David and Victoria Beckham have reportedly won their planning battle over building a large lake with its own island at their £6m Cotswolds mansion.
The couple received permission to create a 2,976 square metre kidney-shaped water feature back in August, despite objections from furious residents, and they again angered locals when they applied to increase the size by 40 per cent in December.
And it now seems that they can finally finish the build after West Oxfordshire District Council’s assistant biodiversity officer approved the latest plans – as long as the family doesn’t use motorised boats, reports The Sun.
Green light: David and Victoria Beckham have reportedly won their planning battle over building a large lake with its own island at their £6m Cotswolds mansion
It is thought that the officer has given the go ahead on the expansion at the Grade II-listed home, after first being worried about ‘boating use’ on the lake.
They said: ‘I understand that the justification for the amended design is to provide an aesthetic improvement as well as to further enhance the site for biodiversity. I consider this satisfactory.’
However they added some restrictions should be applied, continuing: ‘I therefore recommend that a specific condition is applied that refers to the type of boats to be used on the water, such as restricting the use of speedboats.’
Although speedboats seem to be out, the family should still be able to enjoy a spot of rowing as the officer added that ‘non-motorised boats’ would be ‘acceptable’.
A representative for the Beckhams declined to comment.
Getting to it: Construction has already started at the home after the couple’s original plans to make the lake were approved back in August, they then requested to make it larger
David and Victoria sparked a furore among residents with their plans to add the lake to their home, where they spent much of the UK’s first lockdown.
Back in December the power couple requested permission to increase the lake size to 4,170 sq metres and to add an island, measuring 122 square metres.
The latest alteration to the pad in Great Tew, near the celebrity hotspot of Chipping Norton, is thought to make the pond around half the size of a football pitch.
Neighbour Sue Jones, who has lived in the area for most of her life, wrote a furious letter to the council.
She said: ‘I must object in the strongest terms to this new proposal. I was an objector to the original plan and my concerns were ignored. I feel that his plan to enlarge the lake could increase the chances of flooding in the area considerably.
Big plans: David and Victoria sparked a furore among residents with their plans to add the lake to their home, where they spent much of the UK’s first lockdown (pictured with children Brooklyn, Cruz, Harper and Romeo)
Plans: The first idea was to create a kidney-shaped body of water, sized 2976 sq metres but the couple later expanded it to 4,170 sq metres and to add an island, measuring 122 square metres
‘Also, the lake looks just too large for the area it sits in. It is out of keeping with the area and what is planned next? Motor boats zooming up and down and shattering the peace? It is just not on and should not be allowed.’
Other neighbours objected to the original proposals for the lake, with Michael Douglas blasted the couple for ‘trying to bring suburbia to the countryside’.
He added: ‘If they had wanted all they have applied for, why not find an estate which was big enough to accommodate all of this.’
Other residents called it ‘ugly’, ‘monstrous’ and ‘out of keeping’ with the posh area.
However the Beckham’s proposals said the pond will recreate a classic English meadow scene. In the design statement it explained the lake would be surrounded by dozens of different types of grass, wildflowers, shrubs, bushes and trees.
Serene: In Beckham’s previous proposals they said the pond will recreate a classic English meadow scene (pictured together)
It said: ‘The mix will flower all summer long, giving bees, hoverflies and butterflies a feast of nectar and pollen.’
The couple are in a race against time to get the water feature built by February as planning regulations for the original lake stipulated workers can only be on site between August and February to protect nesting birds.
The council have also said the couple will have to plant hedgerows and trees to protect native birds, and also use special lights to help bats.
It must also have an underground chamber – known as a hibernacula – to help support reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs.
The Beckhams were also required to submit a five-year maintenance plan to show how they will support the area’s biodiversity.
Better get moving! The couple (pictured) are in a race against time to get the water feature built by February as that is when planning regulations say workers can no longer be on site