A decision over granting singer Robbie Williams planning permission to build an underground swimming pool and gym has been deferred.
Led Zeppelin guitarist and next-door neighbour Jimmy Page led objections over fears construction work will damage his Grade I listed mansion Tower House in Kensington, West London.
Page’s biggest gripe is that the vibrations caused from the digging and construction would upset the structural integrity of his house and irreversibly damage its ‘richly decorated’ interior, which contains historic paintings, decorations and frescoes.
The hard rock pioneer spoke at a planning committee meeting at Kensington Town Hall tonight saying: ‘I’m here to plea that you take all necessary measures to protect the Tower House from the threat of harm it faces.’
Jimmy Page is pictured speaking at tonight’s planning meeting tonight in Kensington Town Hall opposing plans by Robbie Williams
The former Led Zeppelin guitarist is pictured arriving at Kensington Town Hall this evening as he continued to fight the singer’s plans
Page says he is concerned the singer’s planned basement extension would threaten the structural integrity of his home (pictured)
According to the planning report, English Heritage considers some items in Jimmy’s home to be ‘fragile and vulnerable to further movement’.
The planning inspector for the council said: ‘Even slight cosmetic disruption, which may be acceptable in many other buildings, could have an unacceptable impact on this valuable historic asset.’
The postponement involves councillors seeking legal assurances about independent monitoring of vibration levels and ground movement from any construction work, as well as the consideration of extra conditions, such as the possibility of workers using only hand tools.
Speaking afterwards, Page said he was ‘very pleased’ at the decision, adding: ‘I think the deferment was a very good conclusion.’
‘I’m really pleased at the outcome in so much that the council showed so much consideration to the Grade I listed building Tower House,’ he said. ‘There were many things that were said that I found really encouraging.
‘I have been the custodian of the house and on my watch I feel that I have got to do everything with all these sort of haphazard things … that really it’s my duty while it’s my watch.
‘I’m only the custodian to pass it on to the next person in the same way I bought it from Richard Harris (the actor).’
The building is one of only 18 grade-1 listed buildings in the Royal borough. Page has owned the 19th Century building since 1972 and describes it as ‘relatively plain on the outside’.
Representatives for Williams gave assurances any construction work would fall within stringent regulations.
The multi-millionaire performers have been locked in a four-year dispute over the singer’s plans for a basement extension at the west London property.
Last year Robbie was forced to apologise to Jimmy after he liked his behaviour to a “mental illness”.
Williams is renovating Michael Winner’s old home in Holland Park and also wants to build an underground swimming pool as well as a summerhouse.
The guitarist is pictured after he arrived at the town hall to oppose next door neighbour Robbie Williams’ plans
Jimmy Page – pictured at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983 – has been locked in a four-year battle with the singer
Robbie Williams robustly defended the plans following a backlash from the guitarist in March. The pair have been at loggerheads since the former Take That star moved next door in 2013.
But he has faced opposition from Led Zeppelin star Page, who is fiercely protective of Tower House, the Grade I Listed ‘magnificent tour-de-force’ built in the 19th Century.
He describes Tower House as ‘relatively plain on the outside’ but with an interior ‘richly decorated with a variety of finishes/techniques designed in a highly original manner’.
The singer plans a basement complete with a swimming pool, which his guitarist neighbour claims could upset Tower House’s structural integrity
Robbie has feuded with his wealthy neighbours over the plans in the past. They have until March 2 to lodge any complaints with the council
He failed in his attempt to build a summer house at his £17million West London mansion last year following complaints from neighbours – but then submitted new plans (pictured)
Ex Take That singer Robbie wants it as a place to relax with wife Ayda Field and their kids Theodora, five and Charlton, three – and is hoping these plans will be accepted by the council
The star wants to create a tunnel from the main property to a renovated basement (pictured)
He has also claimed the plans contravene a number of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s planning policy guidance.
Williams’ team has this week responded to the neighbourly concerns by saying there will be ‘no damage whatsoever to the finishes, fittings or structure of Tower House’ and that the effect from the proposed basement is ‘negligible’.
The report states: ‘This inherent robustness to the building has allowed the internal finishes to survive the WW2 bombing and major construction work that took place nearby following the war.
‘Given the above, it is clear that in its lifetime, there have been incidents and constructions in the vicinity of Tower House that had significant ground movements and vibrations associated with them whereas the proposed basement has been engineered so that its effect on the house and its finished is negligible.’
Planning experts Gerald Eve, which prepared the report for Williams, has also dismissed Page’s claims the basement contravenes council policy guidelines.
The report concludes: ‘As detailed in this letter, the applications are supported by robust documentation which demonstrates that the proposals are acceptable and accord with relevant planning policy and guidance.
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page (left) is fiercely opposing the renovation plans of Robbie Williams (right, with wife Ayda Field) and says the Take That star’s swimming pool construction threatens the integrity of his home
‘Relatively plain on the outside’: Page says the danger to his property is posed by disruption to its interior
Page – pictured on stage with Led Zeppelin in Los Angeles back in 1975 – has been feuding with Williams since 2013
‘We have provided a response to all planning and listed building matters raised in the public consultation comments, none of which identify any reason to withhold consent, and respectfully request that determination of the applications is now progressed without delay.’
The two music icons have been engaged in various planning battles for more than three years.
Problems first emerged in January 2015, one month after William first submitted plans to overhaul his Grade II Listed home, which he bought for £17.5 million in 2013.
Since then, Williams has carried an cosmetic overhaul of the property while trying and failing to build a mega-basement.
The singer has also incurred the wrath of neighbours whose gardens back on his property after he submitted plans for a summerhouse.
And in May, 2017, Williams’ builders were ordered to pay £4,670 after breaching noise regulations out of hours. Mr Page was understood to have been the complainant.
Tonight Page said during the last works at Robbie’s house the builders had been ‘flagrant’ with regard to the working hours.
‘They were flagrant with regard to the condition they had with the hours they were working,’ he said.
‘When it was starting to go through to Saturday and into the night.. that’s when it went to court. It’s my home, I’ve been here since 1972.
‘If people don’t keep to the rules and the times they are supposed to work then there’s an issue.’
He added he felt it was his ‘duty’ to be the ‘custodian of the house’.
The case has been adjourned to a date to be fixed as councillors seek legal assurances from the applicant on using ‘stringent’ monitoring and perhaps the workers only hand tools to reduce vibrations and noise.