn. The couple can still access their house through the back - and have a drive round the other side of the house - unfortunately their car is stuck on the lawn.

A Michigan man who had been through a bitter divorce, decided to get his revenge on his ex-wife by moving in next door.

As soon as he had moved in, he erected a 12 foot statue in the front garden, of a hand giving the finger. The statue is even lit up at night.

In May last year, Steven and Fiona Young from Blawith were ordered to pay their neighbours, Peter and Lesley Raymond, £600,000, after a campaign of harassment.

The Youngs had lived in a large farmhouse, but decades earlier sold up and moved to a smaller property next door. The Raymonds moved into the farmhouse and the Youngs became nightmare neighbours.

They piled rubbish in the garden, damaged fences, let animals foul their garden, and rode quad bikes over the grounds. When the Raymonds installed CCTV, Mr Young mooned them, and then painted over them.

The Raymonds sued for harassment, trespass, nuisance, assault and slander - and were awarded £200,000. The Youngs also had to pay £400,000 costs.

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