Boy George Refused Permission to Increase Light to His Gloomy Gothic Pad

Planning Applications of the Rich and Famous


Boy George is locked in a battle with Camden council after plans to brighten up his multi-million-pound Victorian mansion overlooking Hampstead Heath were thrown out.

The Culture Club singer hoped to increase the amount of natural light in his Grade-II listed home by building a glazed extension and chopping down three trees in the landscaped gardens.

But Camden council rejected the proposals last September. He is now appealing against the decision. The 53-year-old Eighties pop star, whose real name is George O’Dowd, has lived alone in the house since his pop heyday 30 years ago.

Documents filed in 2013 by Soho-based Syte Architects explain: “The house does not benefit from a great deal of natural light into its interior. Its frontage is orientated to the north-east. The rear has a southwesterly orientation but a combination of factors mean that the interior often suffers from poor levels and quality of natural lighting.

A property you can only enter at Midnight After your Car Breaks Down in the Middle of a Thunderstorm


Renovation: Boy George wants to build a glazed extension, but planners argue it will be detrimental to the property’s character (Picture: Glenn Copus)“The proposed extension has been designed to create living spaces with a greater sense of connection to the garden and better levels of natural light. These spaces will have a different atmosphere and character to the internal spaces in the existing house.”

But in a letter stating its reasons for refusal, the council argued the proposed extension would “appear as an over-dominant and incongruous addition” and would be “detrimental to the character, appearance and special architectural and historic interests of the hosted listed building”.

A letter sent to the town hall from the Hampstead Conservation Area Advisory Committee stated that the scheme was an over-development and would affect neighbours.

They wrote: “We object to the extension and the hard landscaping because of the garden take-up and potential light pollution.”


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