A five year acrimonious legal fight between Take That singer Robbie Williams and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has finally come to an end. Williams won his bid to add an underground pool and basement to his Kensington mansion, however, Page who turned 75 this week may actually be the real winner as details have become public on the local councils decision.
As reported here at kevinmurphy.london in July 2017 the property at the centre of this squabble is the 46-room mansion home in Kensington of the late film director Michael Winner which Williams purchased for £17 million in December 2013. Over the past three years renovation of the property had been ongoing while complaints from neighbours and clashes with planning authorities over the buildings new construction raised tensions.
The dispute with Jimmy Page began when he objected to Williams’s house plans that Page argued could threaten his Grade-I listed Tower Home. The Williams family had returned to London after living in Los Angeles to have their children enrolled in proper English schools.
Local council planners in July 2016 gave the builders on the Williams property a specific time of day for what was referred to as ‘noisy work’ from 8am to 6:30pm Monday through Friday and 12.5 hours for Saturday construction. Underground additions are nothing new in London's priciest neighbourhoods as homeowners add cinemas, workout rooms and pools but the noise and and other issues while these additions are being constructed are common complaints by neighbours.
On two occasions Mr. Page voiced complaints about the scale and size of the construction saying the architectural application was ‘unfortunate’ and he stated his fears that his home could be damaged.
Home of Jimmy Page, London
On the renovation of the mansion and complaints by Jimmy Page Mr. Williams said:
'We bought this house and it was dilapidated, you know. It needed fresh energy, new love. It just needed a lick of paint and, you know, new stuff to be added, and our next door neighbour sort of decided to concentrate all of his energy on trying to block everything.’
There was a small victory for Jimmy Page when he won a complaint regarding the noise as a court ordered £4,760 to award Page as compensation from CC Construction Ltd. for noise violations on the Williams property.
An interview reported in 2017 on an Italian radio, Radio Deejay, Williams commented on his dispute with Page even suggesting his neighbour had a mental illness.
He is quoted as saying:
'Jimmy has been sitting in his car outside our house, four hours at a time. He's recording the workmen to see if they're making too much noise.’
The builders came in and he was asleep in his garden waiting. It's like a mental illness.’
The decision on the expansion for Willams was made in late December last year with some restrictions on the basement and pool construction. To minimise complaints by Mr. Page over vibrations that could harm the integrity of his Grade-I listed Tower home designed by William Burges in 1875 the council has ruled that the pool cannot be dug out by machinery but rather using hand tools such as shovels and spades for excavation.
It is also reported that Mr. Page will attempt to secure £6 million bond from Williams should there be any damage caused by the construction.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Mr. Page and Mr. Williams will meet in the near future to agree to terms on going forward.
Home of Robbie Williams, London
One source in the Daily Mail said:
‘Robbie’s team were ashen-faced at the verdict because this was not the result they wanted. This work is going to be a nightmare.’
‘Any bit of damage, large or small, he will be liable for so he has to be careful. There will be no getting around the rule that Robbie’s builders won’t be using big diggers but spades instead.’
Whether or not Mr. Williams proceeds with his pool construction using buckets and garden tools is anyones guess but much can be said for Mr. Page as he remained firm and determined in getting his voice heard by the local council in Kensington & Chelsea.
One friend told The Mail on Sunday:
‘For Jimmy, this has been way more important than a scrap between a pop star and a rock star.’
‘Robbie in our view was endangering other people’s homes – in this case a private listed building.’
‘We can’t empower rich people to ruin other people’s homes.’