George's Not So Amazing Space

Architect's garden building described as a 'hideous monolith'




Action Group Legal Battle Over Oaks

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The Acton based architect and TV presenter, George Clarke, has angered neighbours after installing what they describe as an 'ugly' and 'obtrusive' outbuilding in his back garden.


He's working on the latest series of Channel 4 property programme 'Amazing Spaces' in which, according to production notes, he ''explores the extraordinary world of small builds, where people turn tiny spaces into the most incredible places to live, work and play. He even tries making one of his own.''

Residents living near the property on Summerlands Avenue, W3, say they were horrified to see the massive structure being delivered by crane and believe it's totally inappropriate for the neighbourhood.

Anne Brown lives a few doors away and has written to complain to Mr Clarke and his production company.

'' As you can imagine, everyone living on this side of the street is appalled at the overwhelming incursion into what is a very pleasant outlook over the back gardens of Summerlands Avenue and Horn Lane (which faces it).   Nobody else has had the bad taste to instal such a hideous monolith.    How on earth can this be called an "Amazing Space"? The effect it has on the surrounding environment is overwhelming, especially given its disproportionately large size, taking up most of the back garden.'' 

Stewatt Batt from Plum Pictures replied: '' The structure currently being constructed in George's garden will be used as a causal work space/ entertaining area. It is being built under permitted development where following the guidelines within this. As such it will be no more than 2.5 metres high, will not take up more than 50% of the total garden space. 

''Just to confirm the structure you are currently viewing is completely unfinished, the finish of the build will be of the highest quality - it will look a lot different from what you can see at the moment. I agree that the current state of the build is far from beautiful.  The build is due to be completed on 3rd May. I ask if we could wait until the build is complete on 3rd May to make a judgement about its impact on the surrounding area. If at this point you and other parties are unhappy with the final product, we can have a look into options for to improve this.''

Mr Clarke recently spoke out about the controversial Oaks development describing it as an ''enormous, overpowering and very much an over the top scheme’.

Ealing Council say:

'' Many residents use a garden outbuilding as a home office. This use is often a lawful use but is not without restriction. Any home office or business use carried out at a residential property must have a low level of activity and that activity should not differ, in terms of the amount of activity, from that of a normal residential property.''

''If you have any questions about erecting a garden outbuilding at your property, then you may wish to visit the planning portal interactive guide or at:''

We have asked for comment from Mr Clarke.


24th April 2014