UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    +80.28 (+1.15%)
  • FTSE 250

    +266.79 (+1.21%)
  • AIM

    +11.54 (+0.94%)

    -0.0025 (-0.21%)

    +0.0050 (+0.36%)

    -2,310.08 (-6.48%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +39.77 (+2.93%)
  • S&P 500

    +61.35 (+1.49%)
  • DOW

    +360.68 (+1.06%)

    +1.69 (+2.65%)

    +20.00 (+1.10%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    +636.46 (+2.32%)

    +308.90 (+1.11%)
  • DAX

    +216.96 (+1.43%)
  • CAC 40

    +96.81 (+1.54%)

Kensington neighbours win court fight over architect Sophie Hicks’ ‘glowing glass box’ home plans

Tristan Kirk
·2-min read
<p>Sophie Hicks with her daughter Edie Campbell</p> (Dave Benett)

Sophie Hicks with her daughter Edie Campbell

(Dave Benett)

Neighbours of celebrity architect Sophie Hicks were entitled to block her plans for a new home fronted by a “gently-glowing glass box” in an exclusive part of Kensington, the High Court has ruled.

The former Tatler fashion editor wanted to develop land in Holland Park which she bought for £800,000 in 2011, drawing up ambitious proposals for a largely-subterranean home.

But her prospective new neighbours objected, complaining about the “aesthetics” of the single-storey glazed building which would serve as the home’s entrance.

They lost a 2019 High Court battle over the plans, when Judge Mark Pelling QC decided 89 Holland Park (Management) Ltd could not block Ms Hicks’ plans.

The house the plans were created for
The house the plans were created for

But the Court of Appeal ruled in June last year that the decision had been wrong, and the issue should be revisited.

Today, Judge Pelling concluded the neighbours were “entitled to refuse permission for the claimant’s proposed design on aesthetics grounds”.

Charlotte Weeks, property litigation lawyer at Gowling WLG which represented the neighbours, said today’s ruling brings to an end a long-running legal battle that dates back to 2016.

“The High Court has decided that the long leaseholders of 89 Holland Park are entitled to refuse consent to architect Sophie Hicks’ redevelopment proposals for the neighbouring site”, she said.

“This follows our successful appeal in which the Court of Appeal clarified that as a matter of principle, the long leaseholders were entitled to object to the way the development would look.

“The owners at 89 Holland Park raised a number of concerns with the design, including the modern glass entrance pavilion which was out of keeping with the character of the Holland Park Conservation Area.

“The High Court has made clear that in circumstances where other building designs would have been possible, without a fully glazed entrance pavilion and without extending beyond the existing rear building line, the long leaseholders were reasonable in their refusal of consent.”

Ms Hicks, the mother of models Edie and Olympia Campbell, had originally gained planning permission from Kensington and Chelsea council for her plans, which would include “light wells” to bring in natural light for the underground home.

But neighbours in the Victorian townhouse next-door said the development would be out of character with the area and commented: “We do not all want to live next door to the creative and interesting”. They relied on the details in a 1968 covenant to make their objections.

In today’s ruling, the judge decided that the neighbours could not object to Ms Hicks’ plans on the basis of disruption the construction would cause, or possible damage to three trees on the plot of land.

Read More

Model housing: plans to build underground home on exclusive London street unveiled by celebrity architect

Neighbours of architect Sophie Hicks face £1m legal bill over ‘dream home’ dispute

Architect Sophie Hicks loses court fight over dream home in Holland Park after neighbours' objections