Dua Lipa’s London mansion makeover sparks controversy! From a basement pool to a cinema, the pop star faces challenges in her grand renovation plans.

Dua Lipa has landed in H๏τ water with conservationists over her Grand Designs-style plans for a mᴀssive makeover of her £6.75million London home including a basement swimming pool – complete with a ‘chill-out area’.

The singer, 26, has submitted plans to build a pool, steam room, shower, changing room and relaxation zone on one side and a cinema, studio waiting area and lobby on the other.

But Dua also wants to demolish a rear extension and build a new one to create a family room with a green roof – which planners at the local council and conservationists have opposed.

Exterior works include a new chimney stack from the roofline upwards, replacement cast iron railings and new timber-framed windows to replace UPVC ones.

She is also planning a garden makeover ‘in the romantic Arts & Crafts tradition’ with a new lawn, front terrace, planted courtyard, sunken terrace, balcony garden, kitchen terrace, sunny terrace and trellis.

There would also be a new stepped path connecting the front and rear garden, a pleached hornbeam hedge against the boundary wall to create a sheltered internal courtyard area and new automated sliding gates at the entrance.

Dua applied for planning permission for the proposed works because the property lies in a designated conservation area but a local neighbourhood forum has objected to the application.

In a letter to the council, secretary Nancy Mayo wrote: ‘The forum notes that the pre-application advice received is that the existing rear extension should not be demolished as it positively contributes to the character and appearance of the host dwelling.

‘Boundary walls constructed from lava bricks (also known as clinker bricks) are a very important feature of the Conservation Area. The ivy-clad lava brick boundary walls are notable features of the streetscapes.

‘The Forum objects to the felling of the willow tree and the re-building, or any potential harm, to the boundary walls.

‘The Forum notes that this site is very close to the underground boundary stream and the spring line and that the willow tree may have been planted to address what could have been a soggy garden. A natural wildlife pond would therefore be entirely appropriate in such a location.

‘Since the application does not appear to be compliant with all of the relevant Neighbourhood Plan policies, the Forum therefore wishes to object to the application.’

In its pre-application advice, Camden Council added: ‘Officers consider that the replacement of the rear extension and infill of the existing side setback, with a larger and modern extension, would harm the integrity of the building and its contribution to the conservation area.

‘Officers would strongly resist the demolition of the existing rear extension as it positively contributes to the character and appearance of the host dwelling due to its carefully considered design and use of materials.’

In a design statement, her planning agent said: ‘The challenge presented by our client was to increase the floor area [of the house] in a similar way as other properties in the area, while preserving and respecting the qualities of the original house and its significant presence on a corner within the conservation area.

‘The replacement extension is to allow better connection from the family room to garden and has been carefully designed to prevent issues of privacy arising.

‘It is of a similar size and scale to the existing being removed and remains subservient to the existing house. The house is the main event, there is no intention to compete for the viewer’s attention with a busy or grand solution.

‘The new lower garden will be accessed from new studio workspaces in the basement to allow work activity to be separate from the rest of the house. The boundary retaining wall on the west side is to be re-faced with red brick which is more in character with the conservation area than the existing yellow brick.

‘The owners seek not only to develop the house within the law, but to improve and enhance the property, with sensitive design interventions that are in keeping with the area, to improve its environmental performance and to secure the future wellbeing of the house.’

According to property website Rightmove, Dua paid £6.75million for the pad last January and council officials at are set to make a decision on the plans in the New Year.

There have so far been no objections from neighbours and other famous residents who live nearby including fellow singers Sam Smith and Boy George, TV presenter Melanie Sykes, comedian Jimmy Carr and actors Rowan Atkinson and Richard Wilson.

T1

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