Billionaire's garden plans cause fury amongst neighbours

Nothing historic about it, they say

The Cambridge Terrace house.

Billionaire property developer Christian Candy has failed to keep his neighbours sweet with his plans for his Regent's Park mansion.

Candy, who developed the super-expensive One Hyde Park complex near Harrods in Knightsbridge, bulk-bought seven Regency houses for around £100 million last year.

And his application to knock them together to make a single 15-bedroom home have been approved.

However, Candy's neighbours in the Grade I listed Regency terrace, designed by famous architect John Nash, are complaining about his gardening plans.

Along with the houses, Candy took out a lease on a stretch of the private road. And, in his application, Candy says he wants to 'reinstate a historic garden'.

However, neighbours - including Oxford neuroscience professor Sir Colin Blakemore - say the planned garden is nothing of the sort.

Through a little research, says Sir Colin, he has unearthed old prints that show there was originally no garden there - simply a row of iron railings.

"John Nash did not design a garden, and no garden was created during the building of Cambridge and Chester Terraces, nor at any time during Nash's lifetime," her writes.

"The garden (smaller than the currently proposed development) that existed briefly between the 1860s and the 1880s was not designed by Nash and it was soon removed, perhaps to facilitate the flow of vehicles through Chester Gate (even before the introduction of motor cars)."

Other residents complain that the street will be significantly narrowed, and that six parking spaces will be lost.

"To date, the owner and developer, have materially and forever changed these seven historic Grade I Listed protected properties into a 'mega mansion', and then have now gone on to list the reason for their applications for wanting to turn this piece of critical public road into a garden is to restore it to how it was in John Nash's time for historical integrity," writes heart specialist Professor John Deanfield.

"They have also, it is believed, secured the rights to what used to be part of the communal gardens at the front of Cambridge Terrace for their own private use and also reportedly been given permission to build a large roof garden. It begs the question, how much more space do they need?"

Meanwhile, the local conservation committee says he's privatising public space.

"We understand from the application that the proposal is for the privatised space to be inaccessible to both public and other residents of the terrace: this we see as harmful to the historic significance of the Park, and of the character and appearance of the conservation area," it concludes.

Planning Your Garden

Nightmare neighbours

Nightmare neighbours