Jimmy Page loses another planning battle over garden trellis

Led Zeppelin star Jimmy Page loses another planning battle over garden trellis with his tycoon neighbour months after ending five-year basement war with Robbie Williams

  • Page objected to plans submitted by Sir Harvey McGrath to build the trellis 
  • This is despite structure being no higher than the existing one at 20 inches
  • Rocker’s lawyers said it would ‘impact historical character’ of his property

Led Zeppelin star Jimmy Page has lost another planning war over a garden trellis with his tycoon neighbour just months after ending a five-year basement dispute with Robbie Williams.

Page formally objected to plans submitted by Sir Harvey McGrath to build the low structure in the back garden of his £13million mansion in Holland Park, London.

The former Prudential chairman had already angered Page in March after he submitted plans to install four air conditioning units, and again in 2016 by winning permission for extensive renovations, including a lift.

Page formally objected to plans submitted by Sir Harvey McGrath to build the low structure in the back garden of his £13million mansion (left) in Holland Park, London. On the right is Page’s property 

In planning documents submitted to Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington Council, McGrath’s planning consultants Charlotte Sanderson Garden Design, said: ‘The property is owned by Sir Harvey McGrath and the proposal is to construct a Western Red Cedar trellis in a screen form on the three boundaries in the rear garden.

‘The height of trellis on the North boundary will not exceed the existing trellis height.

‘The height of the trellis on the West Boundary will not exceed 500mm and the height on the East Boundary will be not exceed 500mm.’

But 75-year-old Page fears that the new trellis will impact on the historical architecture of his Grade I-listed home, where he has lived for more than 46 years.

In a letter objecting to Sir Harvey’s plans, his lawyers said: ‘Our clients property would be directly and adversely impacted by the application’s proposals.’

They claimed the trellis could have to be fixed to the Grade I-listed garden wall, potentially ‘causing substantial harm to [the entire property’s] special architectural or historical character’.

McGrath formerly served as chairman of Prudential and the hedge fund Man Group and had stakes in both FTSE giants worth a combined £171m.

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.

Harvey McGrath (left) is the former president of Prudential. Page is seen on the right at a music industry event 

In a planning decision notice on Monday, August 12, council planning director Sue Foster said the proposals would not affect Page’s property.

She said: ‘The second trellis would be fixed to freestanding posts, set away from the side listed building by 0.3m.

‘The height of this trellis would not exceed the height of the existing neighbours trellis.

‘Given that there are many examples of timber trellises within the vicinity, the proposed works would preserve the character and the appearance of the property.

‘Given that the trellis would be positioned 0.3m away from the side boundary wall (with No. 27) and not fixed to the wall in any way or form, there would be no material effect upon the external appearance of the neighbouring Grade I listed building, or its setting, its structural integrity, or its special historic interest…’

Page was involved in a gruelling planning battle with Robbie Williams after he moved next door in 2013 over plans to build a mega basement.

The east boundary of Sir Harvey’s garden, where the planned trellis is planned to be no higher than the current one (pictured) 

Page has sought to thwart Williams’ renovation attempts as he is fiercely protective over his home Tower House, where he has lived since 1972.

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.

However, the council gave planning consent for the Williams’ underground gym and swimming pool linked to his Grade II listed home on the agreement a ‘special meeting’ was held to discuss the plans and a ‘bond’ was agreed between the two stars as to how to move forward.

It was also discussed imposing extra conditions to make sure workers only use hand tools to construct the basement as well as consulting Page on arrangements to monitor vibration levels and ground movements during the works.

However, it emerged in April that Robbie Williams argued that a ‘bond’ was not legal in planning law and has threatened legal action against the council if a decision was not made on the plans.

But as of this month, no decision has yet been made on the proposals. 

The Led Zeppelin founder speaking at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

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