Rowan Atkinson angers neighbours over space age house plans

July 14, 2010 | by | 41 Comments

Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson has infuriated his neighbours over plans to build a hi-tech house – which looks like a space age PETROL STATION.

Atkinson has been involved in the design of the £5 million white three-storey home for the past two years.

He plans to demolish the existing 1930s Handsmooth House set in 16 acres of rolling countryside near the tiny village of Ipsden, near Wallingford, Oxon.

The Blackadder and Mr Bean star wants to replace it with a 30ft (9m) high mansion split into two futuristic wings connected by a transparent Star Trek-style walkway.

Atkinson has recruited top US architect Richard Meier to design the house, which will be his first project in the UK.

The site lies in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the plans have already been rejected by the local parish council for being ”out of character” with the landscape.

Top architect supports plans

And neighbours are furious at the proposed property, which they have dubbed ”a space-age petrol station”.

Ben Yates, 45, a farmer who lives nearby, stormed: ”The house will look like an ugly space age petrol station.

”All the houses round here are traditionally built and some go back more than 100 years.

”His house will stick out like a sore thumb and will ruin the character of the area.

”If he gets planning permission it’ll go just go to show he’s got more money than sense.”

Resident Petra Frampton, 43, added: ”Ideally I would love him [Atkinson] to have the house of his dreams but possibly not imposing his taste on the rest of the county.”

Neighbour Emma Hulbert, 45, added: ”While the modern architecture may be appropriate in London it is wholly inappropriate to the rural landscape.

”The proposal is not in keeping with the surrounding properties and landscape in an area of outstanding natural beauty. I strongly object to this proposal.”

The plans, submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council, include a tennis court, stables and underground garage in the sprawling mansion’s construction.

The state-of-the-art home will have five bedrooms overlooking the stunning Chiltern Hills as well as a bridge over a courtyard which links both wings of the house.

A swimming pool which was built in the 1970s will also be bulldozed to make way for a two-storey luxury guest wing set into the side of an ancient hillside behind the property.

The main 8,000sq ft home will come with a Japanese garden and even its own wood to protect Atkinson and his family from nosey neighbours.

Atkinson, 55, has also recruited award-winning landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith to reproduce a meadow at the front of the property.

But the star, who has lived in the county for 28 years, has shrugged off his neighbours concerns claiming they had ”nothing to fear”.

The application reads: ”The design is not a departure, but rather a reinvention of the traditional country house.

”The home will add to our architectural heritage rather than parody it.”

Atkinson added: ”I don’t want to live in a house that is weird or futuristic but one that is simple, graceful and elegant and this is what Richard Meier has provided.”

”It would be a terrible shame if people felt that there was no place in the countryside for modern design.”

The council will decide whether to approve the planning application in September.

What do you think of the plans for Rowan Atkinson’s futuristic house? Have your say below.

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Category: Celebrity

Comments (41)

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  1. Neil Burrows says:

    It's his land, his money, his house. Let him do what he wants to.

  2. Neil Burrows says:

    It's his land, his money, his house. Let him do what he wants to.

  3. Alistair Murray says:

    Looks great.

    We need more houses like this and a lot less mock tudor.

  4. Alistair Murray says:

    Looks great.

    We need more houses like this and a lot less mock tudor.

  5. Steve says:

    No idea what the problem is, i'm local and walk the dogs and ride my mountain bike in the immediate area of this house and its not the best looking of places at the minute. Its his land and it won't effect any one what he does so let him carry on.

  6. Steve says:

    No idea what the problem is, i'm local and walk the dogs and ride my mountain bike in the immediate area of this house and its not the best looking of places at the minute. Its his land and it won't effect any one what he does so let him carry on.

  7. Mrs Pants says:

    But what about the privvies?

  8. Mrs Pants says:

    But what about the privvies?

  9. Don says:

    The plans look brilliant.

  10. Don says:

    The plans look brilliant.

  11. Rob Barber says:

    What's all the fuss about? I think the existing house is pretty ugly. It just looks like an inflated 1930s suburban semi. The new house looks great and all "old" buildings were new and innovative once.

  12. Rob Barber says:

    What's all the fuss about? I think the existing house is pretty ugly. It just looks like an inflated 1930s suburban semi. The new house looks great and all "old" buildings were new and innovative once.

  13. Russell says:

    Have we become a nation of two-year-olds whose only power is to say, "NO?" The resentment felt toward wealthy landowners is out of control yet the wealthiest landowner of all gets a pass. Is it tyranny if we are complicit and complacent?

  14. Russell says:

    Have we become a nation of two-year-olds whose only power is to say, "NO?" The resentment felt toward wealthy landowners is out of control yet the wealthiest landowner of all gets a pass. Is it tyranny if we are complicit and complacent?

  15. Deb says:

    I love the idea. I think his house plans are beautiful. It looks peaceful and clean. best of luck Mr. Bean

  16. Deb says:

    I love the idea. I think his house plans are beautiful. It looks peaceful and clean. best of luck Mr. Bean

  17. Suzanne says:

    Cool, graceful, elegant and a lot better than what's there at the moment. What's the problem?

  18. Suzanne says:

    Cool, graceful, elegant and a lot better than what's there at the moment. What's the problem?

  19. Jeff says:

    I'll bet he can't even play Battle Toads there.

  20. Jeff says:

    I'll bet he can't even play Battle Toads there.

  21. Jeremy says:

    You've got to remember that Rowan stumbling around with a gigantic turkey on his head will distract from the newfangled design.

  22. Jeremy says:

    You've got to remember that Rowan stumbling around with a gigantic turkey on his head will distract from the newfangled design.

  23. Yuu says:

    If the neighbours do not want Mr. Atkinson to build his house on his land, they can pay him HIS asking price for the property, or they can return to thier own affairs. It's not like Mr. Atkinson is building it right beside thier houses, and it was made clear in the article that there will be a wood to ensure his family's privacy. I wish the best of luck to Mr. Atkinson, and I hope the council will be a reasonable lot, more so than the the people who stirred this pot.

  24. Yuu says:

    If the neighbours do not want Mr. Atkinson to build his house on his land, they can pay him HIS asking price for the property, or they can return to thier own affairs. It's not like Mr. Atkinson is building it right beside thier houses, and it was made clear in the article that there will be a wood to ensure his family's privacy. I wish the best of luck to Mr. Atkinson, and I hope the council will be a reasonable lot, more so than the the people who stirred this pot.

  25. eva land says:

    What is unbelievable is that the Conservation Officer at the council does not support a beautiful stunning opportunity such as this proposal.

    It is more than likely that he has no qualification in design and has merely studied planning and then taken a further course in the care of ancient/historical buildings. This means that he cannot offer an informed or expert opinion despite his role pertaining to that of being design and conservation officer.

    I don't imagine fan of Rowan and friend, Prince Charles will be getting into bed with Lord Rogers in support of this fantastic house .

    He would prefer the ghastly fake Georgian style design that already has permission for the site.

  26. eva land says:

    What is unbelievable is that the Conservation Officer at the council does not support a beautiful stunning opportunity such as this proposal.

    It is more than likely that he has no qualification in design and has merely studied planning and then taken a further course in the care of ancient/historical buildings. This means that he cannot offer an informed or expert opinion despite his role pertaining to that of being design and conservation officer.

    I don't imagine fan of Rowan and friend, Prince Charles will be getting into bed with Lord Rogers in support of this fantastic house .

    He would prefer the ghastly fake Georgian style design that already has permission for the site.

  27. Mr Black says:

    2 years. Chop chop Mr. Bean, get on with it. If his furious neighbours don't like it then they can turn their heads the other way.

  28. Mr Black says:

    2 years. Chop chop Mr. Bean, get on with it. If his furious neighbours don't like it then they can turn their heads the other way.

  29. RFW says:

    I'm no great fan of a lot of modern architecture (take that, Gherkin!), but this house looks beautiful: far more beautiful, in fact, than the dowdy old house currently on the property.

    Not everything old is worth preserving!

  30. RFW says:

    I'm no great fan of a lot of modern architecture (take that, Gherkin!), but this house looks beautiful: far more beautiful, in fact, than the dowdy old house currently on the property.

    Not everything old is worth preserving!

  31. Edward says:

    Correct!

    "It’s his land, his money, his house. Let him do what he wants to."

  32. Edward says:

    Correct!

    "It’s his land, his money, his house. Let him do what he wants to."

  33. Tom says:

    Looks a refreshing and inspiring design to me , having worked in Richard Meiers buildings i found them quite beautifull and if i had Mr Atkinsons money i would probably employ Meiers myself to design a home , one day this house ( if built ) will be considered a architectural gem in an area with an abundance of ' traditional ' buildings.Are the locals going to build a giant ladder so they can see over Mr Atkinsons planted woods and wind themselves up into a envious froth at his lovely home ? Can't stand still forever folks , and the country should be glad that Mr Atkinson has the forsight to introduce such a fantastic architect to these shores.

  34. Tom says:

    Looks a refreshing and inspiring design to me , having worked in Richard Meiers buildings i found them quite beautifull and if i had Mr Atkinsons money i would probably employ Meiers myself to design a home , one day this house ( if built ) will be considered a architectural gem in an area with an abundance of ' traditional ' buildings.Are the locals going to build a giant ladder so they can see over Mr Atkinsons planted woods and wind themselves up into a envious froth at his lovely home ? Can't stand still forever folks , and the country should be glad that Mr Atkinson has the forsight to introduce such a fantastic architect to these shores.

  35. Sum Yung Gai says:

    What's the problem? Mr. Atkinson's planned house looks beautiful! I think it's a perfect complement to the lovely woods in which it'll be built.

    As others have said, it's his land, his money, his house. Let him do what he wants to. And those objectors might change their minds once they see how gorgeous the final structure is.

  36. Sum Yung Gai says:

    What's the problem? Mr. Atkinson's planned house looks beautiful! I think it's a perfect complement to the lovely woods in which it'll be built.

    As others have said, it's his land, his money, his house. Let him do what he wants to. And those objectors might change their minds once they see how gorgeous the final structure is.

  37. Dan says:

    Granted, it's not in keeping with our local area (I live in Oxfordshire so I'll be fairly close to it), but it's by no definition ugly. Let him have and enjoy his house, and quit belly aching about it.

  38. Dan says:

    Granted, it's not in keeping with our local area (I live in Oxfordshire so I'll be fairly close to it), but it's by no definition ugly. Let him have and enjoy his house, and quit belly aching about it.

  39. Cath H says:

    SPECTACULAR! A superb minimal design. Go for it Mr. Bean!

  40. Cath H says:

    SPECTACULAR! A superb minimal design. Go for it Mr. Bean!

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