As Christmas approaches, so does the one-year anniversary of the death of music legend George Michael.
After news broke that the 53-year-old had been found dead at his Oxfordshire cottage, thousands of fans flocked to his Georgian mansion in north London to pay their respects.
A sea of flowers, photographs and candles spilled out onto the street outside the £105million house in Highgate Village – the remnants of which are still there a year on.
But while local fans are rallying to get a statue of the Wham! singer erected to create a more lasting memory of him, conservationists in the area have branded the soggy tributes an ‘appalling mess’ and ‘visual clutter’.
After news broke that George Michael had been found dead at his Oxfordshire cottage aged 53, thousands of fans flocked to his Georgian mansion in north London (pictured) to pay their respects
A sea of flowers, photographs and candles (pictured) spilled out onto the street outside the £105million house in Highgate Village – the remnants of which are still there a year on
Conservationists in the area have branded the soggy tributes an ‘appalling mess’ and ‘visual clutter’
Susan Rose, chair of the Highgate Conservation Area advisory committee told The Telegraph Michael’s shrine has become a ‘terrible’ mess and is proving a nuisance for residents.
She told the newspaper: ‘The land belongs to the estate but that’s the problem, there’s nothing we can do,’ she said.
‘One wonder’s what George Michael would think of it all outside the beautiful home that he looked after so well, and right where erected a wonderful Christmas tree every year.
‘Jamie Oliver and Jude Law live locally. I can’t imagine they are overly happy about it all.’
A young George Michael fan is pictured laying a rose outside Michael’s home last year
Locals claim a loyal army of fans try to keep the tributes (pictured) tidy, but the soggy tributes have become ‘very dangerous’ in recent weeks and have broken the fence
Mrs Rose said the group’s intention was not to upset his grieving family, but that the anniversary of his death might be a good time to clear the old tributes and do something new instead.
She suggested mending the fence, which has suffered with the weight of the overwhelming number of bouquets.
The group is considering contacting Michael’s family to see if they would prefer a plaque to remember him by.
Michael Hammerson, policy and projects spokesman for the Highate Society thinks a fitting tribute would be something that would benefit the whole community – like improving a local playground or social club.
Pictured: The Wham! singer died on December 25 aged 53 at home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
John Vasilou, a driving instructor who lives nearby in north London, started the petition to get a bronze statue of the Last Christmas singer in the area.
Despite delivering it to Parliament with 5,000 signatures, he has been in contact with the family, who say Michael’s ‘private’ nature would have meant he would not be keen on the idea of a statue of him.
He told the newspaper his loyal fan base are committed to tending to the shrine, replacing flowers as often as they can.
But he conceded the area had become ‘very muddy and dangerous’ in the wet and cold weather recently.
Mrs Rose said if the issue is not resolved her group could argue it has become a permanent fixture, which would require planning permission from Camden Council.
Elsewhere in the area, a recent gig entitled ‘You Have Been Loved’ saw 300 fans crowd the singer’s old church for a tribute concert that raised £3,000 for charity.
The money will go towards heart disease charity Cardiomyopathy UK, one of the conditions associated with Michael’s death.
It was eventually ruled to be the result of natural causes, from dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and a fatty liver.
After his death it was revealed Michael had donated thousands of pounds to a woman who he saw trying to win cash for IVF treatment on game show Deal or No Deal.
She has since given birth and given her son the singer’s middle name as a tribute to his kindness.
John Vasilou, a driving instructor who lives nearby in north London, started a petition (pictured) to get a bronze statue of the Last Christmas singer in the area